R140 External Release Notes

What's new in our June 2023 Release?

This release sees many quality of life improvements across itslearning. 

New Participants Page

The Participants page has been given a complete overhaul improving the functionality and accessibility. See new participants page support article for additional information. 

  • We've made it easier to add an organisation group (previously called hierarchy synchronisation), such as a class or lesson group, to a course. 
  • By default, teachers can only add standalone groups to the course. This means they cannot add a group structure, reducing the risk that a teacher for example accidently adds the whole school to the course. 
  • We have moved Course groups into the new participants page, so that managing participants can be done from a single place. 
  • The last visited column (if used) can be found in the 360 report for consistency. 
  • The "Card list" tab has been removed as profile pictures are visible in front of a participants name.

New Resource Page

The Resources page has also been given a complete overhaul improving the functionality and accessibility. The page now has a modern look and feel, which also works better on mobile devices. 

The page offers the same capabilities, but with some new features which means that some actions have been moved. Most notably the actions 'Reorganise' and 'Select the elements to allow' are moved under the '...' button in the top right.

  • If allowed by your system administrator, there is a new option for students to download course resources in bulk. 
  • When enabled, students can select whole folders or multiple resources and download them all as one .zip file. Note that at this moment only actual files, such as PDFs or Office documents can be downloaded. Students will see checkboxes in front of each resource and a 'Download' button. Clicking the button will generate a .zip file with the resources included. It can take some time before the .zip file is ready. The user can wait for this, or continue working. We will send a notification when the .zip file is ready. Note that after 24 hours the .zip is removed, but can be regenerated.

More Options to Add Content to Planner

See New Planner support article for more information about its functionalities. 

When opening the new planner, teachers will see the option 'Use ready-made content'. This action will be available in the so-called 'empty state', but when there is already content in the planner this action can be found in the tool bar.

By clicking this option, the teacher can bring in plans or selected topics from another course, course template, or even - depending on the country - chapters and paragraphs of methods from publishers.

It is possible to preview the contents of a topic or plan to get a better overview of the content that will be included. You can use the crumb trail to navigate through the structure of the plan.

What you can select to bring into the course depends on the context you are in. If you are in the tabs Upcoming, Past or Without date, you can only add plans. If you are in the tab Topics, you can add whole topics. If you are within an existing topic, you can only add plans again.

The import will try to match the plan with different fields or set-up, and if it cannot, it will ask you what to import. E.g import the new fields or ignore them. In addition, you can choose to add any learning objectives that are added to the topic or plans you are adding to your course as well.

Better support for adding 3rd party content

We have are improved the way in which 3rd party content can be embedded by simply pasting a link. To keep up-to-date with new online services appearing rapidly and existing services being updated, we are now using a safe and secure 3rd party service called Iframely. This will be enabled for our users gradually over the summer. 

When pasting a link, we will:

  • First check if there is OEmbed content available for this link. If so we will automatically embed the content. For example, YouTube videos.
  • If not, we will check if there is so called metadata available for the link, such as a thumbnail and description. If so, we will generate a card to make the link more informative.
  • As last resort, we will show the link as a plain link.

This improvement is applied to:

  • Announcements on the course overview page
  • The Link tool
  • The rich text editor

Other Quality of Life Improvements

New planner: Sort plans within a topic

Teachers can choose how they want to filter their plans within a specific topic. They can sort their plans alphabetically or by dates. In addition, they can use drag and drop to reorder their plans.

When creating a new topic or a new course, plans will by default be sorted by creation date. The oldest plan will be listed at the top:

If teachers are not using dates in a course (defined in plan settings), the option to sort plans by dates will not show in the dropdown.

New planner: Add elements to folders

Teachers have long been able to add folders to their plans, but if they wanted to add or delete folder elements, they had to navigate to the resource page. After R140 this is fixed; teachers can add and delete folder elements from the planner.

Upcoming change - New Survey Tool

We are modernising the survey tool. It will be fully accessible, mobile friendly and shareable in the library. 

What can you expect?

  • Question types stay the same, although the look and feel will change.
  • The new tool will only support plain text (everywhere), to keep it fully accessible, simple and easy to use.
  • Any rich content (formatting, images, videos, 3rd party content) in old surveys will be displayed after the  migration, but cannot be edited. If you edit content that previously had rich content or formatting, that content will be gone, or converted to plain text.
  • There is a new export to Excel, similar to the export of results from test tool. Other exports are not available.
  • The summary report of responses is completely redesigned and provides a better overview of the responses than before.
  • All existing surveys and responses will be migrated to the new tool automatically, you do not have to do anything.

The new survey tool will not be available at release, but not long after. The goal is to enable the new tool for everyone during the summer, including migration of all existing surveys. 

Minor Changes

  • We have added pagination to the Attendance report, so it is easier to manage attendance in courses with many participants.
  • From this release your system administrator has the option to extend or decrease the auto-logout time. This can be set at the customer level.
  • We are constantly improving accessibility across the platform. In this release we have improved the assignment tool and calendar.
  • Learning path content is now displayed in "folder style" in the Resource summary (360¤ report) → Plans tab. 
  • Assessment scale can be changed even after someone started the test.

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