This article gives a quick summary of best practices when designing a mobile-friendly Blackboard module, and provides links to ‘deep dive’ articles if designing for mobile access only. Note, most students will access Blackboard content via their mobile device in addition to accessing it via a laptop or desktop computer.
There are two distinct ways of viewing Blackboard module content on a mobile:
- your device browser (the University student app provides access to the browser view of Blackboard)
- download the Blackboard Student App
Consider checking the display of content and activities by accessing Blackboard with your own mobile device, in browser view and via the Blackboard Instructor App (instructor version of the student app).
Quick summary: mobile-friendly module design
What works best for mobile access
- Having one or two folder levels for content (avoid going beyond two levels)
- Clear, short titles and descriptions
- Keeping everything in one item; including all task details, links to resources and guidance within one content item rather than using separate links to files or resources (i.e. avoiding using additional File or Web Link tools from the Build Content menu)
- Including text-based web links for any embedded content
- Using left-aligned text.
What doesn’t work for mobile access
- ‘Longer activities’ requiring extensive use of the Blackboard text editor (for example, discussion boards, journals, blogs and wikis). Encourage short, succinct responses to these types of activities.
- Certain forms of embedded media and third-party tools/services may not display correctly on mobile devices. Always include text web links to these resources in addition to any embedded content, or test it yourself on your phone before deploying to students.
- Images and links in folder descriptions
- Some Tests and Survey question types in the Blackboard Student App*
*the Blackboard Student App
There is the option for students to use the Blackboard Student App (formerly known as “Bb Student”) instead of access via their device browser. This app is designed for push notifications (for example, announcements and grades) and quick access to most module features (for example, discussion boards and most test question types). Where features are not supported, the app will open the browser view of Blackboard.
Deep dive: designing for mobile-only access
These resources are particularly useful when designing a module intended for mobile access only: