• Open Source e-Learning

February 2017

Kruse, Fabian [Fabian] - 06. Feb 2017, 10:02
ILIAS has been a regular guest at the LEARNTEC in Karlruhe, Germany, since 1999. For the first time this year, however, the software was represented by the ILIAS Society itself, as a co-exhibitor together with the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University. Although new technologies such as VR and AR applications were the subjects of large-scale presentations at the trade fair, it was the numerous possibilities that are opened up by an integrated LMS that attracted many enthusiastic visitors to our stand. Using the brand new demo version of ILIAS 5.2, people were able to thoroughly test our software and have all their questions answered.

During the peak times on each of the three days of the trade fair, there was so much going on at the ILIAS stand that the society's representatives, Matthias Kunkel and Fabian Kruse, were hardly able to keep up! Luckily, they were supported by numerous members of the community who happily stepped in to provide information and answer questions. Alongside these informal conversations, the presentations under the motto 'Meet the User' proved to be a huge success: numerous visitors were shown how ILIAS is used at other institutions and which teaching and learning scenarios are especially effective.

As well as schools and universities, this year in particular saw more people from the business sector interested in finding out more about ILIAS. Many companies have recognised that open-source software is often the better alternative to commercial software – not only in terms of cost, but also when it comes to features and security. It seems likely that after all the conversations and the well-attended presentations at the LEARNTEC, the ILIAS community will grow even larger. We would like to extend a big thank you to all guests and helpers who supported us at the fair!

December 2016

Kruse, Fabian [Fabian] - 16. Dec 2016, 11:56
More and more we read in the media about targeted hacks and attacks on popular software platforms, databases and content management systems. Especially software with many users can be a worthwhile target for hackers looking to steal personal information.

As server-operated software, ILIAS is also theoretically vulnerable to such attacks. So that it never comes to that though, we are working hard to prevent bugs and to close security loopholes that become known to us. Together with the technical board, we have put together a small FAQ to explain how security vulnerabilities are dealt with in ILIAS.

Kruse, Fabian [Fabian] - 15. Dec 2016, 11:41
In July this year, you were able to read the first report from the Technical Board which has been in charge of the development of ILIAS since earlier in the year. Since then, a lot has taken place, according to Timon Amstutz, who just recently took over the role of speaker of the board for the next six months. We spoke to him about the new Jour-Fixe process, improved communication possibilities and the plans for 2017.

Kruse, Fabian [Fabian] - 07. Dec 2016, 11:29
In the series ILIAS @ home we like to use our blog to introduce you to new and veteran users of ILIAS and show you how they use the software and help to make it even better as part of the ILIAS community. Today, in the eighth part of the series, we are going to take a look at how ILIAS is used at the KROHNE Group.

November 2016

Kruse, Fabian [Fabian] - 04. Nov 2016, 10:27
For years now, ILIAS users have had two powerful tools at their disposal for conducting online exams - Tests and Exercises. In the actual day to day practice of teaching between LMS and classroom, however, sometimes more flexibility has been desired. This is, for example, the case when a student has missed an important test that is a prerequisite to passing a particular course. But suppose the test results have already been published and the course finished – what now?

Up until now, if the tutor didn't want to create another test – for this single student – setting a new Learning Progress status was only possible with considerable effort or trickery. It wasn't possible, for example, to easily integrate an oral replacement/resit examination in ILIAS and mark it as 'passed'. The student was therefore unable to obtain a green status under 'Learning Progress'.

To remedy this situation, there is a new Object in ILIAS 5.2 - 'Individual Assessment'. Using an Individual Assessment it is now possible to register and evaluate the external achievements of individual students and also have them count towards their Learning Progress. These achievements could include oral exams, certificates gained externally or the fulfilment of other tasks outside of ILIAS.

Putting together such an Individual Assessment is really quite easy: you simply add your Individual Assessment as a new object within a course, add one or more users and then, in the next step, save the desired grading. Optionally, you can also add additional notes, for example detailing the content or grade of an external examination.

The assessment can be either saved at first as a draft or as a final result. When an assessment is finalised, the tutor can still view the assessment but no longer change things. The result triggers the Learning Progress status of the user, who receives a notification of this per e-mail.

The Individual Assessment Object will be available on all systems from ILIAS 5.2 onwards as standard.