The goal was to create a Moodle course site that incorporated a mobile supporting design.
Using mobile devices, students have an opportunity to access course content almost anywhere, anytime; on the bus, at the gym, on the couch. Contrast this time and location freedom to a traditional lecture’s dictated schedule. I was curious to see if Moodle course elements could be designed for use by common mobile devices and provide access to the resources of a typical course site.
In the past, a problem with any non-classroom, or distance learning in general, was the consumers’ hardware and software requirements. Fortunately, in 2017 this hurdle has been largely overcome and most students can access sophisticated online multimedia content away from the classroom.
I had used Moodle as a student before but was unfamiliar with the creation, design, and administration of a course site. The focus was to create a variety of prototype course elements and assess the resulting mobile user/student experience using a variety of devices. For students to successfully access and use a Moodle course site on a mobile device involves a complex chain of technologies. I fully expected glitches but was really looking for any outright failures in the technology.
My main resource for mobile design was the documentation in Creating Moodle Mobile friendly courses. With these guidelines, I created the following course elements:
- Page; with text and a thumbnail picture.
- Folder; with a document, a photo, an audio file, and 2 video formats.
- Link; to a YouTube video and a WordPress page.
- Quiz; with randomly chosen questions from an imported Blackboard test bank.
- Badge; based on completion of a quiz.
- Forum; with randomly created groups of 3 students.
- Announcement; with email notification.
In the background, I experimented with adding users, assigning roles and manual enrolment . There were some initial hurdles that required Admin level changes, quickly remedied by Keith (thank you). There were default restrictions on file upload size and “completion tracking” to allow conditional progress and badges needed to be enabled.
See the mobile friendly Moodle test course
(Non EDDL 5151 students can self register with the password: ironmansucks)
Click on the thumbnails below to see screenshots of the mobile friendly Moodle site on 3 different platforms:
- iPhone testing was done with Safari browser on wi-fi.
- Moodle app only available for iOS 8 or higher.
- Moodle Mobile app looks and works well for Student role on both the iPad and Pixel phone.
- The Google Pixel phone with Android 7 using the Chrome browser was so slow as to be almost unusable. The phone would power off before pages loaded. The WordPress site did not display pictures in Chrome.
- None of the test setups would play a .wmv video.
A Moodle course site can be successfully designed/created for use by students on a variety of currently popular mobile devices. The Moodle Mobile app, available for iOS and Android devices, results in the best user experience. Video in .wmv format should be avoided to insure functionality for the widest audience.