Blackboard Mobile 2015/16

Since the Blackboard Mobile Learn app was first made available to students in March 2012, it has been a popular way for students to access course materials. We have been tracking basic usage statistics, which shows steady use during term time, almost no use during the summer months, and a peak at the end of January, when provisional semester 1 results are released.

The figures for the academic year 2015/16 show no difference in the pattern:

mobile 1516

During this period, from the beginning of September to the middle of May, the stats report more than 67K unique logins, though I’m not sure how that’s counted. In semester 1, logins per weekday were between 5 and 10 thousand, more in the first few weeks of the semester. On September 28th (Monday) there were 12.31K logins.

Access decreased in semester 2, with a clear gap over the two weeks of the Easter break. I suspect, as well, this might be due to the launch of the new Blackboard app – Bb Student – the numbers for which (I believe) are not included in the available stats.

As in previous years (see stats from 2012/13) there was a spike at the end of January (29th January) when there were more than 22K logins to Blackboard from a mobile device. This coincided exactly with the release of provisional results for semester 1 modules.

Some reflections

  • It is clear that mobile access to Blackboard is important for students, and that the mobile app is being used.
  • I understand (please correct me if I’m wrong) that these stats are for use of the Mobile Learn app only, and do not include the new Bb Student app. In that case, currently we have no way of tracking the usage for Bb Student.
  • The stats only track logins, and not what students were using within the app. Clearly, students are looking at results, but what else are they doing?
  • 67K unique logins seem like a huge number, particularly when we have only 17K students. It begs the question – what is being counted? Does it reflect the fact that students may be accessing on more than one device?
  • It seems that iOS users make up almost 75% of all logins. Does this mean that we have a lot of students with iPhones, or is it because of students and staff with iPads?
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2 Responses to Blackboard Mobile 2015/16

  1. emmadw says:

    Sometimes with Webstats it’s looking at # of files being downloaded; so, someone looking at 1 ppt will count once, someone looking at 4 modules, each with 2 component assessments will be 8 (if they’re looking at the feedback page; more if they’re looking at some generic stats … ) Wonder if that could in part get to the 67K
    As to iOS, do you have a similar % using other Uni services on iOS, rather than Android, maybe the Android App isn’t as good (or counts in a different way). And, yes, it will be conflating iPad, iPhone, iPod.

    • sharonlflynn says:

      Thanks for commenting Emma. We have some stats on students’ ownership of devices which would indicate a higher percentage of Android users than the Blackboard mobile stats would suggest. The Mobile Learn app was not available for Windows devices, but the Bb Student app is.
      The stats provided by Blackboard state “unique logins”, but it’s not entirely clear what exactly that means.

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