What we are working on
At this moment I’m already able to share some information about two projects we’re working on:
1. Notes for learners
A lot of people learn by writing down or summarizing what they read. I always made summaries of what I had to learn, this worked very well for me. We want to provide learners in aNewSpring with a tool to do this digitally as well.
Learners will get the option to create notes while they’re looking at content, discussions or even doing an exercise. One of the benefits of being able to create notes in the platform is that learners will be able to create links to content pages and activities in their notes. This way they can write summaries and add links to what they think are the most important pages.
This feature will be available for all learners but can also be turned off by designers. At aNewSpring we’re all about helping people learn but having your notes available when you take your exam is a bit too much.
Being able to add more structure and information to the concepts in aNewSpring is one of the most requested features. Especially when there are a lot of templates and courses, it can get quite overwhelming to find what you’re looking for. We’re working on a system that will enable back-end users to create tags and attach them to templates and courses. Later this year we want to enable this for content as well.
On the screen where you look at templates and courses it will be possible to filter based on these tags. This way it should be really easy to get the overview you need.
There are already some ideas on how tagging could be used.
For example tags for:
- module names;
- periods (year, month, quarter) ;
- status (to review, finished);
- certain team members who are working on templates.
The system will be set up in a way that users can create a structure that fits the way they work.
This and more will be live in August.
At the moment we're working on several general adjustments and improvements to make the platform future-proof and easier to use. More info soon!
The upcoming release will focus on improving the instructor experience. The developers are working on a few projects that I can share right away. Please keep in mind that these features can change before the release date.
The ‘Instruct' tab
The main page of the instructor will be updated. Search terms, filters and sorting will be remembered at the next visit and will work better in combination with multiple pages. It will also be possible for instructors to hide the courses they have not marked as favorites. In this way, they can create a clear overview of the courses that are relevant to them even though they are linked to many more.
Changing assessments entered in (video) hand-in assignments, essay questions, external activities and webinars
Assessments will be editable by the instructor even after they have been saved and sent to learners. The leaners will see the updated assessment and statistics will be updated as well.
It’s possible that because of the new score, some conditions on activities or blocks should not be triggered anymore. These conditions will be locked again if the learner hasn’t started the activity yet.
Assessments and scores with linked learning objectives will not be editable.
Assessment flow optimalisation
We will add a new button for instructors so that they can assess and continue to the next learner, essay or activity with one click. In this way, we hope to reduce the number of clicks needed when assessing.
Instructors can see and follow the course they instruct themselves by ‘shadowing’. This feature is often overlooked, and it’s unclear how to cancel or continue shadowing a course. We will improve the interface to fix this.
The learner can change the instructor after handing in completed (video) hand-in assignments
If a learner has handed in work and the instructor has not assessed it yet, the learner will be able to change the assessor. This option is configurable per activity.
Improved external and webinar activities
These activities will get an assignment description in which designers can provide learners with information about the activity. In addition, instructors will be able to add attachments to the feedback they give when assessing these activities.
This release will be live late November.
For the upcoming release, we’re mainly focussing on features and changes that should improve the workflow of users who are creating content and their learning journeys. There are a lot of smaller changes, but I already want to share some of the bigger projects in this preview.
New text editor
It’s time to retire our current text editor and implement a new one. This text editor is used for entering and editing text on the platform. The new editor should be more flexible, stable and come with some new features like tables and the ability to remove only the styling of the selected text instead of everything in the editor.
The way in which this new editor can be interacted with gives us some options for reducing the number of clicks that are now needed when creating content parts and questions.
The editor will be implemented throughout the platform, including the learner and instructor interfaces.
To improve the way designers can translate their vision to a Learning Journey, we will remove template types as a concept and replace them with high-level settings when creating a template. When creating a template, you will be able to indicate whether or not you’re, for instance, going to need the MemoTrainer, adaptivity or social options. You will not be bothered with those options while working in that template if you have turned the options off.
We’re also redesigning the template settings page to give a clear overview and control over what the template is about, what is turned on and what is turned off. Some options that are now on other pages will be moved here to create a general place for these types of settings. Besides these, we’ll be moving some other options to more logical locations to make them easier to find.
Making changes in published templates
Increasing the flexibility of published templates is a priority for us. We’re looking at unlocking a variety of settings and features that are currently locked in the published state. This is a challenging project for us, but besides some conditions and general settings, we’re also hoping to enable users to add and remove pages from published activities. As we progress through this release, we’ll be able to determine what else we can unlock.
We plan to release this and much more in September!
As always, we are working on a new release for the aNewSpring platform, we already want to share a few of the new features with you.
The main project for this release will be the new Portfolio feature. We want to give the learner a place where they can place and showcase their most important results and achievements. These are not restricted to results acquired in the aNewSpring platform but can also be results that are acquired elsewhere. This might be a degree, a book you read (or wrote) or a nice recommendation you received that you want to share.
The learner is responsible for creating the portfolio and is able to share it with whoever he or she wants.
We are also working on two new conditions that can be placed on blocks and activities. These will make it possible to easily add a recertification module to certification courses. The conditions will create the ability to; hide or show a block or an activity after completing a certain activity, the time period for when this block will appear or disappear can be set in the platform.
For instance, with these new conditions you will be able to provide your learners with a way to start the recertification one year after the learner acquired a certificate and hide the ‘old’ part of the course. This way, the learner can continue in the same course he or she already worked in.
Besides these two features we’re working on a few more changes/additions to the platform:
- While assessing an individual learner it will be possible to seamlessly assess all the activities that need to be assessed for that learner. The instructor doesn’t need to head back to the overview after every assessment.
- If the ‘course completing activity’ is set and the learner has completed that activity he or she should not receive any notification-engine-related notifications anymore.
We plan to release these and more early July.
Great new features in the pipeline. Thanks for the update
We are working on a new visual style for the back-end. This update includes some usability upgrades and a new menu structure. This new structure will clear some confusion users have when they switch from learner to back-end view.
These changes are laying the groundwork for more and bigger updates to user-flow of back-end users such as authors, designers and instructors coming this year!
The dashboard and course overview screens will receive a big update.
This update will result in a more user- and learn friendly environment for your students as well as responsive optimizations for mobile devices.
We will be rolling out a big update for our mobile apps. This will result in better MemoTrainings and reviewing course content on the go for your students.
The option to use an entire image as a clickable element or to add an interactive tooltip just like the ones already useable as hotspots on images.
Next in line for our student experience redesign project is the course part player. We are redesigning these pages based on feedback from user tests and from the support community.
We will not only redesign the navigation on these pages but also the way questions and feedback are displayed and behave. Students will soon have a more inspiring learning environment to work in.
More information coming soon!
New content type: Google docs content viewer. The ability to display google docs content in content parts and questions.
The possibility for content authors to use the Plus editor to design questions. The Plus editor is already used to design Content parts, all features available there will also be useable for creating items/questions.
We are adding the ability to create and use content parts on several new locations in your courses.
Explanation for blocks
Explanation at the start/end of the activity
Above the Objectives/Share tabs
Several other locations
Students will be able to view their overall results and quickly access their handed in assignments and course results.
This overview is reached via the ‘Students overview’ on the ‘Instruct’ tab. Teachers are able to see the overall progress of a student and quickly access handed in assignments and course results.
Next to the courses overview, teachers will be able to see all the students they are coaching.
Based on the timeline of a video or audio object on the same contentpage, it will be possible to display text or images on specific moments during that video/audio.
This can be used to display the presentation slides used in a recorded presentation.
The courses overview will inform teachers about new messages and assignments that are to be graded.
Ability to export the login history of all users. This includes the last known moment the user was active and the total time the user has been active.