Valamis 2.3 Enterprise Edition release - Lesson Studio
We're proud to announce the release of Valamis 2.3 Enterprise Edition – an update for award winning Learning eXperience Solution. The new version introduces various improvements to Valamis core features.
These range from design and performance improvements to introduce an entirely new feature – Lesson Studio - a groundbreaking online Tin Can API content authoring tool.
Below we present a brief introduction to the new features of Valamis 2.3, alongside with information of what have been changed and improved.
1. New design
A new fresh-looking design is presented. Many of design improvements were introduced as a result of end-user feedback.
2. Permissions management
Manage Roles functionality is no more present in Valamis Administration. Instead, permissions mechanism is introduced to control your application access and user actions privileges.
Click Options button (the gear icon) on the right of the title of your application and choose Configuration from the pull-down menu:
You will be brought to the following screen:
Here you can control actions that application users of specific role are entitled to. This provides an extremely flexible mechanism of management upon user actions performed within your application. As for our example, Content management, you control, for instance, that users having certain role (User, Guest, etc.) can view your content, but cannot edit it.
Another example is that you appoint some people to edit certificates, but publishing of them is allowed only for users with another role.
Another significant change in Release 2.3 is auto-grading system, meaning that lesson passage in Valamis now is estimated automatically.
An adjustment mechanism for auto-grading is provided within Lesson Designer when publishing a lesson as TinCan package.
In Lesson Designer, click Actions →Publish tincan.
In Author TinCan screen, turn to Success score.
This control displays a value (from 0 to 1), which serve as a criterion of treating the automatic grade that was received as a result of lesson passage. If auto-grade is greater than or equal to this value, the lesson is considered to be passed successfully, otherwise, the lesson is considered to be failed. The default value (as shown at the sample screen above) is 0.7 or 70%.
You can increase or decrease this value, clicking "+" and "-" buttons on the control.
Application of auto-grading also affected the appearance of Lesson Viewer. A status is assigned to each lesson, and it changes while lesson is in use. Status can be: Not started, Attempted or Finished.
- Not started means that there were no attempts to pass the lesson;
- Attempted means that at least one attempt to pass the lesson had been made;
- Finished means that at least once the lesson was passed successfully.
4. Navigation Tree panel in Lesson Viewer
The renewed Lesson Viewer possesses an exclusively convenient feature – Navigation Tree. It allows traversing content of a lesson at the time of passing it. For example, given you have a questionnaire, you can jump from one question to another, answering them in any order you want.
To open the Navigation Tree panel while passing a lesson, click Contents button in the upper-left corner:
The Navigation Tree panel appears to the left, so you can freely travel across questions.
5. Improved gradebook
New-featured student gradebook, besides displaying auto-grades, has one more significant improvement: a possibility of thorough commenting statements concerning lesson passage.
The view of student's gradebook now is like this:
Expanding the statements section of a lesson, you can type in multiple comments for each of the statements.
6. Categories for lessons added
Designing your lessons, now you can categorize them. Categories, lessons are assigned to, provide more convenient technique for further grouping, sorting and manipulating lessons on the whole.
In Lesson Management, click Actions → Edit.
In Edit Package Info screen, move to Categories field and type in category name. As you type, a control will appear below the field, displaying the text you type. After you have entered desired name for the category, click that control and the category will be applied for your lesson.
If there are more than one category the lesson relates to, just continue typing category names in the field and adding them by clicking "Add…" control.
7. Lesson passing period added
In Lesson Management, available period for passing a lesson, now can be defined. For a certain lesson, click Actions → Edit.
In Edit Package Info screen, put checkmark after Set available period and define starting and ending dates using calendar controls. After you save changes, passing this lesson beyond defined time interval will be unavailable.
8. Lesson Studio – a new perspective approach to lesson creation in Valamis
The Lesson Studio that we are presenting now – is a tool for creating interactive lessons using different types of content. Actually, it is a multifunctional editor where each element can be an image, an inline frame, a block of text or a question from Content Manager. On the other hand, it is not overdosed with superfluous functionality and is quite easy to master.
Lesson Studio working environment resembles workspace of some image editor.
The working area of the Lesson Studio editor can be expanded rightwards and downwards by adding pages (or screens) using Add Page buttons.
If a page you are currently positioned at, is not the left-top (initial) page, a Page Navigation tool appears in the right-bottom corner of the screen, by means of which you can move from page to page.
Add Page button
Page Navigation tool
To the left of Lesson Studio editor, there is a Component Panel containing icons for adding main content constructing elements:
Adding a block of text
Inserting an image
Embedding an inline frame
Adding a question from Content Manager
To the right, there is a Page Properties Panel for managing properties of the currently selected page (screen):
Entitle the page
Below is a simple example of how to design a page in Lesson Studio using image and text tools.
Click Image icon on the left panel. An image component will be placed in the working area.
Click button to the right of the image component to upload an image file.
A window "Drop or browse files to upload" will appear. Click browse and select an image file from your hard disk or another resource.
Add a text component by clicking Text icon on the panel. You can freely drag it anywhere within the page and resize it as you want.
Double-click inside the text component you have placed to the page. A tool panel, similar to those in text editor will appear.
You can use all the styling options and text formatting.
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