Author Topic: ATutor is an Open Source Web-based Learning Content Management System LCMS/LMS  (Read 2434 times)

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Software Santa

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ATutor is an Open Source Web-based Learning Content Management System (LCMS/LMS)

Note: This is BEST Used for Schools or Organizations that have an Intranet or a Web Server with PHP available. It is not useful for single computers without XAMPP already installed on them - it is most useful for wide usage: the more users the merrier!



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ATutor is an Open Source Web-based Learning Content Management System (LCMS/LMS) designed with accessibility and adaptability in mind. Administrators can install or update ATutor in minutes, develop custom themes to give ATutor a new look, and easily extend its functionality with feature modules. Educators can quickly assemble, package, and redistribute Web-based instructional content, easily import prepackaged content, and conduct their courses online. Students learn in an adaptive learning environment.

Try the demo to experience ATutor's adaptability, and its flexibility for course designers. Download ATutor to get a copy of your own.

Why ATutor?

Accessibility

ATutor supports these accessibility standards:

    * W3C WCAG 1.0
    * W3C WCAG 2.0
    * W3C ATAG 2.0
    * US Section 508
    * Italy Stanca Act
    * IMS AccessForAll 2.0 draft
    * ISO FDIS 24751

   
Interoperability

ATutor supports these interoperability standards

    * IMS Content Packaging 1.1.2+
    * SCORM Content Packaging
    * SCORM 1.2 LMS RTE3
    * IMS Question Test Interoperability (QTI) 1.2/2.1
    * IMS Common Cartridge 1.0
    * W3C XHTML 1.0

ATutor's base in Open Source technology makes it a cost effective tool for both small and large organizations presenting their instructional materials on the Web, or delivering fully independent online courses. Comprehensive help is available through the  documentation, through a number of support services, or through the public forums. Full language support is available through the ATutor Translation Site.


Open Source

ATutor is Open SourceATutor is an Open Source project. You may copy, distribute, and modify ATutor under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). See ATutor Licensing for examples of permitted free use.

ATutor Awards

    * IMS Best in Show Award 2009 for Best Personalized Learning Solution: Presented to the University of Bologna for the paper and presentation of the AccessForAll implementation in ATutor: "A new standard passepartout: Implementing IMS AccessForAll and ISO FDIS 24751 Accessibility Standards."
    * W4A Web Acessibility Challenge Award 2009 (Delegates Award): Selected by attendees at the W4A conference in Madrid 2009, made up of in large part of leaders in areas of accessibility. The award recognizes advancement and innovation in the development of advanced Web accessibility technologies.
    * IMS Gold Learning Impact Award 2008: Selected by industry leaders, the IMS Learning Impact Awards recognize the high impact use of technology to improve learning across all industry segments and in all regions of the world.
    * Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration 2007: Presented by The Andrew Mellon Foundation. recognizing not-for-profit organizations that are making substantial contributions of their own resources toward the development of open source software and the fostering of collaborative communities to sustain open source development.


ATutor Donation

The Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, the developer of ATutor, is a not-for-profit organization that relies on grants and community contributions to support its open source development projects, and to keep its software free. If you have found ATutor useful, please consider making a donation.

Donate Now


ATutor Features

The following is a relatively detailed list of the standard features in ATutor. Also see the Modules Section for additional features and third party add-on software.
Learners

    * Accessibility: ATutor was designed with accessibility as a priority. A wide range of features ensure assistive technology users can participate fully in learner, instructor, and administrative activities. DIV based themes are available for added accessibility. ATutor conforms with international accessibility standards. New in 1.6.2! IMS/ISO AccessForAll support allows learners to configure the environment and content to their specific needs.
    * Security: Login passwords are encrypted. Forgotten passwords must be reset, rather than retrieved by email, removing the possibility they might be intercepted when being sent over the Internet.
    * My Courses : Instructors and students can manage the ATutor courses they teach and/or are enrolled in. New in 1.6.1! When a student registers they are automatically logged into My Courses.
    * Inbox/Messaging : All users on an ATutor system have an Inbox, through which they can send and receive private messages from other users. Messages sent are saved to Sent Messages, which remain for a set period before being deleted. Messages can be exported and saved externally.
    * Student Profile : Students can add personal information about themselves for other to see, and include a profile picture, which is also displayed with forum posts.
    * Adaptive Navigation: Learners can move through ATutor content using global, hierarchical, or sequential navigation tools. Navigation elements can be displayed as text, icons, or both text and icons, and they can be hidden to simplify the environment.
    * Work Groups: Learners can collaborate with others on course projects, communicate as a group through the forums share resources using the File Storage, and work together authoring project documents. Exercises or assignments can submitted to the group leader, or course instructor. This replaces much of the functionality found in the ACollab module, though it is still possible to use along with ATutor work groups.
    * File Storage: All user on an ATutor system have their own file storage utility. File storage areas can also be shared across groups, or an entire course. Version control can be enabled to keep track of drafts or changes to documents.
    * Group Blog: Each group has access to their own blog, to which they can post public messages, available to all course member, or private messages, available only to group members and instructors. Add Latex formatted mathematical notation and multimedia objects to blog postings
    * Feedback: Following an action (such as saving preference settings, or posting a message), feedback is given on the status of the operation. This could be a success message, warnings to consider, or errors to fix.
    * Preference Settings: Learners can control ATutor features and the theme ATutor is presented in. New in 1.6.1! A theme with the Fluid libraries integrated, allows users to move the menu from side-to-side to suit their preference. New in 1.6.2! Students can control visual display settings, content adaption settings, navigation controls and learning tools settings.
    * Communication Tools: Learners can communicate with others using ATutor's private mail, the discussion forums, the chat rooms, or the "User's Online" tool. Threads and messages can be sorted in a variety of ways. Students can communicate with those in other courses through shared forum, or a community forum. Subscribe to forums or topic threads to have forum messages sent by email. Students can edit their forum posts for a specifed number of minutes.New in 1.6.2!Students can search through forum messages in the current course, enrolled courses, or all available courses.
    * IMS content packagingContent Package Viewer: Learners can export content from ATutor as Content Packages that can be viewed offline in the accompanying viewer.
    * Content Tracker: Learners can keep track of the content pages they have visited.
    * Test Manager: Learners can take tests, review test results, and keep track of their scores. Course Guests can take practice tests.New in 1.6.1! Students can return to a test previous started but not completed, and begin where they left off.
    * GlossaryGlossary: Words and phrases added to the glossary by the instructor, can be accessed from terms embedded within content pages, or viewed alphabetically in their entirety using the Glossary tool.
    * Links Database: Each course, and groups within courses, has a tool for collecting links to Web-based information. Both students and instructors can add links. Instructors can manage course links, and students can manage group links.
    * Course Search: A search engine allows learners to search course content. Search for courses in the course catalogue.
    * TILE Repository Search: Learners can search the TILE learning objects repository for content related to the topics they are studying, and download content packages for viewing offline.

Instructors

    * HandbookInstructor ATutor Handbook: Instructor documentation is linked from each section of the handbook, to the screen ATutor it refers to. A link to the full Handbook is available on every screen.
    * Guest Access to Courses: Guests can be granted access to private courses through a guest URL, sent to them by a course instructor. Guests can view, but not post content to a course.
    * SCORM Run-Time Environment & SCO Manager: Thanks to Matthai Kurian and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich for creating an ATutor SCORM run-time environment (RTE) and SCO package manager. Add prepackaged, interactive, interoperable, content to your courses. Initial support for SCORM 1.2 LMS-RTE3, with additional SCORM support coming.
    * Course Tool Preferences: Instructors can choose from the available course tools and menu modules, selecting only those that are used in a particular course. Optionally display tools in the main navigation bar, or link them into the course home page for quick access. Tools can be located on the course home page, or moved to a separate Student Tools page.New in 1.6.2! tools can be moved onto their own separate screen.
    * Course Manage Page: All ATutor tools can be accessed quickly from a central course Manage Page.
    * Content Usage: Individual usage statistics can be reviewed to identify gaps in content coverage and the learning tendencies of each learner.
    * Instructor ATutor Handbook: Instructor documentation is linked from each section of the handbook to the screen in ATutor it refers to (context sensitive help). The handbook can also be searched or browsed. If enabled, instructors can add their own notes to the handbook.
    * Work Groups Manager: Instructors can manually create, or automatically generate work groups for a variety of purposes. Groups might be used to provide a private area where students can work, to create an assignment submission area, to asign a test to specific students, or for a variety of other possibilities. The new Work Group feature replaces much of the functionality previously found in the ACollab add-on module, which can still be used in addition to the new work group features.
    * Learning Tools: Instructors have access to all the learning tools that are available to learners. Context sensitive access to the ATutor Handbook allows instructors to access the right documentation page quickly.
    * File Storage: In addition to the File Manager, which contains files associated with ATutor content pages, the File Storage utility can be used to store private files, files to be shared with course members or group members, or used as a place to collect assignment submissions.
    * Assignment Drop Box: Extending the File Storage, instructors can create file folders for collecting assignment submissions, collected from all course members, from group members, or from individuals. A collection of assignments can be zipped together and downloaded.
    * Content Editor: Instructors can create content in HTML or plain text. This content can be imported from a local editor, or edited directly online. Release dates can be set to control when content is viewable to learners. Release dates extend to all sub pages in a content section when the release date for the open page is set. Content pages can be moved to different locations within a course. Related pages can be linked to content as references or relevant information. Use the File Manager while creating content. Click on the Insert button next to a file in the file manager to embed a link or an image in a page while authoring content. Add Latex formatted mathematical notation and multimedia objects to content pages.New in 1.6! Using the UTF-8 conversion module, instrucotrs can take old content, and easily convert from older character sets to UTF-8, the current standard. Content authors can include scripts and style sheets that appear in the HTML HEAD, to control the functionlity and appearance of content. New in 1.6.2! IMS/ISO AccessForAll support allows content authors to create adaptive content to match student needs. New in 1.6.2! Tests can be associated with content for quick access to a test after completing a learning unit.
    * visual editorVisual Editor: A JavaScript based WYSIWYG editor is available as an extension of the Content Editor so content creators can format course materials without knowing any HTML. A soon to be ATAG 2.0 compliant version of the TinyMCE 3.01 WYSIWYG HTML editor assists authors in creating accessible content. New in 1.6.1! Visual editor is preloaded so authors can switch between it and the text editor without reloading the page.
    * Accessibility Checker: The ATRC AChecker Web service has been integrated into the Content Editor to allow authors to review the accessibility of their content to people with disabilities who may be accessing ATutor using assistive technology. A variety of standards are available for an international audience. AChecker automatically identifies known accessibility problems, and allows authors to make descisions on potential problems that AChecker can not identify for certain. Accessibility reports are saved in the AChecker database, and allow ongoing monitoring of accessibility as content evolves. The AChecker Web service is available as a plugin for TinyMCE, so content can be assessed for accessibility directly from within the editor.
    * IMS QTI Test Export: New in 1.6.2! import and export interoperable QTI 1.2 test packages. Tests and questions can be exported in QTI 2.1 packages
    * IMS/SCORM Content Packaging: Instructors can export content from ATutor as IMS/SCORM conformant Content Packages that can be viewed offline in the accompanying viewer, or imported into ATutor or another conformant e-learning system. Entire courses, or individual course units can be packaged for viewing or redistribution. Content from other compliant systems can be imported into ATutor. Import and export complex content such as Java applets, Flash content, and other embedded programmed objects.New in 1.6.2! Content packages can be imported and export with QTI Tests, and AccessForAll adapted content together in a single package. New in 1.6.2!Content and tests can be imported from IMS Common Cartridges.
    * Reading List: Instructors can gather a list of resources (books, papers, urls etc.) related to topics in a course, and create a Reading List based on those resources.
    * Learning Objects Repository: Search the TILE learning objects repository for course related materials. Download content packages from the repository for viewing, or import them directly into ATutor. Enter a URL to a content package anywhere on the Web, and import it into your course. Export content from ATutor into the repository, login to the repository to author new content, add to, or enhance existing content.
    * Backup Manager: The entire content and structure of a course can be backed up and stored on the ATutor server, or downloaded and saved to your local computer. Create a copy of a course as a master for future sessions, or move a course to a new location.
    * News & Announcements: Instructors can post messages to the course Home Page to guide learners through the course. News can be used for weekly introductions, announcing important dates, or posting critical information. The announcements Demopage is always the first page a learner visits when they log into a course. An RSS feed can be turned on to display course announcements on other Web sites.
    * File Manager: Instructors can upload and manage course related files. Directories can be created to sort files, zip archives can be uploaded and unpacked. A popup file manager can be opened alongside the Content Editor or test question editor. Course files can be easily linked into content pages or test items as they are being created. Text or HTML files can be created or edited online. Rename files, or batch move or delete files.
    * Test Manager: Instructors can create tests with multiple choice, true/false, Likert, ordering, matching, drag and drop, and a number of open ended question types. M/C, multi-select M/C, ordering, matching, and T/F questions are marked automatically. A test release window can be created to make a test available for a certain period, feedback can be customized, and test results can be archived. Self-marking tests can be created to provide students with instant feedback. Create surveys and link them to the course home page. Select from a pool of questions to generate random question quizzes. Assign tests to groups of students. Add questions to a Question Database, then select questions from the database to assemble a test or quiz. Create image based test items, and arrange items horizontally or vertically. Questions can be arranged in any order. A test property can be set to allow guests to take tests. Add Latex formatted mathematical notation and multimedia objects to test questions.New in 1.6! A "test window" can be opened during which the test is available, and after which is locked. New in 1.6! Test questions can be presented all on a single page, or one at a time. New in 1.6.2! data from guest test takers can be collected.
    * Polls: Instructors can create one question polls to quickly gather student opinions.
    * Forums: Instructors can create and manage multiple forums for each of their courses. Messages can be edited, deleted, locked from reading and/or replying, and "stuck" to the top of a thread list if a message is important. Administrators can create forums shared across multiple courses. Request a shared forum to allow students in all your courses to communicate with each other. Subscribe to forums, or to topic threads to have messages sent by email. Instructors can set a time limit for editing forum posts, so messages can be corrected if errors are made in the original post. Add Latex formatted mathematical notation and multimedia objects to Forum messages.New in 1.6.2! past forum discussions can be archived.
    * Course Email: Instructors can send bulk email to course members, assistants, or both. New in 1.6! and insert tokens to customize messages for each individual user.
    * Course Properties: Instructors can view course login statistics, edit course properties, and send course-wide email messages. A default display language can be set for each course. Assign a course as public, protected, or private, or hide a course while it is being developed. Control student access to content packaging. Turn on an RSS feed for course announcements, and display them on other Web sites. Set the release date for a course, after which it becomes available to students. Create a custom splash page for each course. New in 1.6! Instructors can upload their own custom course icon as a visual representation of the course.New in 1.6! Instructors can add a custom course banner to give courses their own custom look. New in 1.6.1! A course directory can be customized to extend Pretty URLs (described for Administrators) creating a unique URL for each course.
    * Enrollment Manager: Instructors may import a comma separated list of students to enroll in their courses, or export an enrollment list for staff keeping. Create an enrollment list online to add new students to a course. Automatically generate login names and passwords for students and send them by email when a student is enrolled in a course. Assign students as Alumni so they can participate in discussions for future course sessions. Filter by login, first or last name, or email address.
    * Privileges: Through the Enrollment Manager, instructors can assign students access to various instructor tools, creating teaching assistants or co-instructors.
    * Addon Modules: FAQ, Google Search, RSS Feeds, EWiki, ACollab, ATalker Text-to-Speech, and SCORM Packages modules are each available with a quick installer. Many other add-on modules can be found on the atutor.ca Module Page.

Administrators

    * Module Manager: Administrators can install modules, enable and disable them, define a default module and menu configuration for new courses. Developers can create integrated and third party feature modules for ATutor to extend its functionality. Types of Modules administrator, instructor, group, course, and public modules, as well as fully integrated feature extensions, or third party add-on software. New in 1.6.2! modules can be imported directly from a central module repository, and can now be automatically unistalled.
    * Administrator's Home Page: All administrator tools can be accessed quickly from a central Administrator Home Page.
    * Patcher Module: New in 1.6.1! Administrators can install patches issued at update.atutor.ca to keep their ATutor system up-to-date, and secure. The Patcher can also be used to share custom features across multiple installation.
    * Administrator ATutor Handbook: Administrator documentation is linked from each section of the handbook to the screen ATutor it refers to. The Handbook can be translated, and mutliple translations managed for each ATutor installation.
    * Administrator PrivilegesMultiple Administrators: Create multiple administrator accounts assigning specific privilages to each.
    * Pretty URLs: New in 1.6.1! Administrators can turn on Pretty URL to have URLs with variables attached, rewritten in a more readable form. When turned on, public courses in ATutor can be indexed by search engines.
    * Master Student List: Require newly created student accounts to be authenticated against a custom imported student ID/PIN paired list.
    * Themes Manager: Easily create a custom version of ATutor by modifying or creating a theme. Type in a URL to a theme to install it in ATutor (see Themes). Assign themes to categories of courses. Export a theme to share with others. Login to submit themes to atutor.ca to make them available to the ATutor Community. DIV-based themes are available for added accessibility. New in 1.6.2! theme designer documentation is available in the ATutor Handbook. New in 1.6.2! administrators can import community contributed themes directly from the theme respoitory on atutor.ca.
    * Automated Installer and Upgrade: A fast and easy way to install or upgrade ATutor! In most cases it only take a couple minutes, with little need for technical knowledge.
    * General Statistics: View system usage statistics.
    * Secure Course Content: Secure course content directory to prevent unauthorized access to course files.
    * Instructor Request: Review requesting instructors' personal information, and assign instructor status so they may create courses. Administrators are informed by email when new requests are made.
    * User Manager: Users on a system can be sorted, personal information can be viewed, and access privileges can be modified. Send announcements to all users on an ATutor system, or to students, or to instructors. Search through the users database using a variety of search strategies to find individual students, or a group of students. Users accounts can be batch managed to rapidly add, modify, or delete accounts. View courses in which individual students are enrolled.
    * Enrollment Manager: Administrators have all the same tools for managing course enrolments as instructors do, with the ability to manage students in any course. Create an enrollment list online to add new students to a course. Automatically generate login names and passwords for students and send them by email when a student is enrolled in a course. Assign students as Alumni so they can participate in discussions for future course sessions. Filter by login, first or last name, or email address.
    * Course Manager: Much like the User Manager, courses on a system can be sorted, their properties modified, and their instructors managed. Create new courses and assign an instructor. Use course backups to generate initial content for a new course. Create shared forums for select courses, or create a community forum for all courses. Easily jump between the administration section and courses without having to re-login each time.New in 1.6.1! Administrators can create an enrolment "trigger" link, that when followed, students are enrolled in specified courses automatically when they register.
    * Backup Manager: Generate backups of courses to create master copies. Download backups for safe keeping or to move courses to another ATutor server. Use backups to generate new courses.
    * Cron Utility: Optionally schedule scripts to run at specific times. Use the Cron Uitlity to run the Mail Queue every few minutes. Write custom scripts to generate statistics, create a system backup, or to send system reminders, etc. using the cron utility to schedule when they run..
    * Course Categories: The ATutor course browser includes a course category browser, so courses can be sorted into a custom defined set of categories, perhaps by department or topic or grade level, for example. Themes can be assigned to course categories so all courses within a category look the same.
    * Language Manager: Import language packs directly into ATutor. Once imported, edit languages as needed. Create an ATutor Language Pack by exporting the language from your ATutor system. Make the language pack available to other, and submit it to the atutor.ca Translation Forum as an attachment, so others can use and continue to maintain the language. Easily search through the text of the language to quickly find and customize interface, feedback, and module language.New in 1.6! All languages are available in UTF-8, and courses can display multiple languages at the same time.

Developers

    * Developer Documentation: Guidelines, instructions, recommendations for those who wish to develop ATutor core features, bundled with each ATutor distribution.
    * Module Developer Documentation: Guidelines, instructions, recommendations for those who wish to develop ATutor Modules, bundled with each ATutor distribution.New in 1.6! Install the phpDocumentor module to generate API documentation. New in 1.6.2! modules can be exported from the module manager to be shared or redistributed to other ATutor systems.
    * Theme Designer Documentation: New in 1.6.2! Guidelines for developing themes are included in the ATutor Handbook. Theme designers can export themes to share or redistribute.
    * Hello World Template Module: A sample module that implements all potential module features, which can be used as a template for creating new ATutor modules.
    * Patcher Module: New in 1.6.1! Developers can use the patcher module to create patches to fix bugs, or to add new features or feature adjustments to ATutor, that can be submitted and added to the ATutor public distribution.
    * ATutor SVN Code Repository: Developers can checkout the live evolving ATutor source code from a public Subversion repository. With approval, developers can commit their features to the respository to be include in the ATutor distribution .
    * ATutor Bug Reports: Developers can keep up on bug fixes using the ATutor Bug Tracker With approval, developers can report to, and provide comments on, bugs listed in the tracker.

http://www.atutor.ca/
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 06:55:10 AM by Software Santa »