by Nicola Daniels
With the upgrade to Moodle 4.1, Wilmette Institute’s Online Learning Center website now works well on its (free to download) mobile app. In the past, learners had been recommended not to use the app, but since the upgrade, we’ve had a little time to check it out. The consensus? For learners who spend a lot of time away from home or from a laptop or other large screen device, there are many advantages to using the app.
How to download the app (iPhone or Android)
Download from your app store, or go to https://download.moodle.org/mobile. The current verison is 4.2.
Navigation is simple, but different
The annotated screenshot below shows where to find most of the features usually used by WI students. There are more, so feel free to check it out after downloading and let us know what you think. Read on for highlights and tips we hope you will find useful.
Highlights and Tips
Offline usage: One of the most attractive elements of the Moodle app is that you can easily download course units (or even a whole course) for offline reading. There are two notes of caution: 1. A maximum of two courses can be downloaded at a time; 2. the amount you can download may be limited by your phone’s storage capacity.
Navigation (overall very easy to use): Once you get used to the alternate navigation options, the mobile site is very easy to get around. You’ll see from the screenshot that the left navigation column (which you can use to navigate to different units and pages in your course) is found in the lower right quadrant, below the right hand navigation icon. I found it even easier to use the big orange buttons at the foot of the screen to quickly tab through the course units. The Participants list is near the top right, and to the right of that is an arrow that takes you to other pages such as your activity completion page.
Notable additional icons: At the bottom of the screen (on the home page) is an additional icon for messaging (two speech bubbles with a number highlighted in orange-red indicating how many unread messages you have waiting). Tap that to read and respond to messages from instructors and from other learners. The three orange dots to the right will open up a menu of other options to explore, including a Calendar, and your “Notifications” (a bell icon). The Notifications bell appears at the top right of Moodle on the website version. In the app you will see the usual shortcut links to unread forum posts, as well as–if you are on a daily email digest–links to your email digests organized by date.
A Note About Large Files (in particular, videos)
According to this Moodle app info page, “While browsing the site and its contents…note that external contents (e.g. YouTube videos) are not downloaded and embedded files (audio, video) are not always downloaded (it depends on the user connection and file size).” This means you may not be able to watch embedded videos in the app. If this is a problem for you, your instructor should be able to provide links (by email) to any resources you are unable to view in the app. You can also ask the Registrar (me) for assistance with this. Just email: firstname.lastname@example.org with the course title, unit #, and the name of the resource you need to access.