Is the Learn 2016 theme right for your institution?
The Learn 2016 theme for Blackboard Learn is a modern version of the user interface that incorporates elements from the new Blackboard design language including color, fonts, and spacing for greater consistency between Blackboard Learn, Collaborate, and the Bb Student app. This optional theme is a first step in improving the experience for mobile users. Instructors and students can access their course materials whether they're at a desk or on the go!
The Learn 2016 theme is optional and available for Blackboard Learn 9.1 as well as Blackboard Learn SaaS with the Original experience. Not all features, such as discussions, have been optimized for use on mobile devices. Users still have access to these features on their mobile device, but may prefer the desktop experience for certain workflows.
When users log in to Blackboard Learn on a mobile device or tablet, screen elements compress or change position so they stay visible. As the screen gets smaller, modules and tool tiles stack so the user still has access to them at their fingertips. The responsive design elements of the Learn 2016 theme improve the user experience for anyone who wants access to their Blackboard Learn courses on their own schedule.
Before you decide to use the theme, consider how it will affect your institution's users. The Learn 2016 theme is completely optional. If you determine that it's not a good fit for your users, you can keep using your current theme even if you accept the Blackboard Learn upgrade that contains the 2016 theme.
The Learn 2016 theme was designed with WCAG 2.0 principles in mind and follows accessibility guidelines for structure, color contrast, and navigation. Fully visible keyboard focus has been built directly into this theme as well as best practices for the definition of buttons and menus used for navigation. The theme will continue to be extended to incorporate modern screen reader navigation approaches such as ARIA landmarks.
Here's a quick comparison of what to expect.
|Feature||Learn 2012 theme||Learn 2016 theme|
|Platform||Blackboard Learn 9.1: Supported |
Blackboard Learn SaaS: Supported in Original experience
|Blackboard Learn 9.1: Supported |
Blackboard Learn SaaS: Supported in Original experience,
|Branding||Supported||Banner image is supported |
Custom login pages are supported
Brand configuration, such as color settings and background image, is not supported
Course themes are not supported
Administrators should disable course themes in Course Settings
|Mobile Browser||Not optimized||Improved experience |
While the experience is improved, mobile browsers are not a supported technology at this time.
|Content Area||Not optimized on mobile||Responsive |
A content area is responsive when the content it contains is built using responsive practices.
|Login page||Not optimized on mobile||Responsive|
|Tests||Not optimized on mobile||Improved experience|
|Tabs and Modules||Not optimized on mobile||Improved experience|