The Bb Student app became available just over 3 weeks ago. Without the marketing materials, we haven’t been actively promoting to students, but I did ask a couple of people to take a look.
One student, who has had difficulty in the past accessing Blackboard using his Windows device, has come back with the following review.
I’ve downloaded the app now and given it an initial inspection.
- It does work, at least in its basic aspects. That is, it found NUIG, me, and my course information.
- It seems to integrate well with Windows phone and the various apps on it. I was able to access word, powerpoint, pdf, jpeg, and audio files without difficulty
- It has horribly patronising emoticons at various points where you succeed in doing basic things, using American language (“Swell” – ugh!)
- I found the navigation might be a bit suspect. The WP back arrow doesn’t always seem to take you back to where you think you started – haven’t fully understood this yet, so may turn out not to be an issue.
- The presentation of information is, in some ways anyway, superior to the web interface (at least as rendered by Firefox). Navigation seems intuitive (Stream/Courses/Marks/Due Dates), and I like the fact that you can dismiss announcements (haven’t looked for this in the Web interface, but it was obvious on the phone). I realise that there’s an interaction between what the software does and what the instructors do, so it isn’t all about the software.
- I can see that it will be really handy around classes and on the road – but it isn’t obvious that it will replace a desktop/laptop for serious study.
Hope this helps – hopefully I’ll be able to give you further feedback in the light of experience.
So, a cautiously positive reaction. This is the first version of the app, and the intention is to develop it further to include additional functionality. But it looks like it might be a good start.