Most of this release has been focused around the planner - a new fantastic planning tool for the teacher! The planner is a new and greatly enhanced version of the tool previously known as lesson planner. Our goal has been to provide teachers with a better course planning tool and at the same time give the learners a better overview of plans and activities in courses.
An important keyword is flexibility. Teachers are free to organise the fields in the planner, and can decide themselves what columns to show, and how to order them. We have made it easy to add and delete columns. This means that teachers can add their own columns for homework, laboratory exercises or other columns that may prove useful in a course.
We know that many teachers use spreadsheets in, for example, Microsoft Excel or tables in Microsoft Word, to create plans. Our new planner is designed around the same principle, and features inline edit functionality, allowing teachers to write directly in the cells. In addition, drag-and-drop is supported when organising columns and moving activities and resources between lessons.
It is easy to include learning objectives, activities and resources when working in the plans. A new feature allows teachers to add new activities and resources directly from the planner edit mode. We have separated the traditional learning tools into two categories: activities and resources. Activities, such as tests, assignments and process-oriented documents, require the learners to actively participate, and submit the result to the teacher. Resources require a more passive interaction, and include learning tools such as notes, links, and files.
When resources and activities are added to a lesson, itslearning suggests elements with the same learning objectives as the lesson.
For teachers a link to the planner is available from the course menu on the upper left side of the course page. Learners see the plans on the course main page, and they can select whether to display the current lesson, all lessons or a specific lesson.
The planner includes options to create lessons on the fly with resources and learning objectives linked to it. Another neat feature is the inline edit function that allows you to edit the planner "Excel style". Click the picture below for a larger image of the planner from a teacher point of view.
What happens to old lesson plans?
We ensure that all existing lesson plans and lesson planner data are moved to the new version when we update.
How can teachers activate the planner in a course?
The planner is activated in the course settings. In a course, click Course settings >> Properties >> and then check the Planner box under Functions. If you do not see the planner box, see the step below.
How can administrators turn on learning objectives and the planner by default for all courses?
Click the Administration tab >> Edit global settings >> Set default course settings and check the Learning objectives and Planner boxes under Default course settings.
Import course groups
Teachers and course administrators can now automatically import course groups into courses from the hierarchy synchronisation. Hierarchies synchronised into a course will be created as groups with participants. This is time-saving for teachers who no longer have to do create course groups manually.
MIS Systems and IMS enterprise services web interface
MIS Systems are now supported in the user interface for IMS enterprise services. There has also been some changes to the web interface in Admin.
It is now possible to use short names for eLogin customers. Customers can also choose not to be shown in the drop-down on the login page. If a site's short name is elogin, they can now log on with https://elogin.itslearning.com.
We have also changed the eLogin interface for sites that use different identity providers, such as Feide or Shibboleth. This makes it easier to understand how to log in.
We have upgraded the SCORM player to the latest version, ensuring that our users have the most up-to-date tool for playing SCORM packages.
Bug fixes and enhancements
Community now works with newly created sites.
Better support for Internet Explorer 8
Internet Exploder 8 was released the day after our previous release, and we have fixed some issues that makes itslearning look better in this magnificent new browser from Microsoft.
Web 2.0 and Internet Explorer 8
Google Maps, Flickr, Meboo, Videojug, Delicious did not work properly with Internet Explorer 8. This has now been addressed.
Community did not work correctly for Italian, French and US English sites, or when you had any of these languages activated in My settings. This has now been addressed.
Home button in the early learner version
The home button was not visible for links in the early learner version. This has now been addressed.
Early learner interface: Open link/content in separate window
Avoids problems with content not being shown correctly for early learners
URLs and short names in portfolios
After the last release a bug caused some portfolios to have double short names in the URL. This has now been addressed.
When searching for users the early learner profile is now checked by default. Preferences are now stored in databases instead of in your cookies. This means that your preferences will be remembered if you log in from another computer.
Default elements in a course
Portfolio assessment, planner and learning objectives are now activated by default when a new course is created. This change is done to make it easier for teachers to use the planner.
Grades disappear from grade book when test is deactivated
After the last update an error removed the grades from deactivated assignments and tests. This has been addressed.
Survey - Matrix question bug
When a matrix question was added it was possible to check several radio buttons per row, but when the survey was activated it was only possible to check one button per row. This has now been addressed, and it is no longer possible to check more than one button per row in edit mode.
Files in course catalog - move
In order to move or copy files in the course file area (open web files) the course profile setting "Delete course" had to be activated. This has now been addressed.
Equations in Test 2.0
If a test 2.0 contained equations they were corrupted when the test was assessed. This has now been addressed.
Local course catalogue
Courses in the course catalogue could not be opened. This has now been addressed.
SCORM packages with short names
Playing SCORM packages now work if you are logged on using a unique login URL, such as shortname.itslearning.com.
Custom logo in the intermediate skin is aligned wrong
Custom logos were incorrectly aligned in the intermediate skin. This has now been addressed.
Thanks to Magnus Holm for a tip that made it possible for us to identify and address a potential security issue.
- Planner: Existing folders cannot be picked as resources in the planner.
- Planner: If both the Add resource pop-up and the Add activity pop-up is open at the same time, the activity appears in the resource part of the grid after adding it.
- Planner: The lesson outline is not saved when using Firefox 3 if clicking on the Lesson link directly from the inline edit state.
- Planner: This is not a bug, but users should know that custom columns are duplicated when the import functionality is used in a new course.
- SCORM player: There are some translation issues with the new SCORM player:
- Norwegian Nynorsk appears as Norwegian Bokmål
- Italian appears as UK English
- Some random sentences are not translated for all languages, and they appear in UK English
Posted on May 7, 2009
by Øyvind Flatnes