Collaborator v.1.23.0

Collaborator v. 1.23.0 – Enhanced security, new features for chat, workshops as element of courses and training programs and other improvements.

Today we have published last summer release of Collaborator. This release contains many improvements of the system functions. But most important in this release are the strengthened security and safety systems. In this release:

  1. Improved Chat
  2. Updated WYSIWYG editor
  3. Workshops in Courses and Programs
  4. “Optimistic” and “Pessimistic” import of users
  5. Enhanced security
    – password policy, CAPCHA
    – scan uploaded files for viruses
    – the security log
    – daily safety report
  6. Chart for analysis in the summary report
  7. Other improvements:
    – Added search function for Course Catalog
    – Added badge of count for new and unsuccessfully done tasks
    – Added badge «waiting for check» for test tasks
    – New access condition in Programs
    – Polls 360 – new option for selection of respondents
    – Improved editor for question with HTML picture map

In general we have made more than 100 development tasks in this release.


1. Improved Chat

Adding files to conversation

Adding files to conversation has become more comfortable. If you add image file then it will be shown as a thumbnail in the message. If you add document or another file then it will be shown as an icon.
Click on thumbnail or icon will open the picture for  view or the file for downloading.

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Note,  you can add file to message with “drag & drop” method – simply drag the file from «Explorer» and drop it on upload button.

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Textarea increases its height with the appearance of new rows in text

It is comfortable when we view all message without use of scrolling. So we have improved the tool for editing message in chat. Textarea will be automatically increased when you are adding a new row in your message text.
You can use keys combination [Shift]+[Enter] for adding a new row. After pressing [Enter] key the message will be sent.

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Note, a just sent message can be further edited after pressing the [Up arrow] key.

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Output and ordering of search results

There is search of messages function in chat. And now we have changed the order of search results output . More recent messages are placed in the beginning of results list.
All results are grouped by date. The time of sending is shown near the message.

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2. Update of WYSIWYG editor

WYSIWYG editor for Resource (type Page) was updated. It became faster and more comfortable.
We changed buttons icons on toolbar and reordered them. And we removed function of inserting image by URL because it hadn’t been used for two years.

Now WYSIWYG toolbar has such buttons:
– edit mode as HTML.
– clearing of formated text.
– symbol format – bold, impact, underline, strikeout.
– library of typographic design for articles, selecting and applying design to article.
– paragraph format (headers, quotation, etc.).
– font select. We chose fonts that are commonly used and work on any devices.
– changing size of text.
– choice of color for text and symbol background.
– align text – by left, by center, by right, justify.
– using of bulleted and numbered list.

– insert and remove hyperlink.
– insert Embed Code (video from youtube, for example)
– insert images that are attached to article.
– insert Resources of Collaborator – gallery, video, HTML-site.
– insert design template – page layout, animated blocks, etc.
– insert table.
– insert horizontal line.
– turn on full-screen mode.

Editor can recognize images that are pasted from the clipboard

If you use FireFox browser, then WYSIWYG-editor will save an image in the server folder when it is pasted from the clipboard.
This image will be cached and won’t be download repeatedly from the server if you open the article several times.

Clearing the format in one click

The function “Clean format” removes all non-standard formatting from pasted text.
This is useful when we paste the copied text from other websites or MS Word documents.

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Syntax highlighting in page source code

Now syntax highlighting is working in edit mode with HTML code. To work with article in the code mode, of course, not an easy task.
But it allows you to achieve awesome effects to renew article. In this mode you can do things that will not let a single visual editor.
Syntax highlighting helps you be more productive with code, faster find and fix bugs.

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3. Workshops in Courses and Programs

The workshop as a separate job

In last version of Collaborator we added new type of tasks – Workshop. Its purpose – to provide remote execution and support of practical training.  It works like this.

1. The Administrator or Tutor collects materials for practical work in one resource, which Collaborator is called “Workshop”. For example, it may be a set of files:
methodical instructions to performance of the calculation, example of calculation, the template of presentation or document, the reference data and tables, the list of variants tasks, etc.

2. Training task  with type “workshop” is created with this content and is assigned to users.
The variants of task are declared for each student and they have to perform it.

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3. Next step is individual working with students. It’s like to forum conversation between two people – listener and instructor.
The listener asks questions, sends to check the results of calculations in the files. Instructor responds on it, checks results, returns on rework and comments.

4. When the work is completed, the tutor manually enters a mark for each student.

Workshop in a Course

The Workshop functionality is effective for supporting face-to-face training’s, when the trainer gives the assignment on a self-study. Each listeners can to ask question to trainer and coach will answer as soon as he can do it. Trainer can check results of tasks, write comments and return work to listener for revision.

In this case all learning materials will be combine in one object – course.
In course Plan we can make sections for the weeks of training and in each section add thematic Workshop for homework.

The benefits are obvious:

  • All work will focus on a single learning portal. Don’t need to use different Internet services to get all the necessary information.
  • The coach will get remote control of training process and he can timely to help those users who need it .
  • Reports of Workshop are included in the report of Courses – we have all reports in one place.

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Workshop in the training program

The Workshop can be embedded into  the Training Program structure like as in the Course Plan. So it can be independent task like as anyone element of Training Program.
The Training Program report contains a report on the Workshop and all results of training will be in one place.

Report on the workshop

Marks for completed tasks of the Workshop can change only manually. This is realized through the report. The report displays a list of users, status of the task and mark of evaluating if it is set.

 

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Button opens individual conversation between listener and instructor. In this correspondence discusses the execution of the task, results are sent to the checking and marks are putted for the work performed.


4. “Optimistic” and “Pessimistic” mode for import users

Collaborator has tools to synchronize users ‘data with other systems, that contain data of staff. For automate the process of synchronize  you can use API functions or you can run it manually via the import users from CSV file.

In previous versions we used the “pessimistic” synchronization:

  • if user “absent” in the dataset that is imported into Collaborator then we blocked him in the system – we consider him is dismissed and the access to the portal is forbidden for him.

Now you can switch import of users to a more “optimistic” mode:

  • if someone “absent” in the dataset that is imported , then we don’t block him. To make automatically block for users you need to import sign “absent” in users data.

This mode of import has two significantly preference:

  1. You can import the list of employees by parts. First upload one list, then another, or add new separate lists of employees  without fear, that all absent staff members will be blocked;
  2. You can transfer to system the status of employees – working, retired, on maternity leave, on a business trip, on vacation, etc.

To improve the analysis we added filter by status into the report of import user. Now you can quickly find those who have been blocked or unlocked during import.

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5. Enhanced security

In this version we have introduced a many features that enhance data security and system operation.

Password policy

We keep a history of passwords and don’t allow to change the user’s password to the one that was once used. And if the user enters wrong password two times, then it will require a CAPCHA confirmation that he is not a robot that fits a passwords.
If will take 2 incorrect attempts  to enter the password with CAPCHA, the user will be blocked for 5 minutes. Further incorrect attempts at password entry will increase the period of block. But Administrator can unlock the user manually at any time.

The portal administrator can set the maximum password age. After this period, the system will require the user password change.
The administrator may adjust the mandatory password length (number of characters) and to ban the use of simple passwords.
When such a ban is enabled, you can enter the new password by the following requirements:

  • does not contain the account name;
  • contains capital letters of the Latin alphabet;
  • contains lowercase letters of the Latin alphabet;
  • contains numbers;
  • contains special characters (!,@,#,$,%,^,&,*,(,),_,-,+,=,[,],{,},?)

Scan files for viruses

If necessary, we can turn on scan all uploaded files for viruses. This feature significantly increased the demands on the server capacity, so its included optional.

Security monitoring

Collaborator constantly monitors all actions on login, change passwords, usernames and email. If this actions are potentially dangerous or important for the security, they are recorded in a new report – “Security journal”.
All entries in the report vary by levels of importance – low, normal, high.

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If event with high or normal level is happened then message about it automatically will sent to Administrator email and through browser notice. List of new records from “Security journal” also will sent to  Administrator email everyday.

Number of new records in “Security journal” is shown as a badge  in “Reports” menu. It allow Administrator to respond quickly on a potential danger.

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6. Graphical analysis for the summary report

Summary report received infographic for the automatic analysis of users who trained.

The graph is constructed by two values – the value of activity and value of user rating. These values are calculated for the selected summary report user and specified training assignments. This graph is built only for a specified period.

The graph area is divided into 4 quadrants which is conventionally called:

  • “Effective” – they activity is low, but they get a high rating;
  • “Diligent” –  they repeatedly perform tasks and exhibit a high activity for getting high rankingg;
  • “Studios” – they still do not get a high ranking despite high educational activity;
  • “Busy” – these users do not pay attention to their assigned training.

Chart can be exported as html pages, and to explore in more detail offline.

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7. Other improvements and updates

Added search function for Course Catalog

You can search the course by title and description in the course catalog.

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Polls 360 – new option for selection of respondents

Now you can add to the survey some randomly selected employees from organizational structure. We exclude direct subordinates, direct managers and colleagues from this selection. If the head is estimated, then will be selected only employees with a managerial position.

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Added badge of count for new and unsuccessfully done tasks

The badges with number of new scheduled tasks and those tasks who performed poorly displays on the pages tab “My tasks” for all users of the system.

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Added badge «waiting for check» for test tasks

Now a badge “hourglass” are displayed for the tests that await validation of responses. Badges are shown in Course Plan for elements with tests if they have status “Awaiting verification”.

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New access condition in Programs

Access option  “After performing all the previous tasks” was added to settings of Learning Proram. This condition applies to open access to the final test, for example.

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Improved editor for question with HTML picture map

We have improved the editor toolbar – has changed button of drawing, of objects selection, button of saving the response options, button of cleaning work area and button of toggle to edit mode.

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