itslearning was updated on 9 February 2012. This time we have focused on improvements that will make life easier for teachers. We have improved the calendar and assessment record, enhanced some of the content blocks, released a new version of the editor and much more.
Watch the video below to see what's new in the release.
Improvements to the new design
In the previous release we did a major update to the look and feel, and now we've improved it even more. The Intermediate, Animal misfits and Space themes are now available in two versions: one with text in the top menu and one with icons only. This makes it easier for teachers to tailor the themes to different age groups.
We've also introduced a brand new Summersky theme, which in essence is a different version of the standard itslearning skin.
New space-saving news content block
We're happy to introduce a new version of the news content block. The new block is more compact and has a smaller font.
Improved course list content block
It's now easier to keep up to date with what's happening in your courses thanks to several new features in the course list content block. You can now see how many changes have been made since you last visited the course (the orange droplet) – and you can also see which courses have had new bulletins added to them (the grey icon).
- Read more about the course content blocks in the itslearning help!
Embed external content in pages
Now to a feature we know many page creators have been waiting for: you can now embed external content from services such as YouTube and Slideshare directly from the rich content block into pages. Look for the new 'Source' button in the editor when adding or editing rich content.
Better overview in the assessment record
The assessment record, or grade book, has been updated with four sought-after features:
You might have different types of assessments in a single course, such as for homework assignments, group assignments, classroom assignments and tests. These assignments can now be grouped together to form a category (you can, of course, create your own categories). This means you can filter your assessment records by category to get a better overview and also weight assessments differently within individual categories.
Add terms and categories directly into new elements
It's now possible to select a term and category when adding tests and assignments.
Column headers always show
The column headers in the assessment record are now always visible at the top of the grid, even when you scroll down a long list of participants.
Improved input field for marking
A new autocomplete feature enables you to give a mark or assessment quicker when marking assignments. When you enter the assessment, itslearning will suggest an assessment as soon as you type the first letter or number. This is especially useful if you use an assessment scale with many options.
New version of the rich-text editor
You can now use a brand new version of the rich-text editor. The new icons and colours give it a more modern look, but the editor works exactly as it did before.
Get more out of the calendar with resource booking and iCal support
These two new features will improve the calendar for all our users.
Administrators can now create a list of resources – such as rooms, cameras, computers, and smartboards – and let other users book them directly through their calendar.
Note: we've decided to launch this feature as a limited beta, and only selected sites will have access to it. Interested? Read about the beta program and how to join it at http://info.itslearning.net/ResourceBeta.html.
Do you use a Mac, an iPhone, Microsoft Outlook or any other device that supports iCal? If so, you can now subscribe to calendar activities through an iCal feed. Simply click the Subscribe link in the Activities content block. Read more about iCal on Wikipedia.
More information for teachers in the personal profile
Course teachers now have access to aggregated information in the person profile. In plain English, this means they can now see a full list of assessments, attendance reports and behaviour reports for each student – including assessments and reports from other subject teachers – when they click a student's personal profile. You have to be registered as teacher of that student in at least one course to see this information.
- What information can other users see in your profile? Find out in the person profile topic in the itslearning help.
Send notifications when you update an element
Have you ever found a mistake in a page, note, assignment or test and had to notify everyone that you've made a change? Now you can send notifications automatically when you make a change. This isn't a default setting (as people don't want to be bombarded with notifications about every little change), so you need to untick the 'Minor edit' box before saving the change. itslearning will then take care of the rest.
In elements with autosave, such as Pages, you'll find a Notify about changes button:
In this release we have corrected more than 100 issues. Read this document to find out more about the most important (English only).
Posted on February 9, 2012
by Øyvind Flatnes