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Blackboard Help

Course Tools in Mobile Learn

Blackboard Mobile Learn™ provides students with instant access to their courses on their mobile devices. The recommended practices presented here ensure the content you publish in the Blackboard Learn environment integrates well with Mobile Learn. This creates a more enjoyable student experience, providing maximum access to course materials for students on mobile devices.

Important terminology used in this page:

  • Web Learn = the Blackboard Learn desktop website
  • Mobile Learn = the mobile application

Tool Availability

It’s important to make sure that necessary course tools, such as discussions and announcements, are displayed in Web Learn as well as Mobile Learn.

Tool availability settings are modified within Web Learn.

  • Adjust your course's tool settings in the Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability.
  • If your school is running a Blackboard Learn software version older than Service Pack 12, you must also check settings in the Course Menu > Tools Area. Each tool must be set to Show Link, not Hide Link. The Tool Availability page and the Tools Area must reflect the same settings in order for your tools to appear in Mobile Learn.

Add the Tools Area to the Course Menu

If you do not see a link to the Tools Area in the course menu in Web Learn, follow these steps to add it.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON and point to the plus sign above the course menu. The Add Menu Item drop-down list appears.
  2. Select Tool Link from the drop-down list.
  3. Type a Name.
  4. In the Type drop-down list, select Tools Area.
  5. Select the Available to Users check box to enable users to see the link on the course menu.
  6. Click Submit.
  7. Click the link to the Tools Area that appeared on the course menu.
  8. Find the Tools you wish to show in the app and click Show Link.

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You can also add links to specific tools in the course menu with the steps above. In step 4, select the specific tool from the Type drop-down list. For example, add a direct link on the course menu for My Grades or any tool students use frequently.

Tools Available in Mobile Learn

The following tools are available in Mobile Learn and translate well to mobile devices. To learn how users interact with these tools in the app, see How to Use Mobile Learn.

  • Announcements
  • Blogs
  • Discussions
  • Grades
  • Journals
  • Mobile Tests
  • Tasks

Additional tools display in the in-app browser instead of directly within the app, such as Calendar, Email, or Assignments. To learn more, see What features are available in the app? 

File:en-us/Learn/Mobile_Learn/030_Instructors_Designers/015_Course_Tools_in_Mobile_Learn/icon_announcement.png   Announcements

Announcements are a key communication tool that can be checked by students and updated by instructors whenever convenient. You can add new announcements within the Mobile app, which also show in Web Learn.

icon_mobile.png Mobile Friendly Practice

Students receive push notifications for every announcement you post, providing instant communication with your course. Post reminders about items to prepare for class and upcoming events.

Push notifications must be enabled by your institution in order for students to receive them.


File:en-us/Learn/Mobile_Learn/030_Instructors_Designers/015_Course_Tools_in_Mobile_Learn/icon_journals_blogs.png   Discussions, Blogs, and Journals

These tools offer a real opportunity to encourage collaborative learning, reflection, and discussion among students, wherever they may be.

icon_mobile.png Mobile Friendly Practice

Use the tools in the field. Take advantage of mobile learning and use these communication tools where students are doing their learning. This location might be outside the traditional lecture/classroom environment, such as internships, student teaching, or field trips. You can create new threads and reply to students from your mobile device.

File:en-us/Learn/Mobile_Learn/030_Instructors_Designers/015_Course_Tools_in_Mobile_Learn/icon_grades.png   Grades

Students can easily track their progress by viewing grades and feedback in Mobile Learn. Feedback provided by the instructor in the Grade Center is displayed below the grade in the app.

The app does not support Grade Center functionality for instructors to input and view student grades.

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File:en-us/Learn/Mobile_Learn/030_Instructors_Designers/015_Course_Tools_in_Mobile_Learn/icon_grades.png  Mobile Tests

Tests are created only in Web Learn. Navigate to a content area or folder, point to Assessments in the action bar, and select Mobile Compatible Test.

Access test attempts in the Grade Center or the Needs Grading page in Web Learn.

To learn more, see Tests, Surveys, and Pools in Web Learn.

icon_mobile.png Mobile Friendly Practice

When creating a test in Web Learn, select Mobile Compatible Test from the Assessments drop-down menu in the action bar in a content area. This tool includes only the test question types and settings that are compatible with Mobile Learn. If you create a regular test and include questions that are not mobile compatible, the test will be inaccessible through the Mobile Learn app. Mobile compatible tests are integrated into the Grade Center just like any other test.

Take all of your tests in the mobile app to be sure the student experience is what you expect.

For a list of question types and settings that are available in mobile compatible tests, see Why can't I take a test in the app?

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Mobile compatible tests can be taken on a computer OR a mobile device.

File:en-us/Learn/Mobile_Learn/030_Instructors_Designers/015_Course_Tools_in_Mobile_Learn/icon_tasks.png   Tasks

Use the Tasks tool in your course to help students stay organized. Once you set up a list of tasks and corresponding priorities for your students to complete, they can view and update the status of them through their mobile device.

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Need Help?

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