Valamis LXP 4.0 Release Notes

In short...

  • The first thing you’ll notice is the new visual style of our default user interface. The color palette was updated, as well as the default Theme.
  • Lesson Studio has got a multitude of new features, including the new Hotspot element, support for direct links to lessons, and more. New settings enable restrictions for page viewing order and separate scores for question categories.
  • Learning Paths can be added as learning goals to other learning paths.
  • Assignments are improved and group assignments are now supported. Added support for anti-plagiarism system integration (Urkund).
  • Training Events can now be exported to your local calendar app with an .ics file.
  • Translation Editor tool has been improved, allowing you to reset, import, and export custom translations.
  • Dropbox, OneDrive, Webex, edX, and Urkund (anti-plagiarism system) API support implemented.
  • The portlet called Report has been removed in favor of future analytics system integrations.
Keep in mind that you can update to 4.0 only from 3.7 and higher. In other case, you need to update to 3.7, first.

Read further for more details.

Lesson Studio

Stricter completion rules

Strict progression setting makes it so that the user cannot skip pages and can only move to the next page. For questions, it also means that the user first has to answer the question before moving on to the next one.

Full completion required setting will not count the user attempt as finished until they answer all the questions (right or wrong) and view all the pages.

Grade questions by their category

Now, a question category can have its own defined passing score. It enables a more granular approach to quiz assessment, where the total score will be calculated with each question category in mind.

A global timer will count down time even if the lesson was closed. The user will be notified about the expired time upon coming back to the lesson.

Hotspots

Hotspots are new elements for your lessons. With hotspots, you can create special buttons on the lesson pages, that, upon clicking on them, will open up a mini-window with some extra info (text, images, videos).

You can use it to provide pop-up context prompts and tooltips.

Hotspot animation

You can change the button color and stroke width in the Style editor.

More content localization support

It is now possible to add localizations for several new parts of a lesson, like image, audio, and video elements in lessons, as well as pdf, math, and embed.

a demonstration of image localizations

Simply select a language in Lesson Studio while composing and edit the elements according to that language, i.e. upload an image corresponding to the currently selected language.

Share links to your lessons

You can now copy and paste an URL for a lesson and share it with somebody. Going to the link will open the lesson for that user if they have permissions.

Other improvements 

  • Fullscreen viewing of Youtube videos is supported.
  • Math element settings link to the TeX user manual. It will help you learn the correct way to format the mathematical content in TeX format.
  • Lesson edit locking - when another user is editing the lesson, you won't be able to do it at the same time. 

Learning Paths

You can now add a learning path as a goal inside another learning path. This will help with creating a hierarchy of learning goals and tracking the progress on various topics.

The edX API support enables a new type of learning goal - edX course. Completed edX courses on the edX platform will count as completed goals in Valamis.

Additionally, goals in learning paths now have direct links to their source, like assignments, training events, etc.

A scheduled notification setting has been added to the learning path settings, which allows you to create a custom notification scheduled to be sent after a defined amount of time from learning path completion. 

Assignments

Teamwork and collaboration are very effective in learning and by right take a high place in many pedagogical systems.

In the new version of Assignments, you can create several groups from the learners available to you as a manager. Users will submit such assignment as a group.

Only users in a group will be able to submit a group assignment. 

Groups can be either manually created or randomized from all course members.

Urkund for anti-plagiarism

The support for Urkund API has been added into Assignments, which will monitor the submissions and provide the rating for plagiarism. 

You will see the rating in the Submission information. 

OneDrive and Dropbox support for submissions

It's now possible to set up OneDrive and Dropbox APIs in Valamis. Currently, it is implemented for Assignments, where you can upload files from these services to Valamis.

Translation editor

First of all, you can now easily clear all custom translations that were added in your current environment.

You can do so for all portlets and languages at the same time or just the currently selected portlet and language.

Additionally, you can import and export custom translations in-between environments. It includes a simple conflict checker, as well.

Localization for content categories

Category titles for lessons, events, etc., now support translations. These localizations will show up in the proper language, wherever they are used (category lists, views) if such localization was added. Otherwise, the default category title is used.

To change or add translations to existing categories, you need to do so by editing the relevant categories in Liferay Vocabularies:

  1. Click Go to Other site and open the Global site.
  2. Go to Content -> Categories -> ValamisPackageTags
  3. Edit these Valamis categories by adding new translations for the titles. 

Note: The list of Available languages depends on what languages are enabled in Control Panel -> Instance settings -> Miscellaneous -> Available languages. 

Also keep in mind that, when you add a new category in New lesson or Edit info dialogs, the title goes both to the default language of your instance and the currently selected user language (if other than default).

Training events

Export event to your calendar as .ics file that can be added to your system Calendar app. This allows you to quickly add all the relevant data about the event to your preferred Calendar application.

The new filters in the sidebar allow you to filter events by type (Webinar and Classroom), language, country, city, or category

Webex API support allows you to create Webex meetings as Webinars in Valamis. You will need Webex host credentials.

The API needs to be configured in Valamis administration. After that, when creating a Webinar event, you will be able to choose a Webex meeting service. Host credentials will be requested in order to create a meeting on a Webex site. 

Users will be able to go to a Webex meeting through a link provided in Training events.

Courses 

Added possibility for learners to create subcourses in Course Manager. Several new settings related to that were added and described below.

A new setting during Course creation will define whether private, public or both types of pages for Courses can be added.

The Preferences in the Course Manager were updated:

  • Show child courses only 
  • Display organization sites

The following settings allow you to predefine the course settings for when the user creates a course. These settings will be predefined and will not be available:

  • Predefined template
  • Course pages - Private, Public, Private & Public.
  • Predefined site role
  • Predefined organization role
  • Predefined membership type
  • Limit membership to the members of the parent course
  • Predefined categories
  • Settings to hide the following fields: Logo, URL, Instructors, Prerequisite learning paths, Member limit.

In the Preferences of Course browser you can adjust the following settings:

  • Simplified view - if enabled, a more minimalist view will be used. The following settings are available if you enable the Simplified view:
     
    • Show courses - choose My Courses or Available Courses
    • Show Actions buttons - enables Join, Leave, and Send request action buttons. If disabled, users will only be able to view Courses.
  • Show number of participants
  • Replace drop-down menus with action buttons - if Simplified view is disabled, this setting switches between Actions dropdown and separate Action buttons for Join, Leave, and Send request.
  • Show only child courses - shows only the subcourses for the current course.
  • Display organization sites
  • Show sites with these templates
  • Show sites with these categories