Updated integration capabilities for Microsoft
More and more institutions are using Microsoft Office 365, so we want to make sure that these tasks are just as easy to perform in itslearning. This release includes some enhancements to Office 365 that affect security and tool settings in courses.
- New and improved Microsoft integrations
- Immersive Reader
- Brand new ePortfolio
- Improvements to the media editor
Up-to-date Office Editor with Office Web
We are switching from Office Online Server (hosted by itslearning) to Office Web (hosted by Microsoft). This ensures that you always have the latest online office editor in itlearning, for example Word Online.
Uploaded files will still be hosted by itslearning.
Some of these features become available:
- Word Online: You can now track changes and use the Immersive Reader.
- PowerPoint Online: Over 25 additional slide transitions. And you now have the option to add icons and online media.
- Excel Online: You now have the option to quickly remove duplicates and style cells based on their values.
Clearer overview of available integrations
The ‘Office 365 / OneDrive’ tab and the ‘Office Online’ tab have been merged so that all Microsoft related integrations are available on one page.
Some new features and settings have been renamed for better clarity. Settings on the page are divided into 3 sections:
- Upload files
- Office for the Web
- Microsoft 365 for Education
Office Online: Use your institution’s add-ons
Previously, the system administrator* could enable Office Online in itslearning, this allowed users* to open and edit Office documents using the Office Online server. Additionally, when this setting is enabled, Word, Excel and PowerPoint are now automatically added when "Add page" of a course is selected.
We are now expanding the options around Office Online.
If your institution has its own Microsoft 365 account, the school admin(s) can use the Office editors from that account instead of the editors offered by itslearning.
The main benefit here is that you can use any Office add-on purchased by your institution, z.B. the Wikipedia add-on (see image).
When using Office Online from your own account, users* must log in with the appropriate MS account to edit files from itslearning if they are not logged in to the browser. To open a file directly in itslearning, you do not have to log in separately.
In addition, system admins can now use Office Online Apps ( z.B. Remove Word ) from ‘Add Page’ in a course, z.B. If they want the creation of a document to occur in Microsoft 365.
Replace Office files
Some Office files cannot be edited online, e.g.B. if they contain a macro or are password protected. To update all these files in itslearning, you can now replace a file with a new upload. This allows all "relatives" of this file to make z.B. In a plan to be kept. Note: You can only replace a file with the same file type. For example, you cannot replace a PowerPoint file with a Word file.
Improvements to the media editor
Increased security, stability and accessibility in the media editor
Easier positioning and image scaling in Text Editor:
- Use the drag icon (top left of the image) to move the image around. A horizontal line appears to show you where the image will be after you move it.
- Scale the image by using the black square below the image.
- Titles can be added to images to make the content more accessible, e.g.B. for Screen Reader.
Auto formatting on the computer facilitates and speeds up the creation of content. This includes the following:
- When you insert a URL, it will automatically turn into a link after you click on it.
- Quickly start lists with bullets and numbering.
- Enter special characters more easily.
Here are some examples:
- Quotation marks are now slightly different. Previous: "Blended Learning, the New Normal", now: "Blended Learning, the New Normal".
- You can quickly start your lists with these special characters * / + / – followed by pressing the space bar.
- You can start lists with numbers, letters or roman numerals and press the space bar afterwards. For example: 1. / a. /I.
- Add a horizontal line by pressing – or ___ followed by the space bar.
You can undo the auto-correction with the undo action. This action can be found in the tools, but you can also use the key combination ( z.B. Use Ctrl Z. Note: this feature is not available on smartphones and tablets.
It is no longer possible to add content via the toolbar of computers, e.g.B. Insert Windows or macOS devices. Instead, users are prompted to use the keyboard shortcuts to do this.
Also, the option to insert images directly from the Insert dialog is removed, in order to reduce the time taken by the image saving (Base 64) to eliminate potential delays when using the platform.
We will simplify this process in the next releases. Until then, you can use the image icon in the toolbar to add images.
The Immersive Reader is now available in itslearning
Anyone who has difficulty reading text will benefit from this new feature, which makes text and content more accessible and allows learners to personalize their reading experience.
Microsoft Immersive Reader is now available in 3 areas in itslearning:
- Announcements ( both on the homepage and in the course overview )
- Assignments ( when reading the assignment description )
When the Immersive Reader button is clicked, the text opens in a new view. Users* can set preferred background colors, fonts, text spacing and so on.
There is also an option to have the text read aloud, translated, or a picture dictionary for difficult words.
ePortfolio 2.0 for all clients
The new ePortfolio (ePortfolio 2.0) has a freshly designed navigation that is available for both new and existing ePortfolios.
- New card layout of your portfolios
- A new About me section (no longer a separate menu item)
- Each portfolio now has a new layout (with a banner), and navigation is via the menu on the left
- Items in the portfolio are now called pages
Quick distribution of assignments and tasks
Teachers sometimes need to create specific assignments and tasks for learners according to their abilities. Now you can easily assign assignments to specific learners and/or groups.
The assignment is automatically assigned to all learners. If the teacher has many learners in the course, he/she can easily search for special learners and groups.
In the supplemental information, teachers can see the number of participants for each assignment. Learner names are never visible in the additional information, but when selecting a group, the name of the group is shown. If the teacher selects multiple groups, the number of groups will be displayed. This feature is also available for tasks.
File icons for common files
Until now, the same icon was displayed for all files. With this release, we show specific icons for the most common file types, so you already know what to expect before opening materials.
Rule of thumb: we show the specific icon if the file can be seen or played by (almost) all users beforehand. For example, a .wmv video file can be played only with Internet Explorer. Therefore, over 90% of teachers and learners will not be able to play the file in itslearning. So the generic file icon is displayed for these file types. Note that ZIP files must always be downloaded. You can not be viewed in advance.
In addition to uploading files from your computer or mobile device, files can be uploaded from cloud storage such as GoogleDrive or OneDrive. It is possible to embed or link a file in itslearning instead of uploading it as a copy. If a file has been embedded, the content is displayed in the quick view of the cloud service. Nothing changes in the file icon. For example, for a PDF that has been embedded from Google Drive, the PDF icon will still be displayed.
Please note that it may take some time after the release to update the icons of older files.