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itslearning Release 68

Release Highlights

Welcome to release 68 of itslearning. The main highlights of this release are:

  • Better onboarding – signposting new features and helping users get the most from itslearning.
  • Cloud file support for existing assignment tool.
  • New assignment tool - rollout for new customers (existing customers to follow later this year).


We want to help users get the most from using itslearning. We have built a set of visual tools to highlight new features and give hints and tips on features. In this release you will see the first of these. We are being careful not to have too many messages – we do not want them to get in the way of using itslearning! Once we have shown you a new feature is or what you can do with it, we will not nag you again about it.

Throughout the autumn we will add more onboarding across itslearning. So new users can see how to jump in and get working. Existing users might see new and different ways to use itslearning.

In this release we are going to give an optional quick guide to the new look and feel and features. Once viewed it will disappear or you can just dismiss it.

Figure 1. Onboarding for refreshed user experience

If you are using the new instant message system, we will remind users about where they can find their archived messages.


Figure 2. Onboarding for the new message system

For users of new itslearning only, you will see a blinking dot that will highlight new features. Click on it to learn more. Over the next few months we will add more onboarding to new itslearning to help users get the most from the enhanced user experience.

Figure 3. Example onboarding in new itslearning.

Cloud File Support for Assignment Tool

We are adding new features to the assignment tool for all customers.

  • When creating assignments teachers can upload files from Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox to the assignment.
  • When submitting assignments students can grab files from Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox (as well as upload them from their computer/device).

Figure 4. OneDrive in assignments

New Assignment tool - Initial Roll-Out to New Customers Only

Over the last year more than 25 million assignment answers have been submitted in itslearning and more than 2 million new assignments have been created. A lot of effort went into creating these assignments - so wouldn't it be great if you could share the load? Assignments created with the new assignment tool can be can be shared in the library - to teachers within the same school, on the same site or with the whole itslearning community!

We wanted to share a preview of the new assignment tool now. It will roll-out to new customers from this release and we will migrate existing customers seamlessly later.

The new assignment tool works well on all devices and screen sizes. Following feedback from users, we have simplified the workflow, but kept all of the more advanced options for expert users.

The New Assignment Tool

The new assignment tool has a streamlined layout with all of the most used options on one page.

Figure 5. Create assignment

You can add title, description, file, deadline, assessment scales, files, learning objectives, rubrics from the same page. More advanced options (such as group management, anonymous submission and plagiarism detection) are still available.

We've simplified the way a deadline can be set. If you want to set a deadline, check the option 'Set deadline'. In the date picker that opens, days with a course event on it are highlighted. But you can choose any date you'd like.

Viewing Assignments

When viewing an assignment that you've created or have added from the library, there is a refreshed view. Teachers can quickly:

  • change the visibility of the assignment with the toggle
  • view which students have or haven't submitted this assignment in the progress section
  • view and directly manage the learning objectives for this assignment

Figure 6. View Assignment

We will add more information to this status panel over the coming months.

Student Answers

We have made some changes to the student answer page. Only students that have actually handed in an answer will be shown in the grid. The students that haven't submitted can been seen by clicking the 'View' link next to the progress bar. You can send reminders or even assess these students.

Figure 7. View student answers

To assess a student that has submitted, simply click on the name.


Figure 8. Assessing students

Comments allows for discussions (or feedback loops) between the teacher and the student, or students in a group assignment. Teacher notes allows the teacher to write notes around the answer that are not visible to student. This can be as a point of attention for him/herself for future assessment, but can also be used for discussions between teachers if there is more than one teacher involved in the assessment process.

Figure 9. Teacher Comments


We are working on on-line assignment annotation tools now as we continue to improve the assignment tool. Look for these in a future release.


Sharing an Assignment to Library

To share an assignment with other teachers, simply choose 'Add to library' under the options cog. This works the same as for Pages, Files and other tools that can be shared.

Figure 10. Share to Library


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