On Tuesday, December 20, we will be adding new content and making improvements to SimNet Online.
We are updating the Computer Concepts module by adding five new learning skills (with accompanying assessment questions) to cover HTML basics. We are disabling the old Computer Concepts 2007 module and renaming Computer Concepts 2010 to simply Computer Concepts.
We are also adding a new module on using Internet Explorer 9. This module includes 25 learning skills and 39 assessment and 39 practice questions. The IE 9 module is automatically included with the SimNet Suite and both Computer Concepts and Windows single-module purchases.
The content release will not include new SimGrader projects. Instead, we will update the underlying grading code to improve how SimGrader handles text, paragraph, and page formatting. New projects will be released during the first week in January.
Additional SimGrader improvements include:
Improvements to student workflow
- Adjustments to the project launcher page to eliminate confusion between uploading projects, saving projects, and submitting projects for grading
- Preventing students from submitting files tagged as belonging to another project
- Preventing students from submitting files without a security hash (indicating that the student worked from a new, clean file rather than downloading the required start file)
- Require that student views and acknowledges the Best Practices document prior to taking the first projects assignment
- Add solution PDFs to each project for display in student portal and/or project results page
Improvements to instructor workflow
- Allow instructors to create custom titles for project assignments. This will allow instructors to control the order in which projects appear in the assignments list.
- Remove preference to require a new start file for each attempt. This preference is confusing for both students and instructors. Based on feedback from the SimNet Advisory Board meeting, we are eliminating it.
- Integrate ADDS to gradebook – projects tagged with mismatched student information will be flagged in the gradebook.
- Allow instructor to suppress the display of ADDS flags if he/she does not want to use ADDS.
- Add instructor preference as to whether or not the student has access to the solution PDF throughout the entire project workflow, only on the results page, or never.
This update will not require any system downtime, although SimNet may seem a bit sluggish for about 20-30 minutes. When the new content is available, it will appear in the Course Manager automatically.