The VSTAR Learn Version 4 upgrade comes with quite a few upgrades! Here are a few of the top new features:
1. Web address change. VSTAR Learn will get a new URL (web address) with the upgrade. This is because the VSTAR Learn servers moved from the VUMC data center to the VU data center. The old URL will redirect for several weeks, so bookmark the new URL soon!
2. Discussion forum improvements. You can now subscribe to individual discussions and you’ll automatically be subscribed to the “announcements” forum. Important forum posts can be pinned to the top of the list. You can also link to a specific post in a forum with a permalink.
3. Quiz improvements. The Quiz editing page has an improved interface. The biggest new feature is the ability to restrict access by Date, Grade, Group, User Profile and you also have the ability to include Group/User Overrides. You can now drag and drop questions instead of clicking the arrows one by one. Also included is a multiple-fill in the blank question type allowing you to have multiple blanks per question.
4. Individual/Group overrides are now available for assignments as well as quizzes. For more information, see this article.
5. Assignment improvements- The Assignments page has interface improvements and you can attach a rubric or answer template.
6. Grading- Has a new improved interface.
7. My Dashboard. You can access courses in which you are a student or a faculty/coordinator. If you are a student, you will see a list of courses that will take you directly to your grade report. If you are a Course Director or Course Coordinator, you will see a list that will take you to your Grader Report. (Administrators can still go in to Admin > Gradebook setup > to the Grader Report View.)
8. Gradebook improvements. There are many Gradebook improvements!
- The side and top columns freeze for easy viewing of column headings and student names.
- You can select a single view report by selecting assignment pencil. This allows you to view one gradebook item or a single student.
- Bulk entry is now possibly; use the checkbox at the bottom of the page.
- Ability to exclude grades is now available.
- You can drop a test, or exclude a test if you have a quiz that not everyone in the course needs to take, etc.
- New grade history report for viewing how grades have changed over time.
- Ability to view the report as a student/faculty.
- Setup page has an improved interface with a simpler view and more edit menus.
- Be aware: you can’t explicitly set the total; the new Grade report will only let you drop a score if it’s weighted equally, no extra credit, max grades same, no subcategories.
- The student gradebook has a new columns for calculated weight and contribution to course total.
- Grade importing now allows you to copy and paste directly from Microsoft Excel.
- Grade exporting now allows you to export both points and percentages.
9. New text editor. A new text editor is used in many contexts throughout the site and will periodically save what you enter into the text box to reduce the chance of you losing any work. The new editor saves every one minute. Learn more about using the atto editor.
10. Restricting access. Another new feature is the improved interface for restricting access to course content Ex. restrict access by groups.
11. Deleting Topics. You can now quickly delete an entire topic in a course, but is non-recoverable.
12. Downloading multiple items. You can now download all the files in a course folder as a zip file. This is especially useful to help students with downloading multiple images, readings, etc.
13. User Profile. The Profile has a new look! click on “Edit Profile” to make changes to your profile.
14. User Tour. VSTAR Learn admins can now create “user tours” to guide users through the Learn interface. The tours can be turned off (and reset) by the users. Admins can also force a tour to be displayed again.