Initial Survey Results – Blackboard Mobile and Collaborate Enhancement Requests

We recently blogged about how anyone (at UoY or elsewhere) that uses either the Yorkshare VLE on mobile or Collaborate Ultra on any device could suggest and vote on enhancement requests for both tools. The surveys have been running for several weeks now and we’ve had over 100 responses already, so it felt like a good time to release some initial results.

The surveys will continue to run for at least a few months, so do please continue to share them with colleagues you think may be interested:

We have already begun sharing and discussing these results with Blackboard, the company that makes both tools. We will be meeting with them this Friday (June 26th) to talk through the Collaborate results specifically; I’ll be putting out an update to this blog post after that meeting to share further details and feedback from Blackboard.

Collaborate Ultra – Top 10

In total we have had 81 unique enhancements suggested for Collaborate by those that completed our survey and the wider Collaborate community. You can see a list of all 81 Collab’ enhancements here, as well as where they all placed in the results. Here are the top ten enhancements as voted by those surveyed (n=84, results pulled 22.06.20):

  1. Share Screen/Application – Experience – Generally improve the presenter/moderator experience when screen sharing. Users are frustrated when sharing that they cannot see the chat, or any aspect of the Collab interface (unless they have two screens). Feels very impersonal and causes anxiety that attendees aren’t seeing what the presenter/moderator is seeing. These users tend to choose Zoom instead.
  2. Session Prep – Polls – Be able to prebuild poll questions and answers before a session.
  3. Whiteboard – Persistence – Be able to save what has been written on the whiteboard, then either download it or retain it in the session, also allow further whiteboards to be used for further drawing whilst those ‘saved’ are retained.
  4. Session Prep – Breakout Groups – Be able to prebuild breakout groups before a session, potentially integrate with Learn groups (control panel > users and groups > groups).
  5. Session Prep – Early Entry for Organisers – Have option to allow moderators and presenters to enter sessions early (ie. before the predefined session window) so that they can upload/prep materials and test their headset etc before the audience joins.
  6. Video – Grid View – Have option to display all/many video streams at once.
  7. Recording – Pause/Restart – Allow a recording to be paused and restarted, still resulting in one resultant recording, not many.
  8. Learn Ultra – Groups – Allow Collab’ to be attached to Learn groups (control panel > users and groups > groups) in Learn Ultra like you can in Learn Original.
  9. Whiteboard – Eraser – Add an ‘are you sure’ alert after clicking the eraser on a whiteboard (to avoid accidental clear of all content) or option to toggle this on and off at session level.
  10. Breakout Groups – Whiteboard – Be able to save what has been written on the whiteboard in the breakout rooms and take it with us into the main room, also stop what’s on the breakout group’s whiteboard from being lost if a moderator/presenter decides to share files part way through a breakout group.

VLE Mobile Experience – Top 10

In total we have had 15 different enhancements suggested for the mobile VLE experience by those that completed our survey and the wider Mobile community You can see a list of all 15 mobile enhancements here, as well as where they all placed in the results. Here are the top ten enhancements as voted by those surveyed (n=17, results pulled 22.06.20):

  1. App – Content – Folder Descriptions – Include content folder descriptions in the mobile app – currently this information isn’t shown, and students may miss out on important content due to this.
  2. App – Accessibility – Ally – Improve the Ally integration for Original instances in the mobile app, currently it doesn’t work.
  3. App – Tools – Journals/Blogs – Implement native journal/blog support in the apps, rather than just discussion forums.
  4. App – Assignments – Receipts – Generate email receipts for submissions made via the mobile apps.
  5. App – Stability – Bug Fixes – Overall stability and bug fixes in the mobile app.
  6. Browser – Navigation – Menus – Make it so that the lefthand menu of a Learn VLE site doesn’t auto-collapse when entering the site, and (in particular) when scrolling up and down the menu.
  7. App – Navigation – VLE Homepage – Allow link building so app users can access institution’s VLE homepage (often used for comms/banners, etc) and other tabs (often used for help materials, accessibility information and more).
  8. Browser – Navigation – Menus – Improve the “hamburger” menu, sometimes won’t open/load without backing out of a site and re-entering.
  9. App – Assignments – Parity – Parity with instructor feedback on assignments (including rubric and AV feedback) in the Desktop view. Students are unaware that their instructors are leaving them feedback because they cannot see the comments in the app, or which cells the instructor clicked on the rubric to grade them and what those cells mean for their grade.
  10. Browser – Accessibility – Quick Links – Make navigation “quick links” appear in the ‘mobile view’ of the responsive theme (is there in background code so screenreaders can access it, but not visible to anyone else).

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