We are happy to introduce the beta version of our conference tool. The new tool is flash based, and supports up to four simultaneous video connections. In addition to video and sound functionality the video conference also have a text-based chat. You can chat to all participants in the conference or “whisper” (chat privately) to other participants.
The conference tool is available for selected customers from 19 December 2008. If the conference is stable it will be made available for all customers in late January 2009. Read more about the conference in the online help (Learning tools >> Conferences).
Note that the old chat/conference tool is discontinued. The logs from previous chat sessions are still be available. The new tool does currently not support chat history.
What can I use video conferences for?
The conference offers a wide range of possibilities. Video conferencing is becoming popular as a supplementary tool for teachers and the tool is only a few clicks away. You can, for example, use it for:
- Web based lessons: Invite external lecturers to web based lessons. Enrol the external guest into the course and start the conference. This allows for exciting and inexpensive possibilities regarding, for example, guest lecturers from abroad. Let geographical borders become possibilities rather than obstacles.
- Language classes: Use itslearning community to create international courses and meet regularly via conferences. Useful for language training.
- Distance learning: With the video conference course participants can meet despite of distance.
- Projects: Learners may cooperate on projects from home.
- Parent/school communication: Video conferences offer new possibilities for home/school communication.
- Meetings: Teachers from different schools can meet regularly using conferences as an alternative to phone meetings.
Early learner interface
The early learner interface has been updated with three new features. It now supports content from Diglib, files and notes.
Note in the early learner version:
Content from Diglib:
Our language pack is expanded with Italian language. To enable Italian go to My settings >> Customise itslearning. Buona fortuna!
We now support Shibboleth for customers in the UK using eLogin. Please contact your itslearning representative for more information.
Manage Enterprise Services
We have added a new Interface for managing imports instead of doing it manually. The interface can be found under Administration >> Manage Enterprise web services. A prerequisite is that your site has an IMS Enterprise integrations license, such as SIMS.
Test 2.0: Activation
Test 2.0 now supports time specific activation. This function is known from most other learning tools. Active elements are visible to the participants while inactive tests are visible to the teacher only. To activate a test for a specific time period you must add at least one question, click Edit in the test overview and use the “Active” function at the bottom of the page.
Test 2.0: Alternatives for Fill in the blanks questions
It is now possible to add additional alternatives in Fill in the blank questions in Test 2.0.
Test 2.0: Complete button
When taking a test the Complete test button was visible for the participants on every question. This button has now been removed to prevent participants from completing tests before it is finished. The Complete test button is now located at the last question. This should help remove uncertainty and misunderstanding regarding number of questions in the tests. Assignments: More effective assessment
We have added a new button in the assess assignment page. The teacher can now select whether to click “Save” or “Save and next answer”. The last button is new and saves the assessment and takes the teacher directly to the next unassessed assignment in the list. This will help you to quicker go through all assignment and should be a great timesaver!
Reports: Hide the icon for custom reports
The icon for custom reports is now hidden if there are no available reports.
Copying of learning tools with learning objectives
If you move a learning tool which is connected to a learning objective to another course the learning objectives are now copied into the new course. If the course you copy the learning tool to does not have learning objectives, the entire library of learning objectives is copied from the source course to the destination course. If both courses have learning objectives the learning objectives are merged.
If an alert was edited and you were notified by email the message had a formatting error. This has now been addressed.
Early learner interface: Safari bug
When uploading multiple files in the Safari browser the user could not enter text in the file name field. This has now been addressed.
Lesson plans: Show current
When Show current was selected not all the current items were shown. This bug has now been addressed.
Lesson plans: Dates
When a lesson plan without start or stop date was selected in the course page From and To still appeared in the course page. This has now been addressed.
Lesson plans: Show all
When Show all was selected it did not show all the lesson plans in the lesson planner. This has now been addressed.
Lesson plans: Only one date
If a lesson plan contained a stop date or a start date only, the date was shown incorrectly on the course page. This has now been addressed.
Files: Open office
Open Office documents are now added as a file type.
Grade book: Test 2.0 results
Some of our customers experienced mismatches between test results from the 2.0 test tool and results in the grade book. This has now been addressed.
Test 2.0: Server error when editing tests with "Percentages can be changed when used with tests" enabled
When using an assessment with the “Percentages can be changed when used with tests” checked in the test, a server error occurs if the test is edited. There are two possible workarounds:
1. Choose an assessment without editable percentages in the test and save. Go back and edit the test, pick the assessment with editable percentages, change the percentages and save.
2. Create a new assessment in the course with the desired percentages, edit the test, pick the new assessment and save.
Posted on December 19, 2008
by Øyvind Flatnes