December 16, 2009
*ATutor 1.6.4 Released*
ATutor 1.6.4 is now available. Current users should upgrade as soon as possible. To try the new features in this release, visit the demo site at the link below. Or, download a copy to setup your own installation.
*ATutor 1.6.4 Demo*
*ATutor 1.6.4 Download*
*What's New in this Release*
*Common Cartridge*: The primary addition to this release is support for the IMS Common Cartridge Lite 1.0 content interoperability standard. This standard combines IMS Content Packaging and IMS Question Test Interoperability (QTI), as well introducing tool interoperability with the ability to now associate activities with content. Changes for Common Cartridge have also added Web links to external Web sites as content pages. (Thanks to the Ontario Enabling Change program for funding this work, and the University of Bologna's Department of Computer Science for their contribution.)
*Common Cartridge Importing*: Import any of the hundreds of existing common cartridges to quickly add learning materials to courses. Visit the Open University's OpenLearn site ( http://openlearn.open.ac.uk ) for a large collection of cartridges released under a Creative Commons license, that can be freely imported into ATutor.
*Common Cartridge Authoring*: Using the built in content authoring tools in ATutor, create your own common cartridges, or take an imported cartridge and customize it.
*Common Cartridge Exporting*: After creating a new cartridge or modifying an existing one, export the cartridge so it can be reused in other ATutor courses, or imported into another LMS that supports the common cartridge standard.
*Common Cartridge + AccessForAll*: If you are creating adaptive content based on the IMS AccessForAll standard, or the ISO FDIS 24751 standard, export your adapted content as part of a common cartridge, and import your adapted content when adding cartridges to a course.
* *Other New Features* *
*Prerequisite Tests*: Instructors can setup prerequisite tests with content folders to automatically give students access to content in those folders when they pass (or take) a test. (Thanks to Bridgepoint Health, Toronto)
*User Interface Enhancements*: More Fluid features have been integrated into the ATutor user interface. The Fluid inline editor allows authors to edit the content navigation menu directly. And, new folders and content pages can be added using the editor tools embedded in the menu. Menu boxes can now be collapsed or expanded to customize which tools are displayed. The old sub menu has been replaced with a new tool bar to provide easier access to various tool components. The Browse Courses screen has been updated with a cleaner look, and a more fluid layout.
*Package and Backup Conversion*: With the new content structure added to support common cartridge, old content packages, and old course backups are automatically converted to the new structure when imported or restored. All content in an ATutor installation is converted to the new structure during a system upgrade, so in many cases no extra effort is required to convert to the new content structure.
*Extended Social Profile*: More optional personal profile characteristics can now be added to an individual's ATutor network profile such as weight, height, eye colour, languages spoken, ethnicity, alternate contact or representative, disabilities, and more (Thanks to Lights, Camera, Access http://www.lightscameraaccess.ca\)
For a full list of changes, including new features and bug fixes, see the atutor.ca bug tracker ChangeLog.
* *Translation* *
Translators can now update the languages they are maintaining to include the language for ATutor 1.6.4. There are only a handful of new language items in this release, so updating from the previous version should not take more than a few minutes.
*What's Coming Up*
*ATutor Transformable*: Work has begun on the ATutor learning content authoring tool and repository. Transformable, it's development name, will allow content authors to prepare elearning content, create AccessForAll adapted versions of their content, and import or export content in content packages or common cartridges. With a full set of Web services, LMS developers will be able to program an interface to the repository, so content, and its adaptations, can be presented in any learning management system that supports Web services or IMS content interoperability standards.
*ATutor Mobile*: A new mobile theme has been roughed together in 1.6.4 in preparation for new themes being created over the next development cycle for iPhones, Blackberries, and Android phones. You'll soon be able to use your mobile device to access your ATutor courses.