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With OpenOlat 15.4 we release our next major release.

With the integration of Microsoft Teams Online Meetings, the range of virtual rooms in OpenOlat is again supplemented, this function is available in several areas. The wizard for exam courses facilitates the creation of online exams and guides step by step through the course configuration and setup. Usability has not been neglected either: the appointment scheduling element in particular has become visually clearer and easier to understand. But also OpenOlat-wide, various optimizations such as numbered rows in import forms and the highlighting of column sorting in tables provide a breath of fresh air. The BigBlueButton integration also offers innovations such as the upload of presentation files already before the online meeting, an access code for external participants as well as additions in the administration area. In the course and authoring area, member management in particular has been optimized, and course typification helps to maintain an overview. The support of Keycloak oAuth Login, the introduction of temporary user accounts and other numerous adjustments complete this release.

Overall more than 80 new features and improvements have been added to OpenOlat since release 15.3 and many processes have been improved. Here, you can find the most important new features and changes. In addition to these improvements, more than 120 bugs have been fixed. The complete list of changes for 15.3 – 15.3.9 can be found here.


Release date: 22.01.2021

Last release: 29.01.2021





Microsoft Teams Online Meeting integration

From now on, the use of Microsoft Teams Online Meetings is also available in OpenOlat. The integration was implemented - analogous to BigBlueButton - in the following areas:

Microsoft Teams course element
Microsoft Teams course tool in the course menu
Microsoft Teams group tool
Microsoft Teams meeting tool in the course element appointment scheduling

Microsoft Teams is a product from Microsoft. To be able to use Microsoft Teams online meetings in OpenOlat, an app must be created in Azure and equipped with the appropriate rights. This requires at least one Microsoft license, e.g. "Microsoft 365 Business Standard".

The Microsoft Teams Online Meeting feature is optionally available in OpenOlat and must be enabled and configured in the administration.

The Azure App configuration data is stored in the OpenOlat administration. Optionally, a default user can be specified so that meetings can also be started if the user is not found in the configured Azure client. Customers of frentix please contact contact@frentix.com for this.

For implementation advice and support, contact support@openolat.com.




Course typification

With the course typification, courses are differentiated on the one hand "Technically" and on the other hand "Didactically". This provides a better overview of the course learning resources in the authoring area, a more targeted search / filtering for specific course types and provides information on the classification of the course.

The "Technical course type" refers to the design as well as the available structures and settings of the course. Currently, a distinction can be made here between Learning Path Course or Conventional Course.

"Didactical course types" refer to the course setting or the actual content of the course. For example, it can be an exam course, self-learning course or seminar course. Currently the exam course is available as a standard type, the list of didactical course types can be extended in the administration. Didactical course types can be equipped with their own CSS class, e.g. to highlight them in the course and in course lists.

Technical and didactical course types are independent of each other. Thus, a self-learning course can be set up both as a conventional course and as a learning path course.




Exam course wizard

Creating a simple course with the help of a wizard has been possible in OpenOlat for some time. With the new exam course wizard, an exam course can now also be created specifically and quickly.

Step by step, the time period, correction and viewing of the results for the exam can be configured. It is also possible to create a follow-up examination and provide a certificate. Finally, coaches and examinees can be assigned.

If an examination period is entered, an assessment mode for this period is automatically configured in the created examination course.




Optimization for "Appointment Scheduling"

In addition to extensive usability improvements, it is now possible to duplicate an occasion (formerly "topic") including all or selected appointments, which is very helpful for similar appointment blocks (see screenshots).

The creation of multiple individual appointments with specification of the duration makes it possible to include variable times. If needed, the display of enrolled participants per appointment can be hidden. In addition to BigBlueButton rooms, Microsoft Teams Online Meeting rooms can be activated for appointments analogously.

Participant view

Owner view




BigBlueButton - Enhancements

To support the authors and coaches in the administration and preparation of the virtual classroom, the integration of BigBlueButton has been extended by some functions.

Coaches can upload their presentation slides to the BigBlueButton appointment before the meeting begins. As soon as the meeting starts, the presentation files are automatically uploaded to the BigBlueButton room.

If a meeting is also accessible to external users via URL, a password can also be generated if required. This must be entered by the external participants before entering the BigBlueButton room, otherwise no access will be granted.

For better management of all BBB appointments in the administration, a search function and a filter have been added, as well as the possibility to delete several appointments collectively.

If an external Opencast server is used to store BigBlueButton recordings, these recordings can be marked as "Permanent". When deleting the meeting or course, these recordings will then only be deleted on OpenOlat - not on the Opencast server.




New features in the course

BigBlueButton and Microsoft Teams Online Meetings are now also available as course tools. Centralized access via the course menu means that the actual learning process (especially in the sequenced learning path) remains undisturbed.

A new wizard for course member management improves the workflow to add and remove roles from the course.

Variables available in e-mail forms and course mails have been harmonized OpenOlat-wide, the mail footer has been supplemented.

When optionally sending mail messages, groups or curricula can also be selected as recipients.




Additions to the author area

  • Bulk action to add or remove owners to learning resources
  • Display of "External reference" in learning resources selection dialog




Enhancements in the user administration

  • Introduction of an expiration date for temporary user accounts (see screenshot).
    • Tool for creating temporary users
    • Option for self-registration can be activated
  • Login via Keycloak oAuth provider is supported
  • Mass search: search for multiple users by username, email or institution number possible
  • Confirmation of change of a user's e-mail address can be overridden by administrator




Usability

  • Display of row numbers in import forms (e.g. user import)
  • Improved display of column sorting in OpenOlat tables
  • Touch support for calendars (e.g. mobile devices)
  • Wizard with sub-steps for complex scenarios (e.g. exam course)




Additional notes

  • Document course element: Height of the document preview can be set optionally
  • Document editors: Last editor of the document is specified in the metadata
  • Livestream URLs can be stored in the administration and selected directly when creating appointments manually
  • Use of generic user attributes in expert rules (affects conventional course)
  • Import of taxonomy structures
  • Support of browser "Back" button for URLs with and without www




Technical details

  • Code maintenance: Upgraders for OpenOlat 10.x and 11.x removed

  • Support JBoss EAP 7.3

  • Library updates (especially Hibernate 5.4.23)




Release notes - versions