New Features 10.5

OpenOLAT 10.5 is our most recent major release. This release brings you the much anticipated video module. The video course element allows videos to be easily embedded into the course, while users can browse available videos on the new LearnTube site.

In addition to that, we’ve been working on optimizing existing OpenOLAT features, with a focus on the course and its course elements. We especially focused our attention on usability aspects in both the task element and the WebDAV functionality.

Since release 10.4, more than 45 new features and improvements were added to OpenOLAT, and many processes have been improved. Here, you can find the most important new features and changes of the OpenOLAT 10.4 release. In addition to these improvements, more than 155 bugs were fixed. The complete list of changes to 10.4.1 – 10.4.11 can be found here.

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Video

This release introduces the the video learning resource to OpenOLAT. It allows users to upload videos in .mp4 format as independent learning resources, thus being globally available to all authors within an OpenOLAT system. No more cumbersome fiddling the resource folder, or multiple uploads of the same file in order to be able to embed it into different single pages.

As learning resource uploaded videos can now easily be embedded into a course via the new “Video” course element.  The video will be displayed on the new “LearnTube” site if access is configured for system users without any author rights. Just like in the catalog, users can browse all available videos.

Videos can be embedded in a course with the “Video” course element, which works similar to e.g. the Test or CP course elements. Comments or ratings are course specific and are de-/activated in the the course editor in the “Video” tab.

Just like with other learning resources, changes to the appearance of a video can be made in the resource itself. The video runtime with the familiar authoring menus in the toolbar opens after clicking on a video in the authoring section. Settings regarding the poster frame, subtitles or the video qualities can be found in the the “Video” menu under the menu item “Video settings”.

The video module in a nutshell

  • Video as learning resource, created via upload
  • Video course element
  • LearnTube: Overview  of all available videos
  • Add subtitles in multiple languages
  • Choose poster frame from a selection of 8 or upload own image as poster
  • Comments and ratings for videos
  • De-/Activate in administration area
  • Transcode various solutions, to support users with smaller screens and /or browsing outside of a WLAN

Task

The task course element received some long anticipated changes and usabiliy improvements. Especially coaches will profit from this release.  It is now possible, e.g., to reopen the dropbox for students both in the submission as well as in the revision step, if incorporated deadlines allow for it. This way, accidentally closed submissions may be reopened for students again.

The layout of the submission as well as placement and coloring of the relevant buttons were perceived as not very user friendly, lacking usability. This often led to hastily clicking the buttons, resulting in a premature final submission of the task, frequently without previous uploads of documents.

This is why we integrated a visual placeholder for the document upload into the workflow, and repositioned the buttons. Document upload and submission are now visibly separated. This affects both coaches as well as participants.

If, on the other hand, a participant should have failed to submit documents in time, it is now possible for coaches to collect documents manually.

In the event that an author needs to create a task “shell” with no added task or solution documents, OpenOLAT now allows coaches to manage task and solution documents in the runtime of the respective course element. By selecting the “Coaches can upload tasks” checkbox, task course elements can be published without having to supply documents beforehand.

If this is enabled, coaches will then find the new “Manage” view in the runtime of the corresponding task course element. Depending on the steps enabled in the course editor, this is the place where coaches can provide tasks and / or solutions.

Last but not least, students now also get a submission confirmation in the revision step.

In a nutshell

  • Submission confirmation for students in the revision step
  • standardized wording
  • Coaches are allowed to re-open submission steps for single users
  • New placeholder and modified buttons in submission steps for improved usability
  • Coaches can collect documents manually
  • Tasks and solution can now be created in the course runtime

Course – new range of functions

Close / Leave / Delete [Course]

Sometimes, authors were confused by the course function “Close course”, and either mistook it for the participant function “Leave course”, or just wanted to close the course tab. This usually resulted in deleted course and panicking authors. We’ve therefore renamed the “Close course” function to “Deactivate course” in a first step. It was moved with the “Delete course” function to their own site in a second step. Navigate to this new site by opening the menu item “Life cycle: deactivate / delete” in the course drop down menu.

 

Participant list – configuration

Having already introduced the configuration option to select owner, coach or participant for display with Release 10.4, OpenOLAT 10.5 now adds yet another option: It is now possible to select groups or learning areas in the respective display option. This allows authors to select and display precisely those members that were, for example, selected beforehand in an access rule. This works for coaches as well as participants.

Furthermore, the participant list is now printable. Members configured for display can be printed, displaying avatar, name and email address. And last but not least, mails sent from within the participant list now contain both the course title as well as the link to the course.

 

Embed resource folder

Release 10.4 also saw the configuration option for embedding a resource folder with the folder course element. Up until now, access was read-only. This has changed, and authors can now add write access to the resource folder by unchecking the corresponding checkbox in the course drop down menu under “Options”. This allows authors and users alike (depending on the access configuration in the course editor),  to upload files to a resource folder outside of the authoring section.

Resource folders embedded before this update remain read-only. Uncheck the “Read only” checkbox in “Options” to change this setting.

Minor changes

  • New expert rules “isInUserProperty()” and “hasUserProperty()”
  • New course element: GoTo-Training, a virtual classroom software. Needs to be linked to a GoTo-Training server
  • Improved usability in course access configuration: useless configurations, e.g. grant access to guests but not to authors, are now prohibited
  • Improved sorting of roles in the members management
  • Course menu and toolbar can now be hidden from participants, the menu also from coaches. Check the “Options” item in the course drop down menu
  • Files can now be renamed immediately after upload into a folder course element

Administration

WebDAV

Up until now, it was not possible to open folders in WebDAV from courses who share the same name, as WebDAV doesn’t make a distinction based on ID. Therefore, from now on courses with the same name can be distinguished in WebDAV by a consecutive / “serial” number added to the end of the course name. This “appendage” is only visible in WebDAV.

The reference,which can be edited on the info page, can also be used to distinguish courses from each other in WebDAV. This function needs to be enabled in the administration tab, under the menu item  “Administration / Core functions / WebDAV”. Enable it by checking the checkbox  “Prepend external course reference to title”.

If a course reference exists, it will now be prepended to the course title in WebDAV. However, courses with the same name will always be followed by a serial number, independent of this configuration.

 

Static info pages

Up until now, it was only possible to add two indivdually selected courses (so-called info pages) to the static top menu in OpenOLAT, which includes e.g. the course, the authoring or the administration site.

We’ve added two more such static info pages with this release, allowing for up to 4 individual courses to be appended to the main OpenOLAT menu. As before, static info pages can be added by configuring the desired settings under “Administration / Customizing / Sites”.

 

HTML mails

subscriptions_html_ENAlthough we’ve been able to send HTML mails from OpenOLAT for quite some time now, there are still some functionalities that send e-mail in plain text instead of HTML. Messages sent in plain text are rather small and can be displayed by any mail client, but have the disadvantage that they become unreadable very quickly, in particular if a great number of links need to be displayed. Notification_html_ENEspecially subscription update mails may contain a lot of links.

Furthermore, sending mails as plain text is just outdated. That’s why we changed the text format of mails sent via the notification course element or from the subscription module from plain text to HTML. We quite like the results.


Additional notes

  • Revamped calendar printout
  • xing and skype entries in the visiting were beautified and made clickable
  • Additional logo for user profile
  • Catalog entries have a secondary chronological second sorting
  • “Edit membership” form in course member management now personalized
  • Updated course wizard creation e-mail confirmation

Technical / Framework

  • Upgrades several libraries
  • Update to Font Awesome 4.5
  • Implemented SMTP envelope for outbound E-Mails
  • Update to TinyMCE 4.3.x
  • Extension of legacy help course system in order to integrate confluence to display the context help
  • Added validation for new top level domains for E-Mail addresses
  • Several CSS, layout and performance improvements

Release Notes – OpenOLAT – Version 10.5

Bug

  • [OO-1867] – Upgrade libraries
  • [OO-1873] – Performance improvements
  • [OO-1895] – Course owner can set a course unintentionally long to assessment mode (and not revert it)
  • [OO-1941] – RS concurrent update of identity for last login
  • [OO-1948] – Forum: Umlauts in URLs are not supported, links with such URLs will not be created
  • [OO-1949] – Group: invitation can not be accepted when following the link in the group invitation mail
  • [OO-1964] – 404 if the preview is closed on a single page’s peek view
  • [OO-1965] – Image not export in QTI Word export if editor closed too quickly
  • [OO-1966] – Sorting of authoring view does not work for some columns
  • [OO-1983] – Column “Last visit” in course member management doesn’t show correct lastModified value
  • [OO-1992] – RS if a backup file is missing in the list of versions
  • [OO-1994] – Renaming file names does not check for illegal characters
  • [OO-1997] – Text editor renders links to course elements invalid
  • [OO-1998] – VFSManager.resolveOrCreateLeafFromPath() does not work for direct files
  • [OO-2001] – CSV-export: quotes in text fields has to be escaped
  • [OO-2002] – HTML editor in notification course element invalidates local URL’s
  • [OO-2004] – Identities appear multiple times when exporting course results
  • [OO-2010] – RS if the account manager property in project broker is duplicate
  • [OO-2011] – Useability improvements
  • [OO-2012] – Archive generated after the replacement of the survey in a course element is anynomized
  • [OO-2014] – RS in QTI editor if a test is referenced in a course without author
  • [OO-2020] – Group mail broken when embedding OO in frame
  • [OO-2021] – Preformatted text in wiki HTML export rendered on one line
  • [OO-2022] – RS in project broker of a copied course
  • [OO-2026] – Searching for Orphans leads to groups with members
  • [OO-2031] – RS if group of a group task is in the revision step (coach side)
  • [OO-2032] – RS in QTI editor for choices if command is null
  • [OO-2034] – When going back, the business path URL and QR code are not correct
  • [OO-2039] – Sorting of forum posts wrong
  • [OO-2040] – Cannot access folders in WebDAV if their courses shared the same name

Improvement

  • [OO-1547] – Enhance usability in course access configuration
  • [OO-1766] – Using “All users can…” switch in Groups->Members shows no “Members” element in the left menu
  • [OO-1782] – Task: add button in assessment tool to manually close submission for single user
  • [OO-1807] – Allow renaming of uploaded file right in upload form
  • [OO-1887] – Update to Font Awesome 4.5
  • [OO-1901] – Send mail to user when transferred from waiting list to group
  • [OO-1929] – Add methods isInUserProperty() and hasUserProperty() to course expert mode
  • [OO-1935] – Avoiding problems with SMTP
  • [OO-1956] – Confusing wording concerning change the “Course info”
  • [OO-1959] – No possibility to delete or deactivate semester entry at management
  • [OO-1961] – Various CSS and layout improvements
  • [OO-1968] – Add courses sites 3 and 4 to the static sites
  • [OO-1972] – Make xing user property clickable, beautify skype userproperty
  • [OO-1976] – Allow searching of subpages in single pages
  • [OO-1999] – Support both JPG and PNG as format for course teaser image
  • [OO-2003] – Task: coach can’t download existing files
  • [OO-2024] – Missinterpretation of “Kurs verlassen/Leave Course” within “Mein Kurs/My Course”.
  • [OO-2027] – Move delete and close course action to dedicated page
  • [OO-2033] – Members view: groups are not sorted as expected in detailed view of a member
  • [OO-2035] – Update web.xml
  • [OO-2045] – Improve usability in task submission workflow

New Feature

  • [OO-725] – Lernressource und Kursbaustein “Video”, Einbindung in HTML Editor
  • [OO-1944] – Course element GoToTraining
  • [OO-1967] – Add options to hide the toolbar and the menu in course
  • [OO-1970] – Additional logo for user profile
  • [OO-2007] – Configuration option to limit displaying of users in course element members to certain groups
  • [OO-2013] – LearnTube: video site for public learning video offerings
  • [OO-2037] – New option to allow coaches to add tasks and solutions
  • [OO-2038] – Option to embed resource folder in read/write mode
  • [OO-2042] – Print feature for course members list element

Task

  • [OO-1902] – Update TinyMCE to 4.3.x

 

You can download the Open Source Software for free

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