When it comes to student success and improving outcomes, we often think about learner engagement, course and content accessibility, or personalization. But, if we take a step back, one other critical piece that enables each of these is needed first – access, or the ability for learners to access course content anytime, anywhere without barriers. Recently, we took an important step to further extend access by introducing offline capabilities in the Blackboard app.
As teaching and learning increasingly takes place outside the classroom in nontraditional formats, students need access to content that fits into this model. We’ve also seen different barriers to access arise, such as limited network connectivity while off campus, data caps on mobile phone plans, or connectivity down time while traveling. Access to content can be particularly challenging for students that live in areas where an internet connection is not always reliable or available. Now, with the offline content feature, students using the Blackboard app all over the world can get continuous access to course content when they’re away from an internet connection, truly allowing them to engage with content anytime, anywhere.
Offline capabilities will enable students to:
- Download critical content: While connected, students can download all offline-supported course content, or just select files such as PDFs, videos, and other documents. See the full list of supported content here.
- View content anytime, anywhere: Students can view content without an internet connection, so they don’t experience any disruptions to learning.
- Automatically download content: With the auto sync tool, students don’t have to worry about forgetting to download content – it’s right there when they’re ready to engage.
One Blackboard app user said, “It’s going to be great having this when I’m off traveling for a few days and need offline content handy.”
We continue to develop and hone the best digital learning environment in the market, focused on helping solve core challenges to enable academic effectiveness, education insight and learner engagement. Additionally, we’re continuing to enhance access with other products and services across our portfolio including introducing offline capabilities in Blackboard Instructor, and a partnership with VitalSource, which provides inclusive access to digital course content for students.
Where and when do you think your students will use offline content access? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.