itslearning has been updated with a new version. The list below covers the most important new features.
- Grade book
- Intermediate skin
- Web 2.0 plug-in in the editor
- Unique login URL
- Plagiarism control
- Who is online?
- Test 2.0
- Early learner interface
- US English
- Known issues
The grade book is updated with several enhancements and new features. Note that the grade book may be unavailable for our largest customers on Friday 20 March and during the weekend. We will post a blog entry dedicated to the grade book changes when it is updated for all customers.
This version features a new intermediate skin especially tailored for early learners that have grown out of the early learner interface and are too young for the standard version.
Administrators decide which profiles that should have the intermediate skin. Click the Administration tab >> Profiles and then add a new profile. In "Select a profile to serve as a basis for defult values", select "Student". Assign the profile to the intermediate skin by selecting "Intermediate" in the Interface drop-down list under the heading Default profile settings.
Embed web 2.0 content with the editor
The new web 2.0 editor plug-in tool allows you to insert web 2.0 content from the Internet, and embed them into the content you are creating in it’s learning (messages, discussions, assignments, tests, etc.). By integrating external content with content created by yourself you can create powerful and dynamic learning content.
The plug-in allows users to embed content from any web page and we have added special plug-ins for popular services which include YouTube, Google Maps, Flickr, Delicious, Meebo rooms, Springwidget RSS, Slideshare, TeacherTube, SchoolTube, Odeo, VideoJug and SchoolTV.
Many web pages provides users with content that can be embedded by using, for example, embed tags. Teachers have the option to add embed code or write their own code.
This feature makes it easy to import content from other web 2.0 services into the content you created in itslearning.
Also note that the Image, Tree link, Link to file, New audio recording and New video recording buttons are moved to a new Insert drop-down in the rich-text editor. Look for the Insert link!
Unique login URL
Getting tired of the long list of sites on the login page? Now you can use a unique login URL for your site. This URL takes you directly to the login box of your site. It is also possible to bookmark the link to your site with the unique URL.
What is the URL to my site? All sites have a "short name". Place the short name before itslearning.com in your URL. Example: If your short name is "mysite", your URL will be https://mysite.itslearning.com Note: do not use www in the link. The login page at https://www.itslearning.com still shows the drop-down list of sites.
Sites that want to be "anonymous" can now be removed from the list of sites on the login page at itslearning.com. Contact our support for more information.
Where can I find the short name of my site? The short name is used in your site's ePortfolio, behind https://www.itslearning.com. For questions regarding your site's short name, please contact your system administrator.
Showing names of document authors: If an assignment is found to be plagiarised by another user of itslearning teachers now get to see whether it was handed in by the same user previously or by others.
Not plagiarism: If teachers for some reason suspect that an assignment labelled as plagiarism by the plagiarism is in fact not, they can now overrule the plagiarism control. This is done by a new button called "This is not plagiarism".
If you discover that the document was plagiarised after all, an "Undo" link can be used to bring back the results from the plagiarism control.
Information message: The information message which is displayed when the "plagiarism control" box is checked is slightly changed. Instead of listing the document types that are not supported we now link to a page in the online help. This will tidy up the interface a bit and provides the users with a more detailed help.
Who is online?
Clicking the green man icon in the top menu displays a list of all online users. We have now added the role of the each user to avoid confusion if learners and teachers have similar names.
Clear answer: In Multiple Choice or Either/or questions, users could not clear the answer if one alternative was already selected. We have now added a "Clear answer" button which enabling users to submit blank answers.
This option is implemented because if the scoring method with penalty is used, the participants get a negative score for answering incorrectly, and 0 for not answering (to prevent guessing). In such cases blank answers may be more sensible.
Capitalising of keywords: It is now optional to select whether keywords should be case sensitive in open answer and short answer questions.
- Spam prevention: We have added measures to prevent automated spam.
- Save as draft: It is now possible to save blog entries as drafts, and unpublish published entries.
- RSS: An RSS icon to this blog is added to the login page. Click the icon to subscribe to the RSS feed.
Early learner interface
Some small enhancements are added to the graphical skins and the assignment tool.
US English language
Change has come to itslearning! Our language pack is expanded with US English language. To enable US English go to My settings >> Customise itslearning. Yes, we can!
FEIDE: Users can now log on with Feide authentication. Feide is a concept based on the principle that every user in the educational sector - pupil, student or employee - receives a user name from their school, college or university, which can be used throughout the sector. The same user name works everywhere, both at the user's own organisation and for shared national services, with the same password or certificate. Please contact your itslearning representative for more information about Feide.
Hierarchy course group synchronisation: The hierarchy synchronisation in courses can now be used to synchronise participants directly into groups. This saves the administrators and teachers for a lot of manual work. Note that this option is currently only available from within itslearning, and not from imports.
Grade book export service: A new feature for exporting the grade book to school administrative systems such as SkoleArena has been added, and in the future we will add support for Dexter and Assessment Manager. As a result of this enhancement, teachers do not have to enter the grades in two different systems. This will greatly ease the use for the teachers using both itslearning and school administrative systems.
Interested customers can contact our services department for more information about this service.
Layout change on course and project page: If the content of a bulletin post on the course or project main page is too wide, it will now push the boxes on the right hand side underneath it, thus enabling it to use the space needed. This prevents the content from overlapping. In addition, if wide content is added a new navigation toolbar appears which allows for quicker access to the different boxes.
REST API for course management: The REST API allows you to perform simple URL commands. In practise this means that you can make simple applications that can retrieve and create data in itslearning.
Interested customers can contact our services department for more information.
Diglib: Microsoft Learning Gateway integration: It is now possible to use Diglib through Microsoft Learning Gateway. Interested customers can contact our sales and marketing department for more information.
We have made following corrections in this release:
- Assessment statuses and server errors: If all assessment statuses were deleted from a site, users experienced a server error when trying to add an element to a course. This has now been addressed.
- Assignments: Disappearing comments: When assessing multiple assignments with existing comments, the comments were overwritten by the empty comment field. This has now been addressed.
- Assignments: Characters in file names and answers: Norwegian characters were replaced with other characters when downloading file and folder names. In addition, if names contained capital letters, the letters were replaced with an underscore (_). This has now been addressed.
- Courses: Delete permanently: Some of our customers had problems when trying to delete courses with no participants permanently. This has now been addressed.
- Digital exam: Cannot submit answer: When "Use checklist" was unchecked in an exam, the candidates did not see the "Submit answer" button. This also happened if the checklist was empty. This has now been addressed.
- Element permissions: Users with the permission "Evaluate: Permission to evaluate answers and submit answers manually" in an assignment were allowed to delete answers. This has now been addressed.
- eLogin and skins: Some issues regarding logos in skins have been addressed.
- ePortfolio: Cannot export ePortfolios: The export function did not work for ePortfolios and assessment portfolios. This has now been addressed.
- ePortfolio: Server error: Some of our users experienced server errors when exporting ePortfolios. This has now been addressed.
- External publications: If changes were made in Administration >> Global settings >> Default course settings, the external publication feature disappeared. This has now been addressed.
- Grade book assessment bug: When adding an assignment to the grade book before assessing and grading it, allowed learners to see the grade in their grade book even though "Assessments are" was set to "Not available" in the assignment. This has now been addressed.
- Grade book: Sum of weightings: Users got errors when adding new manual grade book columns. This has now been addressed.
- Incorrect WordViewer URL: If you try to open a Word file you get an option to download a WordViewer, but this link was incorrect. This has now been addressed.
- Library: Inserting modules in courses: Some of our customers reported that they were unable to add Library modules to a course. This has now been addressed.
- Missing learning objectives: Learning objectives with "ø" in the title was missing its content. This has now been addressed.
- News and top hierarchies: Administrators in sub levels of a hierarchy was not able to select hierarchy when adding bulletins from the top level hierarchy. This has now been addressed.
- News on the login page: Bulletins that contained embedded content could not be deleted. This has now been addressed.
- SCORM: Default link types: When importing SCORM packages where the link type was not set to SCORM as default. The feedback from SCORM to itslearning was also missing. This made it impossible to report from SCORM packages. This has now been addressed.
- Sync key not checked before insert persons from file: When a file was used to insert participants into a course the algorithm did not check the synckey field against existing synckeys. This sometimes caused duplicate participants in courses. This has now been addressed.
- Test 2.0: Incorrect results in grade book: Some of our users discovered that results from tests in the grade book were different from the results in the test itself. This has now been addressed.
- Test 2.0: URLs in questions: If an URL was added in a test question, and the participants clicked it they were not allowed to go back to the test. This has now been addressed.
- Test 2.0: Cannot add questions after copying a test: If you tried to edit the questions in a test that had been answered and then copied, you got the message: "It is not possible to add/remove the questions and change the order if the test has been activated or someone has started/finished the test", even if you had deleted the answers. If the test was saved, you got a server error. This has now been addressed.
- Test 2.0: Export: Exporting questions in a Test 2.0 resulted in an error message. This has now been addressed.
- Test 2.0: QTI export/import: If short answer questions were exported and then imported into another course, the scoring was wrong when the question was answered. This has now been addressed.
- Test 2.0: Server error: A server error sometimes occurred in test 2.0 when continuing and saving tests. This has now been addressed.
- eLogin: A few users who were logging on with eLogin (authentication against AD) sometimes experienced slow performance. This has now been addressed.
http warning: When viewing some of the content added with some of web 2.0 plug-ins you may get a warning saying that the page might contain both secure and insecure content. You should be safe to click Yes in the pop-up box.
Error in Dutch translation: The "intermediate" skin is translated "Gevorderd". This is incorrect and should have been: "Tussen-niveau".
Delicious tagrolls and test 2.0: If using Delicious tagrolls from the new web 2.0 content plug-in in short answer description of Test 2.0 questions, it disappears after QTI export-import. Workaround: Do not use Delicious in test that is going to be exported.
Test 2.0, web 2.0 and QTI exports: If a test 2.0 with more than 12 questions contains web 2.0 content and the questions are exported on the QTI format, only the 12 first questions are showing on the result page.
Internet Explorer 6 issues: Scroll bars are introduced in IE 6 for audio recordings in some sites with custom skins. This is an issue introduced with the new modal dialog boxes for audio recording.
New modal window: The new modal dialog boxes for “Insert” content items has currently got a fixed position. This has resulted in two open issues:
- On question pages with multiple editors, the further down you get on the page, the less of the dialog boxes will initially be shown when they are opened. The page needs to be scrolled up to see the complete boxes.
- In Firefox 3 with 1024x768 resolution, the bottom parts of the boxes "Web 2.0 content", "Audio/Video recordings" and "Insert link to file (my web files)" does not show, and when scrolling down, it's only the background that scrolls. To see the complete boxes, the resolution must be turned up slightly, or a different browser must be used.
Opera and test 2.0: Viewing the whole answer on the result page with the "Show" link has a scrolling issue in Opera. If the answer has a big image or a big Web 2.0 content, it can not be viewed fully because scrolling doesn't work in Opera in this particular instance.
US sites and Community: Community does currently not work for US sites.
Posted on March 19, 2009
by Øyvind Flatnes