Valamis LXP 4.1 Release Notes

What's new?

We are proud to announce the new Valamis LXP 4.1 version! Several exciting new features were added in this version, including:

  • Private messaging for users, allowing them to communicate with ease in their learning environment. 
  • User Notes feature gives an option to add personal and public text notes to any page.
  • Content recommendations will curate Valamis courses, and will provide recommendations, based on user's previous learning. 
  • GSearch support gives a powerful alternative to the default search tool. It is integrated with Valamis, allowing to search for lessons, courses, and more. 
  • Liferay 7.1 support added.
  • More improvements to the existing Valamis functionalities.

Read further for more details.

Messages

Valamis users can now send private messages to each other through our own messaging tool. Currently, it supports two-way communication. 

Click Compose, search for the user you want to message to, write the subject and the content of the message, and send it. It's as simple as it goes. 

Users will be notified about new messages received through email and normal notifications. 

Support for group messaging is planned for future versions. 

Notes

Notes are a new tool for the users to write comments on any page.

Click on the Notes icon in to open up the sidebar notes.

Here, you will see all your notes, as well as public notes from other users for that page.

Notes are private by default, but you can make your note public for other users to see. You can filter by those types in any list of notes.

To open the full notes interface, click this button.

The full list of notes shows the notes from all pages, provides URLs for them, and allows you to search for notes. 

Notes can include hashtags, which will help you search for any related note.

You can export notes to PDF either individually, in bulk from a specific page, or from the full instance.

Learning path improvements

  • You can now filter by languages in Learning Paths portlet. Note that it is different from the way it works in Lesson Viewer. Learning Paths do not include several localizations, which means that for every language you have a separate LP.
  • You can enable filtering by user language by default in the Preferences, which will automatically filter out the irrelevant languages to the learner.

  • Additional preferences also include predefined categories of shown Learning Paths. Only the learning paths from the categories selected here will be shown in the list of learning paths.
  • A Completion review required setting has been added to Learning Paths. It defines whether the learning path can be automatically completed by achieving all the goals, or it should be also checked by the instructor as completed. A new status In Review has been added to indicate the current state of the learning path completion. 

Events

  • Filtering by user language by default is also available for training events the Preferences, which will automatically filter out the events with irrelevant languages to the learner.
  • Another new feature is the ability for instructors to leave a comment on any Training Event. This comment will be seen by other instructors only.

  • A new notification added, for when the user was excluded or left from the training event.

Lesson tools improvements

Lesson Viewer

  • You can now filter by languages in Lesson Viewer portlet. Once selected, only the lessons that contain that localization will be shown.
  • An automatic page size scaling will now fill the available screen space for the viewers.
  • You can also enable filtering by user language by default, in order to show only the lessons that are available to be viewed in the user language.

Lesson Studio 

  • Widescreen device option has been added to the composing mode in Lesson Studio. Now you can finally create lessons for 16:9 screens. This format will be used as a default format for newly created lessons.

New settings for Course manager

  • The creation of organization sites is possible through a setting when creating a new course. It also creates an organization associated with this site.
  • A Grade permission has been added to improve your permission customization possibilities.
  • The possibility to choose a user group in the Course Manager setting helps you organize the members.

Let’s see how it works: the new members of the course will be added to a special user group related to that course. After that, e.g. when you create a Learning Path and add this user group to it, the new participants of the course will automatically also become participants of this learning path.

Course manager Preferences were updated:

  • Course credit option was implemented, which allows you to assign a credit score to the users who complete the course. Once enabled in Preferences, users can define a number of credits that would be given for their course.
  • Show Valamis categories - enables you category selection used in Valamis, when creating a course. This opens up the possibility to have Predefined categories, that are automatically assigned to newly created courses by instructors. In this case, they will not be able to choose a category.
  • Show Liferay categories - enables showing vocabularies (collections of categories) from the whole instance, not specifically related to anything in Valamis. This may be useful for administrators.

Course recommendations

Content curation greatly improves the user experience, allowing the system to recommend only the most relevant Courses for the user. This, in turn, makes learning more focused and quick. 

Courses in Valamis can be categorized, and these categories will then be used for recommendations. Uncategorized content, naturally, will not be featured in the content recommendations, so make sure to create and assign appropriate and specific categories to your courses.

Whenever a user joins a categorized course, the system will note that as his interest and will start recommending such courses to them. The more they join the courses from the same category the more it will be prioritized. 

From the start, when the user hasn’t joined any courses, the recommended courses come from the categories set up in the user profile, if there are any. Go to User Information - Categorization to set them up for a user. 

If there aren’t, a random selection of courses will be shown. 

Miscellaneous

  • The support of Liferay 7.1 is added in this version

  • Changes in the organization structure: The org admin and org member only see the courses where they are members.

  • The final user list for an administrator in Gradebook will show the users from their organization hierarchy and only those who are members of the currently selected course.

  • GSearch support has been added. Now, when configured, it can be used as a default search tool for your environment. It can search and filter by Valamis entities, like lessons, training events, etc.