UMass Boston

Mobile Learning

A mobile-ready course benefits learners by increasing access to content. It also makes a more flexible learning environment and provides more means of engagement with learning content.

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Want to Make Your Course Mobile Ready? 5 Steps to Follow

Below is a list of top five easy steps to follow when building your course in Blackboard to ensure mobile readiness.

  1. Use the default settings in Blackboard. The default settings contain colors that contrast well and are most accessible to learners with color viewing differences or who are using mobile devices with limited color displays or are viewing outdoors.
  2. Use the provided template. We’ve created a template so that students can experience consistency when locating materials in their UMass Boston courses.  If that template is changed, this makes it more difficult for students to locate your materials and especially more difficult when doing so on a mobile device.  
  3. Reverse ordering of weekly folders. Reverse ordering of weekly folders is done so that students can see the most recent materials first and not have to scroll down to see the items they want to access. This is an even more cumbersome process when looking for files on a mobile device.
  4. Use Items with attached files instead of files alone. Doing this gives you the ability to provide instructions in the body of the item for the attached file. Also, attached files will open in a new window automatically. See the importance of content opening in a new window next.
  5. Set content to open in a new window. Doing this creates a separate tab for that item, so that if the user closes the item, they are not closing their Blackboard course as well.  This makes navigation easier for both the computer and mobile learner.

Experience your Course as a Student

To have an accurate idea of how your learners experience your course content on a mobile device, it is a good practice to view your content using a mobile device. To do this:

  • Email to request a student demo account created and enrolled in your course
  • Download the Blackboard App on your mobile device
  • Log into the Blackboard App using the demo student account
  • View your course from your student’s perspective to ensure it is accessible via a mobile device
  • Make any improvements needed to your content.

iPads for Teaching and Learning

The university has iPad carts available in each academic building: Library (4th floor), McCormack, Wheatley and University Hall. Each cart is equipped with 25 iPads equipped with a suite of apps to support information literacy, research, and academic work. 

iPads in the Classroom Program

The iPads in the Classroom program was rolled out in 2014 and has been successfully used by many faculty in their courses as a way to engage students to enhance teaching & learning. We have invested in apps for a wide variety of disciplines such as English Writing, Music, Physics, Biology, etc., & the Library uses the iPads extensively to promote Information Literacy and Research Activities. New apps can be purchased by the University at no cost to you or your students.

Reserve iPads

Faculty can reserve iPads to use for teaching, as well as iPad carts to use with students in the classroom. Use the Bookit system to reserve iPads.

Schedule a Consultation

Our staff, including instructional designers, technology specialists, and librarians, are on hand to meet with you to discuss integrating the iPads into your curriculum. Please email or schedule a consultation to see how to make your course more mobile friendly and/or integrate teaching with iPads into your course.


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