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Design Content for 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

Rich Content Support

Whether students are scanning through a course document, catching up on a discussion, or scrolling through new activity in the Dashboard – Mobile Learn is all about reading. Mobile Learn helps you make your course content look great and readable on a mobile device.

What is Rich Content?

The styles you apply to text in Web Learn are no longer lost on mobile devices. Rich content refers to text enhancement styles like bold, italics, and underlining. These styles are available in the content editor in Web Learn when building course content, such as content items, discussions, and blogs.

Image illustrating associated text

Mobile Learn does not support all rich content styles. The following styles are compatible in certain areas in the app: bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, bullet list, number list, insert file, insert/edit image, insert/edit embedded media, and insert mashups.

Rich Content
Areas That Support Rich Content Rich Content Styles

Discussion Forums

Grade Feedback


Level 1:

Bold, italics, underline, strikethrough, image links, and URL links.

Content Items


Blog and Journal Entries

Discussion Threads and Replies

Level 2:

Includes Level 1 as well as headings, numeric lists, bullets, and block quotes.

Not Supported in Mobile Learn


Input fields where students can type data.

HTML and CSS customizations — these are designed for desktop browsers and do not translate well to small screens.

Workaround: convert documents containing this type of rich content to PDFs before uploading to your course.

Rich content and text modifications can only be made Web Learn on your desktop, not from the Mobile Learn app.

File:en-us/Learn/Mobile_Learn/030_Instructors_Designers/010_Designing_Content_for_Mobile/icon_mobile.png Mobile Friendly Practices

Some types of rich content do not display well on mobile devices and should be avoided as you create content in Web Learn. The following rich content types are not supported in Mobile Learn:

  • Tables

  • Input fields where students can enter data

  • HTML and CSS customizations — these are designed for desktop browser and do not translate well to small screens

  • Workaround: convert to PDF before uploading to your course.

Create Mobile Friendly Content in Web Learn

As you create content items in Web Learn, be mindful of how the content will appear on mobile devices.

File Attachments in Content Items

On the Create Item or Edit Item page in Web Learn, you attach files in these ways:

  • In the Attachments section, you Browse for the file on your computer or in the content collection. *Attaching your files through the Browse options is more mobile friendly than embedding them.
  • Use the content editor's Insert File function to embed files within the text.

    If you choose to embed your files using the options in the content editor, links appear in place of your videos or images and the actual file attachment is placed at the bottom of the screen. The image becomes a cropped and clickable image below the body text of the content item.

    Image illustrating associated text

Text, Presentations, and Images - Acceptable file types are .PDF, .DOC, .DOCX, .PPT, .PPTX, .JPEG, .GIF, .PNG

Audio - Acceptable file type is .MP3. Limit audio quality to no more than 128 kbps and keep length short.

Video - Acceptable file type is .MP4. Keep video dimensions small - 320x480 for phones or 640x480 for tablets. Use software that has presets for producing videos for mobile devices.

Avoid Flash files because they are not supported on iOS devices or on certain Android devices.

File size - The quality and length of an audio or video file greatly affects file size. Download time is important for students who access the app with their mobile network data connection, which is typically slower than a wireless internet connection (WiFi).

File:en-us/Learn/Mobile_Learn/030_Instructors_Designers/010_Designing_Content_for_Mobile/icon_mobile.png Mobile Friendly Practices

It's important to check how your Web Learn content looks on a mobile device to make sure it is accessible and displays properly.

  • Regularly check the appearance of course content on your own mobile device.
  • Avoid file formats that are not compatible with mobile devices.
  • Be mindful of the quality and length of your audio or video files, as well as the number of content items in your course.
  • Break up large blocks of text so content is more readable on a mobile device.
  • Keep in mind that anything viewed from Mobile Learn is seen from a single screen. For example, students cannot view two attachments at once. They must switch from Mobile Learn into a browser screen when opening file attachments.

How to Add Content Items in the Mobile Learn App

You can create content items while using your mobile device. When adding content through your mobile device, you can add only the Content Item content type.

  1. In Mobile Learn, navigate to the course menu and select a content area or folder within a content area.
  2. Select Add at the top of the screen.

    Image illustrating associated text

  3. Type a subject and text.
  4. Tap Attachments and select a file from cloud storage, your mobile device’s file library, or camera library.
  5. Tap Post.
  6. Check the content's display in Web Learn.

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