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. Instructors can create 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 and activity stream.
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 launch in Blackboard's in-app browser. For example, Journals open in a browser view within the app rather than in a separate ChromeTM or Safari® browser. The exception to this is Collaborate, which always opens in a separate browser window.
This table lists Blackboard Learn features and the level of support in the Blackboard app.
|Activity Stream||Native support. The activity stream appears in the app for Blackboard systems on both the Original and Ultra experiences.|
|Audio||Native support. File types supported depend on the device operating system.|
|Blank Page||No native support. Blank pages launch in a web page. Feature available only for Original Course View.|
|Blogs||No native support. These tools launch in a web page. Feature available only for Original Course View.|
|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.|
|Collaborate||No native support. You can launch Blackboard Collaborate Ultra sessions from the Blackboard mobile apps if a link is provided within a course. You're directed to a web browser to join the session. Collaborate with the Original experience isn't supported on mobile browsers.|
|Content Folder||Native support. Descriptions aren't displayed.|
|Conversations||No native support. Class conversations on Ultra course tests, assignments, and documents are not supported in the app.|
|Course Links||Native support. Descriptions aren't displayed. Content types that are supported natively will also launch natively when accessed from a course link. Feature available only for Original Course View.|
|Course Messages||No native support. Course messages don't display in the app or app notifications.|
|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. Feature available only for Original Course View.|
|Files||Native support. File types supported depend on the device operating system.|
|Groups||No native support. Groups aren’t supported, including group discussion forums and group assignments.|
|Image||Native support. File types supported depend on the device operating system.|
|Item||Native support. File attachments in items are supported, but the types supported depend on the device operating system.|
|Journals||No native support. These tools launch in a web page. Feature available only for Original Course View.|
|Learning Modules||Partial support. Learning modules have partial functionality in the mobile apps. Users can't see the module table of contents like they can in a desktop web browser. Contents are listed similar to a content folder.|
|Lesson Plans||Native support. Contents are listed similarly to a content folder. Feature available only for Original Course View.|
|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.
|Module Page||No native support. Module pages launch in a web page. Feature available only for Original Course View.|
|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.|
|Push Notifications||Native support.|
|Rubrics||Native support. Students can view rubrics in the app for assignments and graded discussions. Students must access the course in a desktop 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.|
|SCORM||Partial support. SCORM packages launch in the in-app browser for both Ultra and Original courses. Updates in Learn Q4 2017 and in the mobile apps (Blackboard 4.5 and Blackboard Instructor 2.10) provide a substantial improvement in SCORM support for the mobile apps. SCORM due dates are available in the apps for Ultra courses. Due dates will be available for Original courses with an upcoming* B2 update.|
|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 desktop web browser. Feature available only for Original Course View.|
|Syllabus||No native support. The syllabus content type launches in a web page. Feature available only for Original Course View.|
|Tests||Native support. Tests can be completed and submitted from the app. Unsupported test types show test details only and users are directed to open the test in a desktop web browser instead.|
|Video||Native support. File types supported depend on the device operating system.|
|Web Links||Native support. Descriptions and file attachments aren't displayed. The user is taken directly to the website. The functionality of the target website may be impacted by the device operating system and limitations of the in-app browser.|
|Wikis||No native support. These tools launch in a web page. Feature available only for Original Course View.|
The Blackboard app supports various HTML and CSS features from the Blackboard Learn editor across iOS, Android, and Windows platforms.
Instructors can use an attachment such as PPT, DOC, or PDF to be sure formatting doesn't change when viewed in the Blackboard app.
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 desktop web browser to use this feature if the instructor 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.
Flickr®, Slideshare, YouTube™ and other mashup tools work best when added as an embedded mashup within the editor. Instructors should check how media displays in the app and make adjustments if necessary.
Steps for Original courses:
- From the Build Content menu, select Item. Don't select from the Mashups section of the menu.
- Use the Mashups feature in the editor.
Steps for Ultra courses:
- On the Course Content page, select the plus sign.
- In the menu, select Create to open the Create Item panel and select Document. The New Document page opens.
- Give the document a title.
- Select Add Content and use the buttons in the text editor to insert images or video from the web. You can also select the Insert Content plus sign to insert web content such as YouTube videos.
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 packages launch in the in-app browser for both Ultra and Original courses. Instructors can 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 the SCORM package to ensure it is designed responsively for smaller devices and screens.
- Test SCORM content in the app before you make it available to students.
Updates in Learn Q4 2017 and in the mobile apps (Blackboard 4.5 and Blackboard Instructor 2.10) provide substantial improvements in SCORM support for the mobile apps.
SCORM due dates
SCORM due dates are available in the apps for Ultra courses. Due dates will be available for Original courses with an upcoming* B2 update.
- Supported in Blackboard Learn SaaS 3600.0.0+
- SHMH environments require an upcoming* B2 update for full support of the latest improvements. Prior to the B2 update, SCORM content will behave in these ways:
- Graded SCORM is treated as ungraded SCORM
- SCORM items don't show in Due Dates within individual courses
- SCORM items aren't clickable in the main menu's Due Dates for all courses
Tests are natively supported in the Blackboard app. A test must contain only question types and test settings that are supported on mobile in order to open natively in the Blackboard app. If a test contains questions or settings that aren't supported, 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 supported in the app, 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 supported in the app, 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.
We recommend you turn off the Mobile Compatible Test tool for Original courses as it no longer applies to the supported assessment capabilities in the Blackboard app.
Supported questions and features
The Blackboard app supports these test questions and features for Original courses:
- Multiple Choice
- Short Answer
- Randomized question display
- Random blocks
Some options available during test creation work correctly only when students take the test on a desktop web browser.
Not supported on mobile, can't complete test in app
Tests with these settings are NOT supported and can't be completed in the app. In the app, users can view test details only. When users Begin Attempt or Continue Attempt, a pop-up message directs them to open the test in a desktop browser.
- One at a time question presentation
- Timed Assessment with Auto-Submit = OFF
- Group tests and assignments
Supported on mobile, 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:
- Show score per question is ON (this is the default setting).
- Show incorrect questions is ON (this is NOT the default setting).
- Test descriptions and instructions are displayed if instructors provide them during test creation. Test descriptions show to students before they begin an attempt and test instructions show after 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 unsupported on mobile, but launching the assessment will fail unless mBaaS IP addresses are included in the ALLOW rules.
The Blackboard app supports these test features for Ultra courses:
- All question types
- Timed assessments
- Full editor for responses
- File attachments from device or cloud storage
- Rich text and media renders correctly in the app
- Ability to review instructor feedback, including multimedia feedback
- Randomized question display
- Question pools
The Blackboard app does not support these test features for Ultra courses:
- Conversations for assessments
- Group assessments
Ultra course tests have a Description only and don't include the additional Instructions like Original course tests. The Description and other test details show to students before they begin an attempt in the app.
Assignments are supported natively in the Blackboard app.
- The assignment instructions instructors type in an Original course show in the app after students begin an attempt.
- The assignment description instructors type in an Ultra course shows in the app's assignment details under the Description heading. Students can see the description before they begin an assignment.
- 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.
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
- View rich text and media in posts; available only for Original courses at this time
- Edit post; if enabled by instructor in the forum
- Delete post; if enabled by instructor in the forum
- Unread count
- Discussions appear in Due Dates in the main menu and within courses
*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
- Subscribe to a thread
Hide discussions on mobile apps
To make Original course discussions unavailable to mobile app users and web view users, you can use these methods:
- Single Forum: On the Discussion Board page, open a forum's menu. Select Edit and change the availability.
- Entire Discussion Board: On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Tool Availability. Clear the check box for Discussion Board. Users on the app will see the Discussions tool, but it will be empty.
Simply hiding the Discussion Board link on the course menu or tools page doesn't prohibit access to the tool for mobile app users or web view users.
To hide Ultra course discussions from mobile app users and web view users, you can use this method:
- On the Course Content list or on the Discussions page, set the visibility for each discussion. You can't hide the entire Discussions tool in the app or web view, and it will appear empty to users if you hide all discussions individually.
The type of push notifications generated depend on whether your institution has the Blackboard Learn Original experience or Blackboard Learn Ultra experience.
Students can change which events send push notifications to their devices from the app or in the web view of Blackboard Learn with the Ultra experience.
Push notifications pop up on instructor devices for the following events in Ultra courses only.
- New content and discussions added
- New discussion replies
Instructors can change which events send push notifications to their devices from the app or in the web view of Blackboard Learn with the Ultra experience.
- In the app's main menu, tap Settings. Select Push Notifications and set preferences. Changes made in the app are reflected in the web view of Blackboard Learn and vice versa.
- Ultra experience web view: change push notification settings
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 viewing of rich text and media in the app. However, instructors can only create announcements with rich text and and media in the web experience at this time. In the app, instructors can create plain text announcements.
Announcements are an Original Course View feature. Announcements aren't available on the app for the Ultra Course View.
Learning modules have partial functionality in the mobile apps for both Ultra and Original courses. Users can't see the module table of contents like they can in a desktop web browser. Contents are listed similar to a content folder.
In Ultra courses, note these behaviors in learning modules:
- The apps don't show items that are visible to users before they have access. When you access your course on a desktop web browser, a learning module item might be visible but not available due to adaptive release rules. On the mobile apps, the item won't display until it is available.
- Forced sequence items viewed in the mobile apps don't fulfill conditional requirements. You must access your course on a desktop web browser for forced sequence items to fulfill conditional requirements. We are planning to improve the support for this aspect of learning modules in summer 2019*.
These content items appear in Due Dates for Original courses:
- Self and peer assessments are visible in the main menu's Due Dates area and will be visible in Due Dates within courses after an upcoming building block update*
When you access Due Dates on the main menu, Blogs, Wikis, Journals, and Surveys are visible in the list but you can't open these items right now. An upcoming building block update* will provide full functionality. When you access the same items from Due Dates within a course, you can open the items.
These content items appear in Due Dates for Ultra courses:
These content items do not appear in Due Dates:
- LTI tools (3rd party)
The Due Dates feature pulls information from Blackboard Learn's calendar tool, so your school must have the Calendar building block installed.
Grades are natively supported in the Blackboard app. From Grades on the main menu, students can view 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 desktop 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 instructors set up during question creation or provide on essay questions in Original courses. Instructors 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.
When students tap the Grades on the main menu, they see all of their courses. Course grades show for Original courses. Course grades also show for Ultra courses if the instructor sets up the overall grade.
For both Ultra and Original courses, students can tap a course to view their graded work.
*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.