Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Retirement of MOLE File tools in upgrade

If you've been on MOLE this week, you won't help but have noticed we have a brand new design with the most recent update. This new look and feel not only gives cleaner, more modern visuals to courses, but also adds some new features such as drag and drop of files, and a responsive design making it easier to view MOLE courses on a range of mobile devices.

You may also have noticed we have retired the 'File', 'Audio' and 'Video' tools. These tools were historic from older versions of Blackboard, and have been superseded with superior ways of doing the same jobs.

The File tool was very limited in the sense it gave a link to files with no ability to add descriptions, or even indication of file size or extension. This often led to poor course design and navigation, with a list of file names without explanation. The example below is an example of a link created using the File tool.

The Item tool allows for a much more flexible approach, as multiple files (displaying file extension and size) can be attached to an Item as below.

Alternatively links to files in the Content Collection can be linked in the Item text.

Both methods allow for files to be delivered with explanation and a context of their use.

Similarly, the Audio and Video tools were not recommended to be used, as these led to large files requiring download, or the use of media players that were dependant on the students' web browser settings. These were also incompatible with mobile browsing. Now we would recommend using Kaltura or YouTube to supply streamed content, either using the Mashup tools in the Text Editor, or pasting embed codes into the HTML of an Item.

Existing content using the tools remain, and can be copied in the Refresh process, although we would recommend ultimately these are replaced using the Item tool in one of the methods above.


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