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Knowledgebase: Mobile Devices
KB1139 - Tips for Using Mobile Devices with Moodle (Smartphones / Tablets)
Posted by John Love, Last modified by John Love on 04 February 2016 11:42 AM

VCC's Moodle systems support a wide variety of browsers and web-enabled devices, allowing Students, Faculty, and Staff to access online courses from anywhere, whether in the college, in their community, or while travelling.

However, each different brand of mobile device has its own unique characteristics: an Apple iPad may display screen elements like drop-down lists differently than an Android tablet, for example.

Comparisons of Common Differences:

Function On Desktops/Laptops On Mobile Devices
Hover over an item to read its tooltip or see its URL. Simply hover the mouse pointer over the item and view its URL in the window status bar, or wait a second for the tooltip to appear. There is usually no equivalent to a "hover" action on touch-screen devices.
Selecting item(s) from a list. User left-clicks the item they want, or holds Ctrl key to select more than one item. The list may appear as a one-line drop-down item. User must click it once to view the entire list, and then select the item(s) within it. This behaviour may differ a little between Apple and Android devices.
Dragging items from one position to another on a Moodle page. Left-clicking on an item's "drag" icon in Moodle and dragging it from one position to another on a page is usually very intuitive, but may be sluggish on older computers. Depending upon the size of the screen and the speed of the device, it may be challenging (or near-impossible) to touch and hold on the small "drag" icon using one's finger. It may be necessary to zoom the display first to make the icon easier to select. Depending upon the speed of the device, dragging may work well or be very slow to respond.
Uploading a file using the "Browse" or "Choose File" button in Moodle's File Picker . Desktop and laptop computers allow you to navigate the entire file system and any connected networks to select a file to upload. iPad restricts the files you can choose to shooting a photo using the device's camera, or selecting from the device's gallery. Some Android and Blackberry devices will allow you to record audio, video, or photos, or upload files from anywhere in the device's file system.
Opening a document or file in a new "Pop-up" window. May open in a new browser window or browser tab (depending upon your web browser settings). Current smartphones and tablets don't open child windows. Mobile browsers will most likely open the document or web page in the current view, replacing the previous page. User will have to go "Back" in browser history to return to the previous page.
Opening a PDF document. May open in the browser window, using the Acrobat Reader browser plugin. Document open outside the web browser, in whatever PDF viewer the mobile device has installed (e.g. Acrobat Reader). User may be able to flip back and forth between the PDF document and their web browser.
Opening Rich Media (video, audio). May open in the browser window, using a browser-based plugin, or a viewer application (e.g. Quicktime or Windows Media player). Media will open outside the web browser, in whatever media viewer the mobile device has installed (e.g. YouTube viewing app, for videos). User may be able to flip back and forth between the media viewer and their web browser.
Opening a SWF Flash video. A SWF video file embedded in a Moodle page will play, embedded in the browser (no browser plugin required by user). In Android or Blackberry devices, media will open outside the web browser, in whatever media viewer the mobile device has installed (e.g. YouTube viewing app, for videos). User may be able to flip back and forth between the media viewer and their web browser. In Apple iPad, Flash is not supported, so this media cannot be played.
Opening an FLV Flash video. An FLV video file opening in Moodle will present Moodle's Flowplayer video player in the browser (no browser plugin required by user). In Android or Blackberry devices, media will open outside the web browser, in whatever media viewer the mobile device has installed (e.g. YouTube viewing app, for videos). User may be able to flip back and forth between the media viewer and their web browser. In Apple iPad, Flash is not supported, so this media cannot be played.

Background: Moodle Mobile Device Support at VCC:

Since version 2.5, VCC's Moodle has used a Responsive Web Design tempate in order to provide a better and more consistent user experience for desktop or mobile users. In essence, one responsive Moodle Theme should serve a similar user interface from the same site, regardless of which kind of device the client is using (phone, tablet, or any flavour of desktop browser).

The adaptability of Moodle's user interface will become more important as the number of mobile users accessing Moodle with their own devices tends to increase.

Note: VCC is not currently supporting the Moodle Mobile app for mobile devices. Due to incompatibly with VCC Moodle, the Moodle Mobile App available through online app stores is currently disabled while the developer works on a number of issues.

 


 

See also: "KB1129 - Uploading a document to a Moodle assignment from an iPad or iPhone"

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