Collaborator 1.27.0 – Long Read editor, convenient webinars and many other updates

We regularly expand the capabilities of our platform and offer innovations in corporate training. Every month, we “teach” Collaborator something new. In Collaborator 1.27.0 we added a new type of information resource (Long Read), which will be interesting even for the most passive employees.

In this release:

  1. Long Read editor
  2. New features in Training programs
    • Usage of meetups in Training programs
    • Success threshold in Programs
    • Sections in Programs
  3. eTutorium webinars integration
  4. Coauthorship in courses
  5. Novelty in User profile
  6. Excel reports
  7. New capabilities of Information blocks

1. Long Read editor

It’s no surprise that users prefer to learn via mobile devices. In this case, most of the animation and slide training courses lose their effectiveness and become useless. Video content and well-designed texts (Long Read) get into dominant position.

In current Collaborator version, we added new type of Information resource called – “Long Read”.

This resource has its own special editor, which obtains the necessary minimum of tools for content creation. Its operational principle differs from the usual WYSIWYG-editors; nevertheless, it is very convenient for writing stories.

How does it differs from another and what can it do?

1.1. You type text, insert pictures and video just into the page you are working with. No need in editor window and scroll bars to get to the right tool.

1.2. The editor tools are always at hand. The toolbar will stay at that part of screen where you want it to be. Moreover, if there is lots of text (even for several screens) – all the editor buttons will be accessible for you without scrolling.

1.3. Everything in this editor is done so that you can create content without using HTML-code. Of course, there are some limitations in design possibilities, but potential problems with layout are eliminated; editing is significantly simplified and resource appearance is brought to a single standard.

Page element styling is predefined. At first glance, access to styles is not obvious at all, but once you try it, everything becomes comfortable and logical.

When you are editing an item in Long Read resource, it becomes highlighted. A status bar at the bottom of the page shows the HTML element you are currently working with.

Here, for example, we fill table title in. The cell with cursor is highlighted, and the status bar shows HTML elements, which you are working with.

If you click on the HTML tag in the status bar, you will see the form in which you can select preconfigured styling options for this item. You can choose several styles at a time. An example table:

If you possess HTML or CSS Bootstrap knowledge, you can use more delicate tool for customizing of the page elements – edit HTML attributes or write own ones.

We constantly keep looking for an attractive content layout and adding new styling sets. Watch for updates in our Facebook group “Collaborator“.

1.4. Inserting links works in almost usual way – select text, click on the button of link insertion tool and enter the address of the web page.

1.5. Insertion video from YouTube and Vimeo is enabled.

1.6. You can easily insert a table and fill it in.

1.7. History of changes is being traced and saved. You can undo and restore actions.

2. New features in Training programs

2.1. Usage of meetups in Training programs

Training programs are designed to automate learning. They set up a training sequence also called Learning path or Curriculums. A program may include not only courses, but also separate elements, e.g. tests, books, videos, polls, workshops, etc. Access to each element can be configured according to various rules, for example, “after successful passing of the previous element”.

In 1.27.0 version, it possible to insert meetups into Training programs.

For example, it convenient for organizing of training for company’s new employees.

Here is how training of newcomers can be built up:

  1.  Video-clip “Introductory speech of company’s top management”
  2. “About our company” course
  3. “Newcomer’s Workbook” file
  4. “Corporate etiquette” course
  5. “New employee’s opinion about the company” poll
  6. “Fundamentals of professional activity. Theme 1” course
  7. Meetup. Theme 1.
  8. “Fundamentals of professional activity. Theme 2” course
  9. Meetup. Theme 2
  10. “Fundamentals of professional activity. Theme 3” course
  11. Meetup. Theme 3
  12. Complex test for all themes

To assign a group of new employees for this program, just create Learning task with such a Program and assign specified newcomers for it.

It is necessary to indicate time and place of meetups, so you will need to determine this data for each offline event. Use calendar for it.

Such meetups must fall within the task’s time period. Therefore, before creating a task with the Program you need to know what, when and where will happen.

2.2. Success threshold in Programs

Prior to this version, Collaborator used Training Programs only as a way to set the trajectory of learning. Now training programs show results of passing this trajectory. Collaborator 1.27.0 automatically calculates the percentage of successfully passed Program elements and displays the current result of the user. This result does not depend on the value of the evaluation by program elements (for example, points scored for the tests). Only the fact of successful passing of the element is taken into account. Therefore, if you succeed in only half of the Program elements, then the result for it will be 50%.

2.3. Sections in Programs

When we create large training programs, it is convenient to distribute all the elements of the Program in several thematic sections. Now this function works in the Training programs.

So, training program for newcomers, which was shown earlier, may be divided into several sections.

This training program can be constructed as follows:

1. Section 1. Introduction
1. Video-clip “Introductory speech of company’s top management”
2. “About our company” course
3. “Newcomer’s Workbook” file
2. Section 2. Fundamentals of work in our company
1. “Corporate etiquette” course
2. “New employee’s opinion about the company” poll
3. Section 3. Professional training
1. “Fundamentals of professional activity. Theme 1” course
2. Meetup. Theme 1.
3. “Fundamentals of professional activity. Theme 2” course
4. Meetup. Theme 2
5. “Fundamentals of professional activity. Theme 3” course
6. Meetup. Theme 3
4. Final Certification
5. Complex test for all themes

3. eTutorium webinars integration

In 2016, we got acquainted with the developers of eTutorium webinars during the Corporate E-Learning Club (e-Learning specialists conference). These webinars have nice appearance, thoughtful and simple interface, and the number of its customers says that this solution is convenient and popular among users.

We are always pleased to work with professionals and, after several months of collaboration, we can offer our users an alternative to Big Blue Button webinars.

The main goal of integration was to keep procedure of user assigning to webinars as simple as before. In other words, dealing with webinars in the Collaborator should not fundamentally differ from other learning activities. There were some difficulties, but we sorted it out.

What you need to work with eTutorium webinars in Collaborator

You must have a registered eTutorium webinar account, i.e. you need a username and password to enter –

This information should be given us, for tuning up Collaborator for these webinars and your virtual room.

How to work with eTutorium webinars

The principle of webinar usage remained the same. To organize a webinar, you will need to create a new “Webinar”. It is important to indicate name, date and time of the webinar.

You can add description of this event and tag to the task for searching and ordering.

Webinars, like any other task, can be placed in the portal Catalog on user choice. Additionally, you can enable the auto-assigning rule for the task.

After creating the task, you need to assign users to it. Among the assigned users, select Moderator of the webinar. An invitation letter to the webinar will be sent to all participants.

Then you just have to wait for webinar beginning time and start the task. In one day and in one hour before the start of the webinar, each participant will receive an e-mail reminder about this event.

The webinar begins when Moderator clicks the “Start webinar” button. Before doing it, of course Moderator need to check camera and microphone, upload presentation and all the necessary files for the webinar. The eTutorium webinar interface is quite simple and easy to understand.

While the webinar is not finished yet (before “Finish webinar” button is pressed), the late participants are able to join it. The role of Moderator can be passed on to any participant. In addition, Moderator can show own screen, video clips and conduct polls.

4. Coauthorship in courses

Not only portal administrators can create training courses. You can create a new role, for example Coach, which will be allowed to create resources, tests, polls and courses. Coaches will have access only to the materials that they have created themselves. The creator of the material is considered as its author.

It is possible to organize teamwork – then coauthors should be specified for each shared resource. These people will have an access to these resources and will be able to amend them.

A group of co-authors can work on the same content and it is important, when there is someone who is in charge of its relevance.

In Collaborator 1.27.0, besides shared work, we added coauthoring function and possibility to change course author.

Each coauthor can change the parameters of the course, curriculum and materials that are placed in the Program plan. However, coauthor cannot change all the contents of the curriculum. He can edit only those in which he is also appointed as coauthor. And the rest can only be reviewed by him.

Coauthors for resources and courses can be appointed both by the Portal Administrator and by initial author of a specific material.

5. Novelty in User profile

We keep on expanding User profile by gathering there all the possible information for further analysis and evaluation of employees. In the last release, we taught the Collaborator to import an external rating into the profile, and we do not dwell on this. User profile in Collaborator 1.27.0 may contain  even more external data, namely – the exact period of the employee’s work in the company.

In the profile editing section, you can specify the date of hiring and the system will tell you the exact period during which the employee works at the company.

This option allows you to get the ground for the analysis of employee effectiveness. After all, how can you objectively assess an employee’s training results without knowing how much time he has worked in the company?

If user’s rating is low, this is not a reason to accuse him of laziness and unwillingness to learn and work hard. Perhaps, a person has just recently come to the company (for example, a month ago) and has not yet managed to improve own ratings (educational or external).

However, if success threshold of an “experienced” employee, whose employment history can be reckoned in years, is low – this is a good ground for thinking.

6. Exсel reports

One of the many benefits of Reports in Collaborator is an ability to export results to MS Excel. Nevertheless, in previous versions, this format was not very easy to use. Reports on different Tasks could look different and not always easily perceived at first sight. We corrected this and brought them to one standard form.

Collaborator 1.27.0 displays reports in the form of three compact and intuitive tables. One of which contains information about the task. The second is brief statistics (the total number of assigned users, number of users who completed the task successfully or failed it, and people who started completing the task or did not start at all). The third is the main information of the Report.

7. New capabilities of Information blocks

We continued updating of the main portal page. Now, it does not necessarily to enter all the information manually while editing the Information block, “News” and “Announcements”. You can simply insert Resource there. This simplifies the work and gives you more opportunities to create the most convenient page.

Information blocks can now contain audio or video material, task, test, book, course, site, etc. For example, you can insert video messages from company director, audio recording, photo gallery of employees or photo report of an event.

We closely follow the new trends, ideas and original solutions in the world of eLearning and implement them in our Collaborator platform. Try to create stories using Long Read resources. Let them talk about your victories, dedication, perseverance, and motivate your employees for team work!

Universal and simple editor for Long Read stories, new webinars from eTutorium, meetups in training programs and many more additional functions are already enabled in Collaborator 1.27.0!

Do you have any ideas, which can make Collaborator even better? Then write to our Facebook page:
Your opinion is very important for us and we will be happy to discuss any issues about the system or its implementation and help you by useful advice.

Best regards,
Collaborator team.

Оля Пахомова

Content Manager LMS Collaborator

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