Forum LAMS Newsletter: LAMS Newsletter 113, 5th March 2014

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1: LAMS Newsletter 113, 5th March 2014
03/04/14 08:22 PM
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Team-Based Learning / Blended Learning support

For the past year we've been building Team Based Learning / Blended Learning features into LAMS, with support from the the team from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, part of NTU and the Imperial College London.

These features are based on roles that single individuals play within a lesson. Essentially, your lessons can now have several groups and each group can have a "leader" that can take actions on behalf of a group. These actions can be to answer questions, ask questions, summarize the group work, challenge responses and/or voice the opinion of the group.

Very soon we'll have some fantastic presentations on how these new features in LAMS are being used with medical students in Singapore and other places.

These features are ideal for Blended Learning scenarios where there is a mixture of face to face and online tasks- especially those involving groupwork.

Many many thanks to Paul Gagnon for his support in making these features possible, and more over, for sharing them with the rest of the LAMS Community.

New Flashless interfaces

We've been working for over a year now on removing Adobe Flash in LAMS to support new mobile devices that no longer support Flash.

This has been the biggest development challenge we've faced in recent times. But we are committed to keeping the same rich user interface we had in Flash but with pure HTML 5 and SVG graphics.

So far the full Learner and Monitor interface has completely switched over without losing any of the richness and features that the old Flash interface had. We're in the process of redeveloping Author at the moment.

Another big advantage is that these new interfaces are very light in comparison. Therefore the speed and scalability of LAMS is far better too!

See the new interfaces here

Course page gets a face lift

The new course page has had a really nice face lift that makes it more usable and intuitive.

Unlike a looong list of courses down the page, each course now has a tab on the left hand side and you can pick them and the course content and lessons get loaded on demand.

See it here.

Better progress controls

Now in Monitor not only can teachers move students forward within a lesson, but also move them back to the beginning of the lesson or any prior activity (by dragging a student icon forward or backwards in the "Sequence" tab of Monitor).

This has been an important feature for a lot of teachers that need to move a student back to the beginning or make them redo a task.

When you move students back, you can choose to delete their previous attempt (in the activities that they have already done) or to keep their previous work.

So if you want students to have a completely fresh start, you can opt to delete all the work they have done previously. Alternatively, you can get them to keep working on their previous comments/posts/work.

Over 300+ fixes and new features

There's over 300+ features since the last release (v2.4). Some other key features are:

* Support for IMS QTI to import questions into LAMS activities
* Course level groups
* Flashless "Add Lesson" wizard
* Mobile friendly interfaces for quite a few tools
* Improvements for all LMS integrations
* "One activity" sequences
* and hundred more...

Gearing up to LAMS v2.5 release

We are aiming to have a new LAMS release with all the features mentioned above and hopefully a new nice skin ready in the next three to four months.

So stay tune for our announcements regarding beta-testing as you can help us trying your sequences in the new version before we release it. Thanks!

Posted by James Dalziel

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