Will my course content display in the Blackboard app?

Find out if your Blackboard Learn course content is supported in the Blackboard app for students. You can create your content with mobile in mind so that students have the best mobile experience.

This information also applies to course content support in the Blackboard Instructor app. Most features listed are included in Blackboard Instructor, except for push notifications and main menu features such as due dates, grades, and activity stream.

Content types

Content types that are natively supported show within the Blackboard app instead of launching in a web page. Natively supported features provide students the best experience in the Blackboard app.

Content types that aren't natively supported will launch in Blackboard's in-app browser rather than in the device's browser. This makes navigating backward in the app easier for students. For example, a test that isn't mobile compatible opens in a browser view within the app rather than in a separate ChromeTM or Safari® app.

Supported Content Types in Blackboard apps
Content Type Support
Item Native support. Descriptions aren't displayed. File attachments in items are supported, but the types supported depend on the device operating system.
Files Native support. Descriptions aren't displayed. File types supported depend on the device operating system.
Audio Native support. Descriptions aren't displayed. File types supported depend on the device operating system.
Image Native support. Descriptions aren't displayed. File types supported depend on the device operating system.
Video Native support. Descriptions aren't displayed. File types supported depend on the device operating system.
Content Folder Native support. Descriptions aren't displayed.
Module Page No native support. Module pages launch in a web page.
Blank Page No native support. Blank pages launch in a web page.
Tests Native support. Tests that are mobile compatible can be completed and submitted from the app. Tests that contain question types or settings that aren't mobile compatible show test details only. For these tests, users are directed to take the test in a desktop browser instead.

Blackboard app compatible tests

Surveys No native support. Surveys launch in a web page, but this isn't an officially supported method for submission. For surveys that launch in a web page, we recommended that you access your course on a traditional web browser.
Assignments Native support.

Assignments in Blackboard app

Discussions Native support.

Discussions in Blackboard app

Rubrics Native support. Students can view rubrics in the app for assignments and graded discussions. Students must access the course in a web browser to view the completed rubric, if it’s made available by the instructor. Rubrics are not available in the app for test questions or non-natively supported tools such as blogs, journals, and wikis.

More on Assignments in the Blackboard app

More on Discussions in the Blackboard app

Calendar Partial support. Blackboard app doesn't have a calendar page, but students can access Due Dates and the Activity Stream in the base navigation to see information aggregated across all of their courses.

Due Dates in Blackboard app

Blogs

Wikis

Journals
No native support. These tools launch in a web page.
Groups No native support. Groups aren’t supported, including group discussion forums and group assignments.
Conversations No native support. Class conversations on Ultra course tests, assignments, and documents are not supported in the app.
Push Notifications Native support.

Push notifications in Blackboard app

Announcements Native support.

Announcements in Blackboard app

Course Links Native support. Content types that are supported natively will also launch natively when accessed from a course link.
Web Links Native support. The functionality of the target website may be impacted by the device operating system and limitations of the in-app browser.
Learning Modules Partial support. Learning modules have partial functionality in the Blackboard app. Users can't see the module table of contents like they can in a web browser. Contents are listed similarly to a content folder.
Lesson Plans Native support. Contents are listed similarly to a content folder.
Syllabus No native support. The syllabus content type launches in a web page.
SCORM No native support. SCORM isn’t natively supported in the mobile apps right now, so SCORM packages launch in the in-app browser. However, the updated SCORM player in the Learn Q4 2017 release provides a substantial improvement in SCORM support for the mobile apps.

Tips for SCORM content

LTI Tools Partial support. The link launches in the in-app browser and there is infrastructure in place to maintain the user's session in the launch. However, the in-app browser might not support all required technologies to handle the content as expected.

We don't guarantee that third-party tools, including building blocks or Blackboard Learn customizations, will function as desired in the Blackboard app.

Grades Native support.

Grades in Blackboard app

Partner Cloud Tools No native support. Partner cloud integration tools launch in the in-app browser. Functionality may be limited by the technical requirements of the third-party content and the device operating system.
Course Tools Page No native support. The course tools page contains links to each available tool type in a course. Course menu links to the course tools page don't appear in the app. Any course link navigation the course tools page will launch in the in-app browser.
Localization Native support.

Localization in Blackboard app

Course Messages No native support. Course messages don't display in the app or app notifications.

Content editor features

The Blackboard app supports various HTML and CSS features from the Blackboard Learn content editor across iOS, Android, and Windows platforms.

Detailed list of HTML tags and supported app locations

To be absolutely sure your formatting doesn't change when viewed in the Blackboard app, use an attachment such as PPT, DOC, or PDF.

Formatting in assessment instructions

At this time, we recommend that instructors and course builders use plain text in test and assignment instructions to ensure the best display for students in the Blackboard app. Some formatting that is supported for other types of content doesn't show to students in assessment instructions.


Adaptive release and review status

The Blackboard app doesn't support the Mark Reviewed feature at this time. Students need to access a course in a web browser to use this feature if you made it available for a content item.

The Blackboard app supports Adaptive Release of content, where instructors can release content only to students who meet certain criteria. The criteria are date, grade, or student membership in a group or list created by the instructor.

More on releasing content to students


Embedded media and mashups

Flickr®, Slideshare, YouTube™ and other mashup tools work best when added as an embedded mashup within the content editor.

  1. From the Build Content menu, select Item. Don't select from the Mashups section of the menu.
  2. Use the Mashups feature in the content editor.

These media aren't supported:

  • Kaltura media isn't supported at this time.
  • Media files embedded within attached files don't work. For example, an MP4 attachment works, an HTML attachment works, but embedding the mp4 reference within an HTML file attachment doesn't work.
  • Other third-party video services produce inconsistent results depending on formatting.
  • File packages that use index.html with an asset file bundle aren't supported.

SCORM content

Use these tips for the best user experience with SCORM content in the apps.

  • Edit the SCORM player advanced options to be sure the SCORM player for the package is configured to render the content in the frameset and not in a new window.
  • Update your SCORM package to ensure it is designed responsively for smaller devices and screens.
  • Minimize the use of JavaScript and other scripting languages for maximum support. More basic SCORM packages, with just HTML and CSS, are more likely to function as expected.
  • Test your SCORM content in the app before you make it available to students.

The updated SCORM player in the Learn Q4 2017 release provides a substantial improvement in SCORM support for the mobile apps.


Tests

Tests are natively supported in the Blackboard app. A test must contain only mobile compatible question types and test settings in order to open natively in the Blackboard app. If a test contains questions or settings that aren't mobile compatible, the app handles it differently depending on the building block version installed in Blackboard Learn.

  • Mobile Web Services B2 94.9.11 or equivalent bundled B2 and higher: If a test isn't mobile compatible, users see a message that the test is blocked from launching in the app and must be accessed from a desktop web browser. This change ensures a consistent and supported assessment experience in the app and prevents unsupported content from causing unforeseen issues in a mobile test attempt.

    Tests that aren't natively supported in the app must be completed on a desktop web browser.

  • Prior to Mobile Web Services B2 94.9.11 or equivalent bundled B2: If a test isn't mobile compatible, the test opens in the in-app browser on the device. However, it's best to take these types of tests on a desktop web browser for the best experience.

Supported question types

The Blackboard app supports these mobile compatible test question types:

  • True/False
  • Multiple Choice
  • Short Answer
  • Essay
  • Either/Or

Additional question types are available in the edit canvas of a mobile compatible test in Learn 9.1, but only the types listed here are supported natively in the Blackboard app.

When you include non-supported question types in a test, the app treats the test as not mobile compatible. The way the app handles the test depends on the Mobile Web Services B2 version. Prior to Mobile Web Services B2 version 94.9.11, the test launches in the in-app browser. For Mobile Web Services B2 version 94.9.11+, the user is blocked from taking the test. Tests that aren't natively supported in the app must be completed on a desktop web browser.

More on browser support

More on Mobile Web Services building block

Test options

Some options available during test creation work correctly only when students take the test on a web browser.

Not mobile compatible, can't complete in app

Tests with these settings are NOT mobile compatible and can't be completed in the app. In the app, users can view test details only. When they Begin Attempt or Continue Attempt, a pop-up message directs users to open the test in a desktop browser instead.

  • One at a time question presentation
  • Timed Assessment with Auto-Submit = OFF

Mobile compatible, can't view attempt in app

Tests with these settings can be completed in the app and scores show, but users can't view completed attempts in the app. When users tap a submitted attempt, a pop-up message directs them to view the attempt in a desktop browser instead.

  • Feedback by the grader for individual questions
  • Show score per question is OFF
  • Show incorrect questions is OFF (this the default setting)

The default test settings under Show test results and feedback to students enable students to see their assessment scores in the app, but not their attempts. Use these test settings to enable students to view their attempts in the app:

  1. Show score per question is ON (this is the default setting).
  2. Show incorrect questions is ON (this is NOT the default setting).

Display

  • Test descriptions and instructions are displayed if you provide them during test creation. Test descriptions show to students before they begin an attempt and test instructions show after they begin an attempt. Note that Ultra course tests have descriptions only and show to students before they begin an attempt.
  • Some formatting doesn't show to students in test instructions. At this time, we recommend that instructors and course builders use plain text in test instructions to ensure the best display for students.
  • Images in test questions are not displayed.

Other test options

  • Question Sets and Random Blocks: These are supported natively in the Blackboard app so long as all of the questions in the pool are natively supported by the app. One unsupported question type in the pool will cause all attempts to launch in the in-app browser even if that unsupported question isn't delivered for every attempt.
  • IP Filtering: Traffic from the Blackboard app will appear to originate from the mBaaS cloud IP addresses. To learn more, see Firewall Whitelisting to Allow Mobile Traffic. The presence of this setting doesn't technically make the test not mobile compatible, but launching the assessment will fail unless mBaaS IP addresses are included in the ALLOW rules.

Assignments

Assignments are supported natively in the Blackboard app.

Display

  • The assignment instructions you type in an Original course show in the app's assignment DETAILS page under the Description heading.
  • Some formatting doesn't show to students in assignment instructions. At this time, we recommend that instructors and course builders use plain text in assignment instructions to ensure the best display for students.

File attachments are supported. File types supported depend on the device operating system. There is a file size limit of 250 MB for submissions to assignments.

Portfolio submissions are not supported in the app and appear to students the same as regular individual assignment submissions at this time.

Integration with cloud storage allows students to upload files from their cloud storage accounts for assignments.

More on cloud file storage in the app

Submission receipts (Original courses)

The Blackboard app records the date and time of each assignment attempt. Students can view a list of attempts in the app by tapping Current Grade and selecting a graded item.

Students can view submission receipt confirmation numbers in Original courses on a desktop web browser. From My Grades, select the Submitted tab, and select Submission Receipts. Confirmation numbers are generated for assignment attempts submitted either in the app or on a desktop web browser. Confirmation numbers and email notifications for submission receipts are not available in the app.

More on assignment submission receipts in Original courses


Discussions

Discussions are natively supported in the Blackboard app. These actions are supported in the Blackboard app.

  • Add attachment in Original course discussions
  • Forum description
  • Max possible grade and rubric for a forum
  • View and create threads *
  • Reply to threads *
  • Reply to replies *
  • View instructor feedback and grades for forums
  • View file attachments to posts; file support depends on device operating system
  • Edit post; if enabled by instructor in the forum
  • Delete post; if enabled by instructor in the forum
  • Unread count

*includes anonymous posts

These discussion actions are not supported in the Blackboard app at this time.

  • Add attachment in Ultra course discussions
  • Edit thread
  • Delete thread
  • Mark as read for thread, post, reply
  • Unread count (Windows devices only)
  • Add tags or flag
  • Updates appear on activity stream
  • Discussion due dates appear in due dates
  • Subscribe to a thread

Push notifications

Push notifications pop up on student devices for the following events.

  • Course announcements
  • Test available
  • Test due or past due
  • New grades
  • New content item
  • New course available

Push notifications are generated for course announcements but not system announcements. System announcements appear in the app's activity stream. System announcements may also show in Announcements within courses if the sender selected that option.

Push notifications are available only for systems running Blackboard Learn with the Original experience. Push notifications aren't available for the Ultra experience or Ultra courses at this time.

Do I have the Original experience or the Ultra experience?

Students change their notifications by logging in to their Blackboard web account on a computer.

In certain conditions, the Blackboard app on iOS may receive additional notification types beyond the listed notification types. Android displays only the listed notification types.


Announcements

Course announcements from instructors are available on the app and within individual courses.

Students may see alerts from the school within courses on the app if the sender selected an option to show the announcement in courses and organizations.

All course announcements and system announcements are aggregated in the Blackboard app's Stream. System announcements are labeled as Alerts.

In the activity stream, when a student dismisses a course announcement it's no longer accessible on the app on any device. When a student dismisses a system announcement, it's no longer accessible on the app on the specific device where the student dismissed the system announcement.

Announcements support plain text only on the app's activity stream and within courses. Rich text isn't supported.

Announcements are an Original Course View feature. Announcements aren't available on the app or a web browser for the Ultra Course View.


Due dates

The Due Dates page in Blackboard's base navigation is unique to the app. It aggregates due dates from tests and assignments across all of a student's courses.

Content items with due dates that appear in on the Due Dates page:

  • Tests
  • Assignments

Content items with due dates that do not appear in on the Due Dates page:

  • Discussion Forums
  • Blogs/Journals/Wikis
  • SCORM
  • LTI tools (3rd party)
  • Surveys

The Due Dates feature pulls information from Blackboard Learn's calendar tool, so your school must have the Calendar building block installed.


Grades

Grades are natively supported in the Blackboard app. Students can view overall course grades and individual item grades with instructor feedback.

Hidden grade columns are supported. Grade Center columns that are hidden from students do not display to students in a web browser or in the Blackboard app.

The following grade information is not available in the Blackboard app at this time.

  • Files attached to feedback
  • Inline grading comments (New Box View annotations)
  • Response feedback for individual answers to questions is not visible in the app. This is feedback that you set up during question creation or provide on essay questions in Original courses. You can select options to automatically display this type of feedback to students when they view attempts, but students need to access their course on a desktop browser to view it.

*Statements regarding our product development initiatives, including new products and future product upgrades, updates or enhancements represent our current intentions, but may be modified, delayed or abandoned without prior notice and there is no assurance that such offering, upgrades, updates or functionality will become available unless and until they have been made generally available to our customers.