Now that I’ve covered the new features, I’ve gone back and checked a few of the basics, and thought that there were some other additions that were worth mentioning:
- Other news feed [RSS] blocks display in addition to Course News, and they appear in a priority order as laid out on the desktop (not alphabetical)
- The yellow ‘View all messages in full’ and ‘View all forums’ bars were reduced in prominence
- ForumNG now only displays ‘Unread posts’ rather than the actual number shown previously on the old forums, but the Mobile VLE will inherit whatever is decided there, long term
- Study Planner displays the course default – whether 3,5,9 weeks or all (if no calendar weeks are defined). The show/hide arrow indicators are used to expand or collapse other weeks in turn
- New icons are being used as a precursor to some overall OU theme design changes
- We have added a ‘desktop only’ icon – – which indicates where we recommend a resource or activity to be used on a desktop, since this either:
- does not currently render well on mobiles, or has not been optimised
- will not actually work on mobiles (e.g. Elluminate, using Java)
In order to give the option to students as to whether to partly attempt something that may not work for them and may have a higher data cost.
- Tick boxes appear only when applied on a course, and then trigger the ‘Your progress’ contextual help
At this point, I should also note that the Mobile VLE is not officially supported at this stage – mainly responding to current student usage of mobile devices in accessing learning materials. A separate body of work will involve establishing support arrangements and publicity to a wider (possibly novice) group of users – e.g. to clarify the cost of mobile data that might be incurred and for users to investigate this before making full use of the mobile internet.
UPDATE: we were also asked to make the Resources more obvious, but this led to some very long lists of links in some cases. The Resources block will now be moved to be below the Study Planner to better accommodate this without getting in the way of the updated materials.