Blackboard have released a new version of their mobile app, Blackboard Mobile Learn that can be used to access studentcentral course and module areas. If you’ve already downloaded it to your smart phone or iPad, then you’ll have seen the radical changes that have been made to enhance usability and interface design.
If you haven’t or looked at the old version and decided it wasn’t for you, then update or re-install and take a new look!
If you want to find out how to download and get started with the app read the studentcentral mobile introduction guide.
Gone is the old slate and cork board design on the iPad in favour of a consistent, more neutral, but elegant design that operates exactly the same way on both iOS and Android devices. And the new design is more than cosmetic…
… The clean and simple interface makes navigation far easier. You also have the option to customise how you organise, and view the course and modules you’re enrolled on from the Menu screen; with the ability to:
- Hide modules you don’t want to see,
- Chance the colour of titles,
- Re-order them,
- And even edit the module titles to something more mobile friendly.
Academics can now easily see when content is ‘unavailable’ within a module, with subtle contrasting grey chevrons as a background to denote this setting. It’s these simple changes to interface design, including the incorporation of well recognised gesture controls for your touch screen that makes the app feel more comfortable to use. This is especially noticeable for iPad users where, for example, the menus neatly nest to show the path you’ve taken to reach your content.
The app also now supports inline display of attachments, whether images or documents, that can be opened full screen to view or downloaded. Users also have the option to connect to a Dropbox account to make the movement and storage of files between devices simple.
Another well received improvement is the support for text formatting when looking at Items you’d added from your computer to show bold, bullet points and numbering. Students will now see the text layout you intended.
And within module areas, you can chose to favourite content or tools such as discussion boards and blogs and bring them onto your module menu.
Android users will also notice the Unread Count feature that let’s you quickly see how many new items have been added to an area when viewing the list of areas from the main Menu. This feature will be coming to iOS Apple devices soon.
If you haven’t already done so, encourage your students to view our support page at http://student.brighton.ac.uk/mobile and download the app. One of the best things students can do is enable push notifications in Settings to receive pop up messages when you post new content or make an announcement.
If you’ve got any thoughts or opinions on the new app, then let us know in the comments below.