SLK 1.8–Option to turn off emails to Instructor when Learners submit

In SLK when creating an assignment there is an option to send emails to users about assignments. The option is a check box on the assignment properties page labelled “Email learners on creation or when changed”.

SlkAssignmentEmail

 

If the check box is selected then emails are sent:

  1. To learners when an assignment is created.
  2. To learners if they have been added to an assignment.
  3. To learners if they have been removed from an assignment.
  4. To learners if an assignment is deleted.
  5. To learners when as assignment is collected, reactivated or returned.
  6. To instructors when a learner submits an assignment.

This allows everyone to be kept informed about work they have been set, without having to go to a page in SharePoint with the Assignment List Web Part (ALWP) on.

Although the text only states learners, it does also email instructors about submissions. However, this means instructors can receive lots of emails telling them that learners have submitted an assignment. They are the people who are most likely to go and look at the ALWP to track the progress of their assignments. Ideally there should be a way to turn off emails to instructors.

I now added an option for this. Rather than add another option on the properties page, I’ve added a global settings when will turn off all emails on submission. I decided on a global setting to avoid cluttering up the properties page and to avoid adding any user training about a new user available option. It also likely that the majority of environments will want it on or off for everybody.

To turn on the setting, you need to add EmailOnSubmitOff="true" to the Email setting in SlkSettings.xml as in:

SlkSettingsEmailSubmit

By default this is set to false, so the current behaviour will continue, i.e. if Email learners is checked in the assignment properties, then submissions will be emailed to the instructor.

This is now available in the latest release of SLK 1.8 – which is considered to be Beta currently.

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How To Enable The SharePoint Learning Kit Feature On All Sites In A Site Collection

Sometimes you want to be able to assign work from anywhere within your site collection. For the E-Learning Actions custom action to be added to a document library you need to enable the SharePoint Learning Kit feature on that site, so to enable it everywhere you need to enable the feature on all sites.

To do this in SharePoint 2010 all you need is a simple PowerShell script which iterates through all the sites and then enables the feature if it is not already enabled. The following script will do that for you. You will need to change the url value to reference your site collection, save in a .ps1 file and then run from the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell.

$url = "http://urlOfSiteCollection"
$site = Get-SPSite $url
$featureId = "00057002-c978-11da-ba52-00042350e42e"
$featureName = "SharePointLearningKit"
$site.Urlforeach ($web in $site.AllWebs)
{
    # Output the site url for debugging purposes
    $web.Url
    # Only enable if not already enabled
    if (!$web.Features[$featureId])
    {
        # Output debugging message
        "Enabling..."
        Enable-SPFeature $featureName -Url $web.Url
    }
}

You can also use this for other features, just by replacing the feature id and name with the appropriate values. To find these look in

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\FEATURES

The feature name is the name of the folder in here and the id is in the feature.xml file in that folder.

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SharePoint Learning Kit 1.6 Beta Released

slkIcon

I’ve just released SLK 1.6 to Beta on the CodePlex site. This has actually been ready to go for a while, several months in fact, but I haven’t managed to find the time for documentation of the new functionality. I’ve now taken the decision to release it without the documentation so that people can at least start using it and feeding back any problems.

The main changes are:

  • Better handling of not quite fully compliant SCORM content
  • Textual grading as well as numeric (optional) e.g. ABC type grades
  • Quick assignment type. That is assignments not based on a document. This should make it much easier to use for a homework diary, especially if the assignment is along the lines of "Read chapters 1 & 2 of book y."
  • Email alerts. The most requested extra functionality.

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Debugging the SharePoint Learning Kit Frameset and SCORM Interactions

This post is for SCORM tool and package developers rather than the users of SLK.

If you need to see the interactions between a SCORM package and the SharePoint Learning Kit frameset there is a debug mode which will show you all the interactions between the package and SLK. Once enabled, the frameset will pop up another window into which all the interactions are logged. Here is an example from saving the answers from the first Quick Check in the Solitaire package (click for a bigger image).

DebugFull

Looking at the output more closely at the highlighted lines below, you can see that the first interaction has an ID of Q1, is of type fill-in and the value is patience.

DebugLog

Hopefully, this should give you enough information if your package isn’t working as expected with SLK.

To enable the debugging:

  1. Do not do this on a production server, only on a development machine.
  2. Find FramesetMgr.js in C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions14TEMPLATELAYOUTSSharePointLearningKitFramesetInclude or the equivalent path on your server. If you are running SharePoint 2007, the 14 will be a 12 and if you are using a localised version of Windows it will be in the localised path.
  3. Open the javascript file in your favourite text editor and find line numbers 153 and 154. PreDebug
  4. Comment out the FM_NoOp line and uncomment the FM_DebugLog line to give PostDebug
  5. Next time you open the Frameset you should also get the debug window showing. Note, that you may need to allow pop-up windows for it to show.

Hopefully this will enable you to debug your packages interactions with SLK.

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