Ein weiterer Meilenstein in der barrierefreien Entwicklung von eLearning-Anwendungen aus dem Open-Source-Bereich ist ATutor mit der Version 1.6 gelungen.
Die besonderen Highlights:
- Neues "look and feel"
- Zwei neue XHTML-basierte Layouts (default & greenmin)
- Rekursive Inhaltsveröffentlichung
- Integrierte AJAX-basierte Google-Suche
- Textbausteine zum personalisierten Kurs-eMail-Versand
- und Vieles andere mehr
Originalmeldung vom February 4 2008:
*In this newsletter*
- ATutor 1.6 Released
- New and Updated Modules
- New Look for atutor.ca
- Google Summer of Code
- A Comparative Study of Virtual Learning Environments
*ATutor 1.6 Released*
ATutor 1.6 has been released. Current users should upgrade their systems to take advantage of many bug fixes and security enhancements. The most notable change in this release is the conversion of the entire system over to UTF-8 languages.
*UTF-8 Upgrade in this Release*
This release marks a significant change for ATutor, moving the entire system over to UTF-8 characters for displaying language, an improvement to the previous system where different languages used different character sets. This move greatly improves support for multilingual ATutor systems, and for multibyte languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and others. It also allows content-authors to use mixed languages in their courses.
Details of the UTF-8 conversion can be found on the ATutorWiki
ATutor UTF-8 Conversion
*New Features in This Release*
- A new look and feel
- Two new DIV based themes (default & greenmin)
- A custom course-icon utility
- The ability to customize individual course headers
- Recursive content release
- Upgrade to new ajax-based Google Search
- Tokens to personalize course emails
- The ability to present tests and quizzes one question at a time
- Upgraded Visual Editor with latest version of TinyMCE
... and a large number of refinements to existing features
A full list of changes can be found in the ATutor Changlog
*Download ATutor 1.6*
*ATutor 1.6 Demo*
*New and Updated Modules*
*Photo Gallery* : The Photo Gallery module has been upgraded to include the *Fluid LightBox* , which adds drag and drop reordering of images in the gallery. Fluid is a collaborative project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in which a variety of user interface tools are being developed as an open source library that can be included with any Web-based learning or content development system. ( http://fluidproject.org )
*UTF-8 Conversion* : This tool takes older content created in ATutor, or in other content authoring tools, and converts it from other character sets to UTF-8. Upload an ATutor Content Package, or an ATutor Backup, to have them updated for the new UTF-8 based ATutor system.
*PHPDocumenter* : This is a developer tool used to extract the ATutor API documentation and present it in an organized, usable form, to aid in development of new ATutor features.
*Announcement Subscription* : Developed at the Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine, this module allows course members to subscribe to course announcements, and have them sent to their email address.
*New Look for atutor.ca*
In keeping with past tradition, each new ATutor series takes on a new look, and the 1.6 series is no different. If you have not already done so, visit the new atutor.ca Web site to see the new look, and add your comments to the forums. Again, ATutor itself has also taken on a new look, similar to the atutor.ca site. The new-look theme for ATutor can be found at the Demo location listed above.
New ATutor Community Web Site
With the award funds received from the Andrew W. Mellow Foundation, we'll be able to add a number of new features that have been on the "todo" list for some time. Among many other minor planned enhancements, here are a few of the more significant features that are being considered for the upcoming development cycle:
*Gradebook*: A tool for integrating marks from ATutor tests and assignments, as well as the ability to add external marks, customize marking schemes, generate statistics, and output various reports for students and instructors.
*Static URL*: Replace URLs displayed by ATutor with cleaner, more easily search-indexed URLs, making courses searchable with Google if instructors so desire.
*IMS Content Package Upgrade*: Upgrade to IMS CP 1.1.4 to bring ATutor content import and export up to date with the current specification.
*IMS Question Test Interoperability* : Finish the IMS QTI 2.1 test and question import tools, so that tests exported from ATutor, and from other IMS QTI 2.1 compatible systems, can be imported into ATutor.
*Google Summer of Code*
The announcement for this year's Summer of Code is only a few weeks away. Google will provide up to $10,000 US to support a student working on an open source project. Last year more than 900 students were supported. If you would like to work with the ATutor team, and the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto, review the requirements and let us know what you'd like to work on. Choose from those projects already suggested, or design a project of your own.
*A Comparative Study of Virtual Learning Environments*
There is currenlty a study underway at the Department of Information and Computer Science at Kagoshima University (Japan), looking at the experiences of learners, instructors, and administrators who are using one of several popular open source online learning systems. ATutor users are encouraged to participate by completing the survey questionnaire appropriate to their role when using ATutor. Follow the links from the atutor.ca forums to one of the three short questionaires.
Comparative Study on Virtual Learning Environments