One main advantage of Blackboard Ultra is how nicely it functions on a mobile phone, a good NILE course design will take that into consideration.
See the following data, taken from Google Analytics, showing how many users accessed NILE by device from 1st January 2022 to 1st January 2023.
As you can see, more than half were using a smartphone with a significant number choosing to use a tablet. In this guide, the phrase mobile device is used to refer to both smartphones and tablets.
The graph above allows us to observe the trend changing over the previous 5 years. We see a significant increase in the use of mobile phones to access NILE compared to using a desktop/laptop computer. (The use of tablet devices has not been included in this graph). There may be several factors contributing to this increased use.
Mainly, it is often quicker and easier to access information on a mobile device, especially if you are out and about. As the tech industry recognises the increased use of mobile devices for a range of day-to-day tasks, the easier they want to make it for people to do so. One way they have done this is to increase the screen size of smartphones. As an example, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, has an 8-inch screen compared to the first-ever iPad which was 9.7 inches (measured diagonally).
If you're inclined to believe the students wouldn't want to look at such a small screen, consider the larger screen sizes and also be aware that newer phones provide very crisp, high-quality resolution (full HD), making them pleasant to look at, and perhaps better quality than their laptop. It is also worth noting that the first-ever full-colour mobile phone screen was released to the market in 2001, whilst many of our Level 4 and foundation students were born in 2002. Their expectations and use of technology are likely to differ from your own.
Use the browser to view your NILE course as it would look on specific mobile devices (phones or tablets).
The next time you enter the inspector view, it will remember the last mobile device you selected. Try to view a selection of different devices for a better idea of how your course will look for different students.
In the year 1st Jan 2021 - 1st Jan 2022, the most common mobile devices used were Apple iPhone, Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy.
Use the following as a guide to help you make informed design choices for mobile users:
For a more authentic test experience, use the Chrome browser on your own mobile device, as well as with the inspector described above.
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