YorkShare VLE comes with an app, providing staff and students with a “mobile friendly” view of the sites that they are enrolled on, as well as pushing notifications from announcements to logged on devices. In addition to mobile access to course resources and announcements, the app also provides;
- Mobile interface for discussion boards, blogs and journals using the phone’s in built camera and microphone, allowing students to interact with tutors or peers outside of traditional study spaces, for example providing video evidence of practice while on placement or uploading a photo for commentary while on field work.
- Mobile friendly quiz interface, providing students with more flexibility in where and when they practice skills or check understanding and staff the opportunity to create site-specific formative activities.
While the app works well with many of the tools that are provided by the VLE, there are a few services that “plug-in” to Yorkshare that are not supported such as EARL, Lecture Capture and certain types of embedded media. In these cases, mobile users will be directed from the app into their mobile browser to access these resources. Users will also need to remain signed in to the app to be able to receive push-notifications.
All VLE sites will be available to all enrolled users via the app, though are a number of things that instructors can do to optimise their sites for mobile delivery, including ensuring that menu and content titles can be viewed in the limited space of a mobile screen and that content has been optimised for mobile delivery.
BlackBoard have produced a guide providing some simple guidelines and practical tips for Best Practices for Mobile Friendly Courses. It includes advice on getting started with Mobile Learning, and how to ensure that your content will be accessible on mobile devices.