Learning on a mobile device is learner-friendly due to the flexibility and convenience of accessing content from anywhere at any time. Our Moodle website is responsive (designed to work across all devices without the need for a separate mobile app). This post looks at some strategies you can use when designing the content in your Moodle modules to help make them more mobile friendly.
Google Analytics reports for our Moodle from 2016-17 show that 24% of all visits were from a mobile phone or a tablet. The majority of these visits were from Apple and Android devices (Apple iPhone family: 57.5%, Apple iPad family: 16.5%, Samsung Galaxy family: 15.1%) with the remaining 10.9% made up of more than 1000 device types. As mobile devices become every more ubiquitous it is likely that this percentage will increase each year.
Mobile-friendly activities versus desktop friendly activities
Mobile devices are best suited to simple activities such as writing brief emails or forum posts, checking for module updates and calendar events. However, more extended writing and interaction with Moodle activities such as quizzes and wikis are more suited to desktop and laptop devices (which perhaps partly explains why 75% of our Moodle site visits are from these devices).
Think about how to minimise the amount of text you are expecting students to scroll through on a mobile device, break content into small chunks.
Use the pdf format for presentations and documents
Not all students will be able to open PowerPoint files or Word documents on their mobile device. The pdf format works across Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices. You can easily convert your PowerPoint or Word files from the most recent versions of Microsoft Office. For longer form content pdfs are also a good choice.
When downloading images from the web as well as checking copyright you should ensure that the image size is not too large as larger images take longer to download. It is also best practice to avoid text in images as it is likely to have legibility issues and therefore not be accessible to your learners.
Provide YouTube videos for offline viewing
If you include YouTube videos, provide them also for download and offline viewing in a folder. To enable media files, such as video, to be downloaded the file must be uploaded to the course, rather than being linked to (from YouTube, Vimeo etc) and must be small – less than 2MB for 3G users or less than 20MB for WiFi users.
Lewis Carr’s Designing Courses for Mobile
This infographic (which is downloadable from Lewis’ website as a pdf) provides a good overview of what to consider when designing for mobile:
Effective Moodle module design
Finally, don’t forget the general principles around designing an effective Moodle module which apply to all devices.