Valamis 2.2 - Exciting new features

I am excited to announce Valamis 2.2, which has some great improvements. To name few, it enables more Tin Can API use-cases on Liferay platform. You can now make learning visibile into Social Office and communities, track formal and informal learning experiences, dramatically speed up content authoring by converting powerpoint presentations into Tin Can API lessons.

We're also releasing first version of Valamis Mobile for Valamis Enterprise Edition. With the native app you're able to synchronize lessons and courses into your mobile device and make them available offline. When you have connectivity, app will synchronize your progress online into Learning Record Store.


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1. Importing powerpoint presentations into Tin Can lessons.

With powerpoint presentation import functionality you can accelerate content creation by initially importing your lesson content from powerpoint presentation into Valamis. You can then combine this content with assessments, videos and other interactive content after which you can author it in TinCan API lesson.

In “Lesson manager”:

      1.1. Choose “Upload package”, drag a file or click the upload area and pick a file with .pptx extension you want to upload and click “OK” (“Open”, etc.) Uploading and converting the file into a valid Tin Can package will take a while depending on the file size.

    1.2. When the process finishes, edit the package name if needed (it will be the name of the .pptx file by default).

      1.3. click “Save” to save the package in Valamis, or “Cancel” to abort.



2.  Uploading PPTX presentations as a list of questions in Lesson Designer

    2.1. In “Lesson designer”, click “Edit content”. Choose “Import PPTX FILE” and follow the instructions in chapter. 1.1.

    2.2. After uploading the file, each individual slide will be placed at the end of the lesson as a separate content item. Rearrange them as needed and close the “Edit content” window. Now your presentation is embedded in to Tin Can API lesson.



3. Moving Valamis content between courses, displaying all Valamis content from Liferay instance scope.

In “Content Manager”:

    3.1. To move Valamis content (or categories) from one course to another:

3.1.1. Tick the ones you need to move, select Action->Move and select a course to move the questions to.


3.1.2. The selected content will disappear from the old course and appear in the new one.

    3.2. To see all Valamis content from Liferay Instance, tick “Show global base” to see content from all courses. Valamis content can also be moved to the Global base.


4. Package passing limit and time limit between retakes.

This feature is used in the “Lesson viewer”: users see, how many lesson attempts they have left, and do not see lessons for which time between attempts has not yet passed.

In “Lesson manager”:

    4.1. To set limit for attempts a lesson:

4.1.1. click “Edit” on the desired lesson.

4.1.2. Tick “Set passing limit” and enter the number of allowed lesson attempts.

    4.2. To set time limit between package retakes:

4.2.1. click “Edit” on the desired lesson.

4.2.2. Tick “Set rerun interval”, choose interval type and enter the amount.

    4.3. click “Save” to accept changes.

Users will see remaining attempts like this:



5. PDF viewer

With added PDF support you can import PDF documents in your lessons, mix it up with presentations and questions and greatly improve the user’s learning experience with no need of manually re-entering the content. Imported PDF will be tracked to Learning Record Store as a Tin Can API statement.

In “Lesson designer”:


    5.1. click “Edit content”, then “Add PDF file”.



    5.2. Choose a file you want to add and click “OK”, then “Save”.

    5.3. Users will see it in the PDF plugin installed in the browser inside the package display area.


6. Selecting a theme and randomizing question order for Tin Can lessons.

    Using themes you can customize how your lesson will look like after it has been published.

In “Lesson designer”:

    6.1. Click “Author Tin Can” on the desired lesson.

    6.2. Select a theme for a Tin Can package you want the lesson to be published with.



    Randomizing question order within a package will prevent users from relying on it when answering questions.

    6.3. To randomize question order in TinCan packages:

6.3.1. Tick “Random questions ordering”.

6.3.2. Optionally, enter the amount of questions to be picked to show to a user.


    6.4. Cick “Download” to get the Tin Can package of the lesson on your computer or “Publish” to publish the lesson and make it available for users via Lesson Viewer.


7. Learning transcript.

The portlet shows all user’s learning history and statistics (a list of Valamis courses, lessons for each course and attempts to complete a lessons, including statements; a list of user’s valid and expired Valamis certificates and badges). You can also print the transcript to a PDF and download it.

In “Learning transcript”:

    7.1. click “Print transcript” button on the right. A PDF with your learning transcript will be created and downloaded.



The generated PDF would look basically like this:



    7.2. If you are an administrator, you can select a user to view and print the transcript for. click the “Select user” button on the right and pick a user to view or print a learning transcript for.


8. Valamis mobile application (available only for Valamis EE subscribers)

The app lets users to take courses and launch lessons from their mobile devices without constant connection to network. You can get the app from Apple Store or Google Play.

    8.1. After the initial launch, the application shows a login form. Enter the URL of the Valamis server you want to interact with. Also enter the user credentials for this Valamis server. Tap “Log in” to connect to the server.


iPhone Screenshot 1

    8.2. The first screen will show lessons from all courses on the Valamis server (only Tin Can lessons are supported). You can select a particular course by opening the side panel (left-to-right swipe).

iPhone Screenshot 2


    8.3. To download a lesson to the device, tap the round button at the top right of the desired lesson. The lesson will be saved in the app’s local storage and the round button will change it’s color to green.

    8.4. To remove a lesson from the local storage, tap the round button again. Once the lesson is gone, the button will change its color back to black and white.

    8.5. To start a lesson, tap on its tile. The lesson will be downloaded automatically if not present in the local storage.

    8.6. Downloaded lesson be started at any time in offline mode. The statements will be stored in the local storage and sent to a Valamis server as soon as you log in.

    8.7. You can log off the Valamis server in the Settings menu.


Have fun trying it out!