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Archive for December, 2011

Blackboard Mobile Learn is here

What is Blackboard Mobile Learn?

Blackboard Mobile Learn allows  staff and students access to their teaching and Learning materials on Blackboard whenever and wherever they are through their mobile device. Blackboard Mobile  is available in native mobile applications for most popular mobile platforms including including Android™, iPhone®, iPod touch®, iPad® and BlackBerry®


What does it do?

Blackboard Mobile Learn is an extension of the University’s existing Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard. By downloading the application much of the core content on your units will be available to you on your mobile device. Students and staff are able to access documents, use communication tools including discussion boards and announcements (staff), upload media to discussion boards and blogs and view grades and feedback.

Click here for demos

Does it make everything mobile?

Blackboard Mobile Learn makes a large number of the tools in Blackboard available to mobile users.  There are some differences in access to certain tools depending on the device you have. The link below details the features available to each device.

Applications and Features summary

Where do I get it?

Click on the link below and chose your device from the images.

Student and Staff download here

How do I access University of Bristol Blackboard?

Search for the University of Bristol and tap on the name displayed. When prompted enter your usual Blackboard ID and password.

What do I need to do to access my courses?

Nothing – the plug-in we have added to Blackboard manages the way you see the information on your mobile device across all of your units.

What does it cost?

Blackboard Mobile Learn is available as a free download. Once you have downloaded the application and are accessing Blackboard data costs will be applicable in line with the data package on your device.

Instructors – tracking student activity

There are some known issues with the accuracy of Blackboard statistics from course and item tracking tools. Information about this is available on our blog.

There are 2 other options for tracking student access to files which you may find useful.

1. The first option allows students themselves to indicate that they have accessed an item, e.g. a file

The Performance Dashboard (in the Control Panel under Evaluation)  provides an overview of user activity. This can be used in conjunction with the Review Status function to track student access to items, e.g. files (Review status and the Performance Dashboard can also be used to track other activity).

To set this up, firstly  switch on review status for the item you wish to track, as follows:

  • find the item you wish to track
  • click on the double drop down menu to the right of the item name
  • click on Set review status, then Enable, and Submit

If you then turn edit mode off  it shows a tick box next to an item. Students can tick it to indicate that they have opened/read a document.  This has the potential advantage that it requires  a conscious action on the part of the student.  If you want to encourage students to engage with an item, then asking them to make a judgement that they have read and understood it might be more meaningful than a report which simply says that they have clicked on it.

Reporting on this is either through  the Performance Dashboard, or by clicking on User progress in the dropdown menu next to the item.

2. The second option automatically tracks user access to files through the Blackboard Content system.

You can switch this on as follows:

  1. Click on Control panel, then Content
  2. Click on the relevant content area e.g. the course ID
  3. Find the file
  4. Click on the dropdown options menu (double dropdown menu to the right of the filename)
  5. Click on Edit
  6. Under options tick Enable tracking then click Submit

To see tracking reports  follow the instructions 1 – 4 above but then choose 360 degree view and scroll down to Tracking data.