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Software update December 2013

In the last update this year we are happy to introduce usability enhancements for tablets and mobile devices, as well as enhancements to the assignment and test tools, rubric assessment and standards. Read all about the updates below.

Improved user experience and responsive web design

New design for Header and Page functions

itslearning Improves User Experience and Responsive Web DesignWe have reduced the amount of white space around the page headers (H1). Page functions – such as adding content blocks to a page or changing permissions in a folder – have been moved to a drop-down menu. We have also removed some graphics to make the page header consume less space.

New design for Page tabs

The tabs in the person profile and course properties and features page are now replaced by a drop-down menu.

New design for Tables

In order to optimize the user experience on touch devices we have removed the boxes and borders from the tables in itslearning and added more spacing. We have also added functionality that will make it easier to present grids in a scalable way on smaller resolutions by removing the less important columns.

New modal window design

You will also notice a new type of modal window that is responsive and works well on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. As of now only the column chooser in My Library and a limited set of other places have this design.

Improved login page

Improved LMS Login PageTo make the login process smoother, we have made it possible to search for your site in the Site drop-down menu. Users can now click in the site field and start typing the name of the site. The list will automatically filter based on the user input, making it much easier to find the correct site in the drop-down list.

Upgraded rich-text editor

After the last update some of you experienced issues with the rich-text editor, and these are now fixed. In addition, the rich-text editor now works for adding or editing notes and bulletins on tablets and smart phones. We have also updated the look and feel.

Optimized navigation tree for touch devices

In this update we have made several enhancements to the navigation tree for touch-enabled devices, such as increasing font size and padding around elements.

Improvements to the File/Link extension

Based on user feedback and in order to improve usability, we have enlarged the content area and repositioned labels and the menu. Users can also select whether to display the link description.

You will also get notifications when a new file or link is added or updated.



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Saving assignments as draft and anonymous assessments

Save LMS Assignments as Draft and Anonymous AssessmentsMany users have requested a 'save as draft' option for assignments and here it is. In addition, we're introducing anonymous assessment of assignment answers, giving teachers a way to assess assignment answers without seeing the name of the student they are assessing. Teachers will not be able to see draft answers, but will be informed of an assignment’s draft status.

Anonymous submission:

Request plagiarism report after submission

It is also possible to request a plagiarism report on submitted assignments that originally did not have plagiarism enabled.



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Test tool and standards assessment

Assess Students on Their Proficiency of Standards Assessing students on their proficiency of standards is possible through the assignment tool and the custom activity. Now we are also making it possible to assess proficiency of standards using the test tool, by making it possible to tag individual questions with standards.

We are also making it possible to disable test questions once a test has been started.

Upgraded test-mode browser

The test-mode browser has been updated, and all users must install the new version. itslearning checks the version of the test-mode browser that is being used when taking tests, and will prevent users with an old version from taking the test. Unfortunately, it is not possible to automatically update the browsers, so users need to do this themselves. For customers that have pre-installed the test-mode browser, a new version of the test-mode browser will be made available once updated.



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Assessment record

In this update we are continuing to improve the user interface, as well as adding additional support for score as an assessment scale.

Frozen Name columns and Header rows

The top row, containing the names of the assessment items, and the first column, containing the names of the students, are now frozen and will stay visible even when you scroll down the page.

Default grades for custom assessment columns

When adding custom assessments to the assessment record, it is now possible to choose a default assessment.

Better support for score-based assessment

  • The Assessment change log (found in the Personal Report) now also tracks changes to assessments that use Score as the assessment scale.
  • The activities listed in the working portfolio now also show the assessment when Score is used as the assessment scale.
  • The Assignment report has been updated to show Score assessments. The report has also been improved and can now sort assignments by title and deadline, show scores as a raw score or as a percentage, and the average column has also been removed.

Clearer statuses

Previously, all work added to the assessment record has shown up with the status Not taken, even for students that were not supposed to do the work. We have split this into two different statuses: Not taken means that the work is supposed to be handed in, while a dash (“-“) means that the work is not supposed to be handed in.

Criteria-based assessments

In the assessment record, you can now see whether an activity uses criteria-based assessment.

Changing status of summary view columns

In the summary view of the assessment record, columns may be defined to use a Status. The status is either: Not set, In progress or Completed. Each is represented with a color, so users can quickly interpret which status the assessment has.



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Course templates and course copying

The dashboard is now always included when creating a course based on a template, making sure the new course will have the exact same dashboard as the template.



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Standards and criteria-based assessments

Share and Search for assessment criteria

Teachers can now share assessment criteria with their school, site or the whole itslearning community, but only assessment criteria for standards that have been imported from the repository.

When managing assessment criteria for a whole course or for a specific activity, teachers now have the option to search for ready-to-use assessment criteria.

Standards management

In addition to sharing and searching for assessment criteria, we are introducing several small improvements to the way teachers and schools can manage standards in their courses.

  • Standards can now be disconnected more easily from an element by clicking on the 'x' to the right of the element.
  • When a teacher creates his/her own standards in a course, they will now see a folder 'Created objectives'. With this folder available it is possible to have more than one created standard on the highest level.
  • When copying activities that use criteria-based assessment from the navigation tree, through the planner or when applying a template to a course, teachers can now choose how to handle criteria that already exists in the course they’re copying to.

Standards report for activities

It's now possible to view the report for a specific assessment. On the tab 'Assessments' all activities that used standard assessment are shown.

Calculating grades based on rubrics

It is already possible to assess an assignment or custom activity with assessment criteria and a score or grade. Now these two forms of assessment are more closely connected. When using both, a score or grade is automatically suggested based on the criteria-based assessment.



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Content recommendation

Content Recommendation Available in Learning PlatformIn the previous update, we launched content recommendation as a pilot for a small number of sites. We are now preparing to make this available to other sites upon request.

Read more about this in the help.



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Other changes

Improvements to the Planner

Teachers can now copy linked resources and activities when copying plans to another course.

Now, users can also reorder elements within an individual planner lesson via drag and drop. This is possible when viewing the whole planner in the grid, and when editing a single lesson.

Finally, teachers can now rearrange the order of the units (or topics) in the planner by clicking the 'Rearrange unit order' button. By simply dragging a unit to another position the order can be changed.

Decide who will receive service messages

Administrators can now submit one or more email-addresses which will receive service messages from itslearning. This is available under Administration > Edit global settings > Features and security.

Permanently delete content blocks

Content blocks on dashboards can be permanently deleted by clicking the cross in the top-right corner of the content block.

Discontinued features

The following features will be removed from itslearning:

  • Link content block
  • Diglib
  • Explaining sequences
  • Process-oriented documents

All link content blocks have been migrated to rich text content blocks and all licensed Diglib are removed from courses. Unlicensed Diglib content will remain in a course as this is just a simple link. We are currently planning to migrate as much data as possible from process-oriented documents and explaining sequences into the Page tool.

Allow extended data for extensions with Draft status

Previously, extensions had to be approved in order to be allowed to use extended data. Starting from this update, developers are able to access extended data for their own unfinished extensions, while keeping their data private.

New and changed organizational API services

Working with courses in the Organization API previously required prior knowledge of the exact course IDs and SyncKeys. By removing this limitation, we are separating the initial provisioning of course from the ongoing usage. This will simplify integration with third-parties, allowing them to populate courses with content.

We are also updating the ReadWarningLetter service to retrieve letters that are not directly connected to a course.

Minor Changes

  • Teachers can now rate content from My Library.
  • Teachers can opt-out of receiving attendance notifications.
  • Checkboxes are being retained when making bulk attendance.
  • If you only use messages or only have one email account setup, you no longer need to open a drop-down menu to access your inbox.



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A number of issues have been corrected. Read more about the most important corrections (pdf).

9 comments (Add your own)

1. Ron Shope wrote:
These look great. When will the January update be released that will include LTI 1.1 Integration?

December 21, 2013 @ 9:41 AM

2. wrote:

January 8, 2014 @ 6:23 PM

3. wrote:

January 8, 2014 @ 8:39 PM

4. Ron Shope wrote:
When will the January update be released with LTI 1.1?

January 16, 2014 @ 9:00 AM

5. wrote:

February 5, 2014 @ 10:06 PM

6. wrote:

February 5, 2014 @ 10:07 PM

7. jordan M Taylor wrote:
this is not working

February 28, 2014 @ 9:38 AM

8. anna wrote:
I can't log in anymore, the message says my username or password is incorrect even though I have correctly entered it multiple times.

March 4, 2014 @ 3:48 PM

9. Kat wrote:
Every time I log on its on change password and when I click cancel it takes me back to the log in page. I have tried several times to log in.

March 4, 2014 @ 6:28 PM

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