At the beginning of April 2020, we deployed a series of feature updates across some of our primary digital products: Standards Manager, Course Designer, and our assessment tool, QuAD.
- With the Standards Manager, we primarily focused on making taxonomy grouping, editing, and viewing more powerful and customizable for users.
- We added some powerful new features to the Course Designer, with a focus on bolstering integrations with third-party resources using IMS LTI.
- For QuAD, we greatly deepened the integration with our Learning Object Repository (LOR), so the two platforms operate hand-in-hand.
Frost Standards Manager
Feature: Customize and edit the “Table View” of a taxonomy
The standards manager has a few different ways to view taxonomies. One of these views is a table view, which is essentially a grid view of the entire taxonomy. In the prior version, the user was unable to edit the columns and the fields of this view and was stuck with the default. In the update, a user is now able to configure and customize the grid.
Feature: Make a copy of a taxonomy
In the previous version, there was no simply way to make a copy of an existing taxonomy. Now, a user can navigate to any taxonomy and duplicate it with a few clicks. This is to enable users to easily set up new taxonomies based on their prior work. Users can also use this to create new editions of taxonomies and maintain detailed versioning histories.
Feature: Group taxonomies
This feature gives users the ability to take multiple, separate taxonomies and group them together. Users can now customize these groups and view them together. It’s a taxonomy for a taxonomy!
Feature: Apply tags and metadata to associations between nodes and taxonomies
In the prior version, a user was able to designate an association between individual nodes of different taxonomies. We found sometimes this simple “one-dimensional” association didn’t give the users enough flexibility and power. With this update, we now give a user the ability to further qualify and tag these associations.
Feature: Manage profile details
In the prior version, an individual user was unable to edit and change their personal information such as name, demographic information, and password. Now a user is able to edit all of these fields within the application.
Frost Course Designer
Feature: Browse learning objects via an aligned taxonomy
This update gives the user an additional powerful ability to browse the Learning Object Repository (LOR) through the “lens” of an aligned taxonomy. This allows the user to restrict the scope of the search to the set of Learning Objects that are associated with a particular Taxonomy (or set of Taxonomies) thereby getting the desired outcome quicker. A user can also save these searches for later use.
For example, a user can now browse every learning object stored in the LOR that is aligned with a hypothetical taxonomy “grade 1 math.” This effectively sets the taxonomy “grade 1 math” as the LOR scope for a user’s search. This update dramatically increases the ease-of-use and time-saving ability of the search functionality in the LOR.
Feature: Reference and use LTI resources within the Course Designer
Authors in the Course Designer now have the freedom to build content natively that references outside LTI resources. Users can now do this without setting up a separate LTI connection. This also enables the Course Designer to track student learning experience information and data and produce customized reports.
Feature: Support External Content in LOR & Designer
We improved the integration between external content providers and the LOR and Course Designer to create a more seamless authoring environment. Users can now add modules from Storyline, Dreamweaver, and videos from Vimeo into the LOR and the editor.
Feature: Blackboard Ultra Support in import & export
The Course Designer now supports creating customized packages for Blackboard Ultra. Courses that are built in the Course Designer and the LOR can now be delivered to Blackboard Ultra using a Thin CC package. Additionally, content updates made within the Course Designer will now seamlessly update within the Blackboard Ultra environment.
Feature: Access the Learning Object Repository (LOR) From Within the QuAD
We wanted to create a more seamless experience with the interaction between the LOR and QuAD. So we built a powerful connection between our assessment platform (QuAD) and our Learning Object Repository (LOR). This gives users the ability to access and use objects that are stored in the LOR, directly in the Assessment Tool. Additionally, users can now publish new objects directly into the connected LOR from QuAD as well as track usage of QuAD-specific objects that are stored in the LOR from within QuAD.
Feature: Access and view LOR Metadata from within QuAD
This update further enhances the connection between QuAD and the LOR by making it possible for uses to view LOR metadata from within QuAD. The entire set of LOR metadata is connected, covering both the Standards Manager and the LOR-specific taxonomies.
Feature: Use LOR-Objects (Assets) within QuAD Questions
Before this update, a user was able to use only the assets that had been loaded into QuAD. With this update, users can now pull assets from the LOR along with the local QuAD assets in assessment items.