We are excited to announce some big milestones coming to our mobile learning experience!

One of the biggest hurdles our mobile learners have faced is unsupported assignments creating roadblocks that can hinder–or even stop–their progress. These roadblocks can be cumbersome to navigate and cause frustration and decreased motivation in otherwise excited learners, especially if they have no other device to use to continue on with a course.

Currently for unsupported XBlocks, mobile learners are prompted to open a mobile browser page which then requires them to log in again, navigate back to the unit and continue. This is obviously not ideal, also given that mobile browser pages typically do not perform as well, especially if the connection or network is poor.

edX mobile apps see a substantial number of users each month. In order to better serve this sizable group of learners, a team including the edX Mobile squad and Open edX community members has been working tirelessly to optimize the mobile app experience by reducing the amount of these unsupported assignments to help eliminate roadblocks that can prevent learners from completing courses.

Our edX Mobile squad is proud to share that 3 major XBlocks are receiving added support which will mean around 96% of components in our catalog will now be supported in the mobile apps! This means a much richer and seamless experience to get our mobile learners to their goals.

  • Drag & Drop Upgrades [Status: Coming in the next few weeks]
    • Drag and drop is used in approximately 16% of edX.org courses.
    • Mobile users will now be able to tap and drag items on screen in a smooth, interactive fashion.
    • The screen scrolls as your finger moves along.
  • Word Cloud [Status: In development]
    • World clouds are used in approximately 14% of edX.org courses. 
    • Mobile users will now be able to add words to the cloud and see the word percentage along with the full graphic (with ability to zoom and pan).
    • See it in action:

We are looking forward to seeing these updates roll out! This work will improve the learning experience for so many of our edX mobile learners. The support we receive from our community helps to make this all possible. Special thanks to Piotr Surowiec at OpenCraft for the work on Drag-n-Drop, and to Andrey Cañon & Luis Moreno at eduNEXT for their work on ORA!

Notable Replies

  1. Thanks Eden!
    Great news on these supported XBlocks!

    One of the biggest drawbacks of the app in our courses is that the In-Video Questions XBlock is not supported. This causes a very bad experience in some of our videos when viewing them on the app because there are some pop-up questions that were designed to convey information within the video.
    App users don’t see these questions during the video, but only after the video. Therefore, they do not see them in the relevant context.

    Any idea if this is something the squad is also working on?

Continue the discussion at discuss.openedx.org

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