Since the beta release of what we’re now loosely calling Mobile VLE v1 (aligning with OU VLE1 which is on Moodle 1.9.x), the development team has received a number of very positive responses to the implementation, with a few requests and suggestions.
In addition, some key findings from the most recent Oct 2010 survey included the following:
- Use of ‘dead time’, mobile use also includes that on sofa
- Mobile phone contracts predominate [from current user sample]
- Usage: Touch phones (up) Smart phone (down)
- Device change in 2 years, not 18 months – possibly contract related
- Surveyed users largely Tablet agnostics [at the time]
- Assessment [scores] remain a key driver
- More frequent visits via mobile over the 2010 period
- Reading updates and forums are the most completed activity
- Accessing different parts of Study Planner important [validating 'launchpad']
- Switching view or mode depending on requirement [make as easy as possible]
- Downloadable resources preferred in standard formats
- OU app for adding multimedia desireable rather than 3rd party/intermediates
- Self-help, FAQ-based and crowd-sourced online support sufficient for device-specifics
User testing on some of the new designs has taken place and these have been refined to the point that a concerted effort is now in place to prototype and implement new features on OU VLE2 (Moodle 2.x) in preparation for staged rollout from the end of 2011. This is alongside migrating the design rules and principles to existing OU Moodle modules.
Samples of the latest designs below show the improved ‘launchpad’ view – with increased user customisation on being able to show or hide specific sections and also some new features such as contextual notes and better switching between views. The OU mobile header and footer will also be standardised in parallel with learning systems development.
We have also been able to report that use of [handheld] mobile devices is now consistently around 10% of the student body on the StudentHome portal, with ~6/10ths of those converting through to use of the Mobile VLE v1 – over 11,000 individuals both months in 2011 so far.
Tablet use is also now increasing to around 2% of the student body – so mobile use exceeding that of our Mac user base, while tablet use is on par with that of Linux.