Valamis LXP 4.2 Release Notes

We’re proud to announce a new Valamis LXP version 4.2! The new update includes several improvements, including:

  • Quick lesson creation from files or video links from Youtube or Vimeo.
  • Easy content sharing through Messages and links.
  • Course completion criteria and publishing improvements.
  • Refined user recommendations and content ribbons with new settings.
  • Seamless integration of custom analytics dashboards. 

These and many other improvements are described further.

New ways of creating lessons

From now on, you will have several options on how to create a lesson in Lesson Studio, when clicking the New lesson button.

  1. Compose a new lesson from scratch.
  2. Import a file to be converted to a lesson. It could be a PDF, PPT(X), video, or audio file.
  3. Provide a video URL from Youtube or Vimeo (here, API configuration is not required, but recommended for fetching cover images, info, etc.)

You don’t have to immediately publish a lesson from video, because you may want to edit some details before that.

Vimeo API can be configured, which allows using video content from Vimeo as a source for a video slide element, just like with Youtube.

Course improvements

Course publishing

Since Courses are in many ways equivalent to Liferay sites, it’s important to make a distinction, where it matters. Liferay sites are created through the Liferay control panel and don’t have learning-related settings.

Courses are only created through the Course manager. Created courses can be saved as a draft, meaning that only certain members will be able to access it (for construction purposes), or be published immediately or later. The course status is indicated in the main view.

Liferay sites are visible in Courses manager and marked as Non-Valamis sites. They can be filtered out of the list. They are also not visible in the Course browser for learners, which only shows courses.

Non-Valamis sites can be converted to Courses by publishing them in Course Manager.

Completion criteria

A course can have completion criteria defined. There are several options on how to confirm the completion:

  • Manual approval may be required, meaning that the instructor will need to give a course grade for the user.
  • All lessons and/or learning paths on the course may need to be completed in order for the course to count as finished.

These options can be combined together in any way, but at least one has to be selected.

Course keywords

Keywords can now be used to index courses. If you want some topic to be relevant to the course, but don’t want to mention it in the title, description, or categories, you can use keywords for this purpose.

Professional development hours for Courses

You can now define Professional Development hours for a course, which may include specific hours (e.g. ethics hours). The number of hours will then be stated in an xAPI Statement when the user completes the course. This data (and credits) can be used in learning analytics.

Organization courses user management

A new Manual membership management option in Course Manager was added. This defines the user management scope for instructors.

New preferences for the Simplified View

New settings were introduced to the Course browser’s Simplified view:

  • Show/hide course ratings
  • Limit the number of courses shown, and define the link of the relevant See all button.

Course manager preferences improvements

The Preferences in Course manager were re-designed for greater usability. The settings are now organized into groups with similar functions. 

Sharing learning content

Content sharing capabilities have been improved. Now, the content, like lessons, learning paths, or training events can be shared as a link in a private message to another user.

Just click the Share button to open up the sharing options.

In this example, you can either share the link to the lesson in a private message to another user, post it to the Activity feed, or copy the link to clipboard to paste it somewhere else.

In general, you can now copy links to different content, like Assignments, Courses, Training events from their corresponding pages or search results.

Recommendations

The Content ribbons portlet has been expanded with several new Preferences for displaying content.

Aside from the Recommendation option, you can now display either the most popular content, and trending weekly or monthly.

Besides lessons and courses, you can also feature learning paths and LinkedIn Learning courses as recommended or trending content.

You can select the option to ignore user history in the content recommendations, which will mean, for example, that the user will still see the lessons they’ve already passed.

You can filter the content by category and vocabularies.

Reports

Custom Valamis reports can now be implemented into your environment on any page, using the special display portlet, connected to the analytics system to present the dashboards.

The analytics tool allows for great flexibility in style, visualization, and scope of displayed data. The exact configuration is individual and tailor-made for each organization’s needs. Currently, only Company admins will see the reports.

Other improvements

  • Visual theme improvements:
    • You can now add new links to the sidebar in the Theme settings.
    • Notifications page visual style has been updated to Valamis 4 Look & Feel.
    • A new link for Messages has been added to the top of the page, which can be enabled or disabled.
  • Search improvements:
    • Search results now support document preview for Powerpoint files. With this, you can browse slides right from the search results page without downloading the file.
    • Preview and Download Statements are sent to LRS with these actions.
  • Events filtering in Upcoming Events portlet:
    • Can limit the displayed events to only the ones that the user has joined.
    • Set the visibility of the number of participants and Join button.
  • Learning paths improvements:
    • Liferay category vocabularies can now be used (set in Preferences)
    • A new tab in Learning Paths portlet for inactive learning paths.
    • Configurable item display limit for My Learning Paths portlet.
    • Learning Path info window has been slightly redesigned.
  • You can now reset the lesson timer in Gradebook, which will allow the user to start the lesson over.
  • Activity filtering has been expanded with lots of options to choose from, like various types of activities.
  • You can now send a message to all Training Event participants from the event info window.
  • General performance improvements and bug fixes.