Moodle for mobile

 
 
Picture of Stuart Lamour
dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

i'm probably not a typical moodle user.

i access it a lot via a small screen (320ishpx) device on a mobile network and through a very large screens (42"+) at home.

its no secret I like optimised code (i like fast page load times). its also no secret that i don't like cruft.

so lets talk about a baseline.

what do i really need to view a moodle site on a small - lets say about 300px device. do i want to see huge menus before any content? do i really need lots of html and css for layout? js interactions? large images? flash? the answer is probably no.

but then on my larger screen i'd quite like to have a bit more styling from css, fancy interactions with js and larger images - i'm probably conected to the internet on a much faster/cheaper conection so data isn't as much of a problem.

currently for moodle, even with the twitter bootstrap moodle theme, moodle will deliver a similar amount of data to a small screen or a large screen, and that seems wrong. the moodle mobile themes don't do much better giving us a v.heavy load of js libraries followed by a ton of navigation menus which creates a terrible user experience.

a tiny moodle?

what about if we tried a 0.moodle (like 0.facebook or as near as we could get it!).

a moodle that worked and had the least amount/most optimised code to make it usable?

how small can moodle be?

what are those baseline priorities that 80% of moodle users really need and how can we deliver them in the most optimised way? can we reduce the number of bd queries, amount of php, css, html and js?

mobile first isn't anything new to modern web developers, its simply a way of developing sites myself and many others have been using for a while now that has a great deal of benefit for everyone. 

how big can moodle be?

progressive enhancement isn't anything new either. If you have a large screen internet conected device, then why not load that extra css/html/js to give users an appropriate experience? ajax those extra bd queires and php scripts for a big experience smile

some perspective

last year the university i work at (sussex) saw a 450% rise in attempted access via small screen devices (<330px) to our moodle. We also saw a large rise in the number of requests via larger screens (games consoles and internet ready tv).

I cannot help feeling this is an inevitable educational future we all face.

It is down to us as educators and technologists if we adapt or not.

I'd quite like moodle to try, how do you feel?

as always, comments very welcome smile

Stuart Lamour

 

 
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Picture of Dan Humpherson
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
 

Native Moodle mobile apps? Will they bridge the gap? 

No need to rewrite anything then, just consume the data already held in Moodle. 

 
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Picture of David Perry
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
Group Testers

For Apple and Android devices, yes that is probably the best bet for now- the app makes calls to moodle via the web service, so minimal data exchance compared to using the web version.

However, from what I've read on the tracker the Moodle Mobile app team has found several limitations with Phonegap Build that is used to compile the app. So eventually having to write native apps for each platform might come about, which takes extra time and money.

A less gunky set of js/css for mobile themes would be nice, but is a time thing I imagine.

 
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Picture of Fábio Barreiros
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
 

I'am creating a Moodle client for Android. The name of the project it's "Moody", and you can see our first report of the app where we explain all features and the design Preview.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxgfWFZikho8eWM0YXBaMHd0LVE/edit?usp=sharing

Some previews:

[url=http://postimg.org/image/tal63zjax/][img][/img][/url]

[url=http://postimg.org/image/vi21qfqo3/][img][/img][/url]

 

 
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ian
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
 

Hi Dan,

The issue is whether there's teaching and learning content to consume.... in a mobile-friendly format. My experience is that SMEs are 'slow' to provide it.

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

dan - this is a while back :

devices

Every day a new operating system (today it was io7) or platform (watches, sony playstation vita) arrives.

I cannot at the moment imagine a situation where a company would have the time to write specific app for every new device iteration, size, system and codebase!

Only crazy people would try it! (https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=206736)

there is one thing that rules them all thought, and that is the web. If we write well for the web we will be on all those devices and mobile first is the best approach to do that.

 

 
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ian
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
 

Hello Dan,

'...Just consume the data already held in Moodle...'

There's the catch. Most -if not all- the data on Moodle cannot be consumed by mobile devices, because , for the most part, the readers for MS Office content (or any other commonly available format) are not resident in most mobile devices.

And even if the content were available  the people that write the content have -again for the most part- absolutely no idea how to produce mobile-friendly content.

And nobody is pointing this out loudly enough to make administrators (in UK HEIs) release the funds to train SMEs.

Hence FutureLearn.com , its imitators and progenitors. 

 
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Picture of David Perry
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
Group Testers

I've been recommending staff publish to moodle as PDF - it's about the one thing that works near-universally on mobile (and the web in general for that matter). Cost wise, the PDF Creator printer driver is free - we have it as part of the desktop image here (but now we have an Adobe site license, I got the full Acrobat Pro when my machine was replaced)

 
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ian
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
 

Which comes first Stuart? The framework or the content? It's not Moodle alone that needs to think Mobile-First.

Try talking to content creators : '....what you want us to do more... we haven't got the time... we can't..... etc.

My perspective is from Higher Ed in the UK. The vast majority of content creators (lecturers) are see themselves as under significant pressure.

Creating mobile-appropriate teaching and learning materials is not easy, or cheap, or quick.

A whole industry has lost control of the means of delivery.

Please lets have Mobile-First-Moodle and Mobile-First-Content-Creation

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

nice summary by luke w of jason grigsby's talk at breaking dev http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1707

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

looking fwd to updating twitter bootstrap 2 in moodle to 3 which has mobile first at its heart https://github.com/twitter/bootstrap/pull/6342

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: dear moodle, can we have mobile first strategy for moodle please?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

i see the dom

 
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