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Keywords: Contact Tracing -- Course element Document -- OnlyOffice enhancements -- Microsoft Azure Directory Login -- Office for the web -- Disadvantage compensation -- User relations in Coaching tool -- Improved Drag&Drop -- Numerous optimizations in the area of e-assessment, user management and authoring

With OpenOlat 15.4 we release our next major release. Due to the current pandemic situation, a module "Contact Tracing" was integrated into OpenOlat in order to identify possible contagious contacts. The implementation of the document course module allows the integration of different types of documents from different sources into a course. Additional extensions of the OnlyOffice integration support the document preview (thumbnails) in OpenOlat as well as the viewing and editing of documents on mobile devices. In addition to the implementation of the Microsoft Azure Directory Login, the integration of Office for the web has been updated. In the area of e-testing, there were also some innovations and optimizations in addition to the integration of disadvantage compensation for participants with physical or mental disabilities. User-to-user relationships can now be called up via the coaching tool and access to content can be controlled precisely for each relationship. In particular, the drag & drop function for file uploads has been optimized throughout OpenOlat. Numerous improvements can also be found in the user administration area, in the authoring area and in other OpenOlat modules.Overall more than 75

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 15.2 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 95 120 bugs have been fixed. The complete list of changes for 15.2 3 – 15.23.8 9 can be found here.

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Image AddedRelease date: 22.01.2021

Last release: 29.01.2021

Table of Contents

Contact Tracing Module

With the contact tracing in OpenOlat, anonymous proofs of location can be generated in order to reconstruct possible contagious contacts if necessary to stem the pandemic.

The module works with the following five steps:

  • Registration of the locations (manually or via import)
  • Generation of the QR codes for the placement at the locations
  • Registration of existing OpenOlat users or guests at the locations
  • Sending an e-mail confirmation after registration
  • Export of data in case of an official request

The data is stored in OpenOlat in accordance with data protection regulations and automatically deleted after a defined period of time.

The practical application is clearly explained in the following video of the OOacademy (german only). For advice and support on the introduction, please contact us at

Widget Connector

(German only)

Course element "Document"

With the document course element, Office documents, PDF and also images are directly integrated into the course.

The following can be used

  • Documents from the author area (existing learning resource)
  • Documents from the course storage folder
  • New documents that can be uploaded e.g. via drag & drop

New documents can also be converted into learning resources, for example, to re-integrate them into other courses. Existing document learning resources can also be used as templates by making local copies of them.

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Office documents and PDF are displayed via the integrated Document viewer. Text documents can be edited if the corresponding licenses are activated. The editor then opens in a separate window.

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OnlyOffice Application

The integration of OnlyOffice now supports the generation of thumbnails of documents.

The editing of documents can be explicitly activated and corresponding editing licenses can be stored. When deactivated, OnlyOffice is available as viewer / reader.

For an improved viewing and editing of OnlyOffice documents on mobile devices, the mobile OnlyOffice Viewer / Editor has been integrated into OpenOlat.

Documents are opened in a separate window for viewing and editing.

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Office for the web Editor

Authentication via Microsoft Azure Directory

The integration of Microsoft Office 365 editors for Office documents is currently being rolled out in the frentix cloud (planned by the end of 2020).

For licensing reasons, the Microsoft Office 365 editors are only available in the frentix hosting cloud!

Microsoft 365 logins are now supported in OpenOlat via Azure Active Directory. For consulting and introduction please contact

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Disadvantage compensation for online exams

For examinee with physical or mental handicap, a compensation for disadvantages can be defined before the exam. Participants are given more time for the test.

The compensation of disadvantages can be set via the user administration or directly in the course in the assessment tool on the respective participant.

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In the assessment tool and also in the test results the extension is transparently shown. The test time and the test mode (in case of manual control) are automatically extended by the disadvantage compensation.

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Optimization in the area of e-assessment and e-testing

  • Optimized calculation of the maximum score for X from Y questions in tests
  • Display of the participants' individual test start time in the assessment tool
  • Enhancements to the correction workflow in the assessment tool (see screenshot)
    • Formatting of comments
    • File upload per user per question
  • Question pool:
    • Display of the number of selected questions in the question pool dialog
    • Additional columns in the question overview table
  • Optional anonymization in the correction tool for external graders

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User relations in coaching tool

With the user-to-user relationship in OpenOlat, cross-course support functions for mentors, learning guides and supervisors can be represented.

The coaching tool now provides easy and clear access to the coached users.

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For each user-to-user relationship, specific rights can be defined and thus access to explicitly released content of the coaches can be granted, e.g. course list, calendar, absence overview, evidences of achievement and certificates.

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The role of "line manager" was also mapped in the coaching tool in the same way. Here, defined contents can also be accessed by users of the own organizational unit.

Additions in authoring area

  • Automatic lifecycle of courses extended by "Definitely delete" (see screenshot)
  • Filter learning resources by taxonomy

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Enhancements in the user administration

  • 30-day grace period for reactivated users
  • Separate handling of non-deletable users in the user life cycle
  • Import of users without authentication

Additional notes

  • BigBlueButton innovations:
    • Integration in course element "Appointment scheduling" (see screenshot)
    • Participants' consent, if recording function for the meeting is activated
  • Optimized Drag&Drop for file upload
  • Optimization of the document preview for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other formats
  • Improvements in drop-down menus and HTML editor display
  • Additional roles in the course when changing roles
  • Course reminders: "Learning progress" as a further condition (only for learning path course) and alphabetical sorting of the created reminders
  • Group management: new filters "Last access" and "External management"
  • Curriculum: improved membership management
  • Deactivation of reasons for lecture completion in absence management
  • LinkedIn field in user profile

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Technical details

  • Technical support of Java 11 and Servlet 4.0 (Tomcat 9.0 required)
  • Code maintenance after security audit with Sonarqube
  • Refactoring the configuration overview in the admin area
  • Library Updates

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

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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 for this.

For implementation advice and support, contact

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.

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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.

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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.

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Participant view

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Owner view

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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  • 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