For TES Institute CPD course participants
For some time now TES has been using its own version of the Curatr platform to provide professional development opportunities to educational practitioners. Over that time the main version of Curatr has grown and developed to offer a range of new features and functionality above and beyond the TES version.
In order to benefit from these enhancements, TES will shortly be upgrading to the latest version of Curatr and will use this as an opportunity to also refresh the look and feel of the site.
We’ve kept the existing structure but have made a few tweaks to makes things a bit ‘cleaner’ and more obvious from a User Experience point of view. The left-hand navigation bar has changed position to now be at the top of the page. Click your user profile picture to access and edit your profile and logout.
The homepage has had a bit of an overhaul, including new features like being able to launch into any available level from the homepage by using the numbered icons.
When you access a course you will now bypass the ‘course homescreen’ and get straight into the course. The ‘hexagons’ that you use to access each level of content are no more. These have been replaced with rectangles. Whilst somewhat duller, it does now mean that the website is accessible to mobile devices just as easily as it works on the desktop and tablet.
You can always access elements like the leaderboard and course information from tabs that appear at the left of the page. You may also see some of courses change content layout - we’ve new designs that allows for lists of content, instead of the circles, and for conversations to appear on the right-hand side of content, instead of below.
We know that for many people ‘conversation’ is the key to a successful learning experience and of course the ability to know somebody is engaging in that conversation with you is a key element, which is why we’re working on enhancing the notifications that people receive. These enhancements have begun with two additions to the Curatr Home Page:
The ‘Replies to Me’ section shows all replies to comments that I have made across all the courses I am enrolled in:
The ‘Recent Comments’ section shows all the comments that have been made directly against an object – a great way to get involved at the start of a conversation:
For TES Institute CPD Course tutors and administrators
As well as changes to the front-end, the back-end has undergone some changes. When you next view your course as an administrator, you’ll see a new dashboard detailing exactly what people have been doing in the course; who is making progress and who is struggling to keep up. All of the reporting and moderation features have been built upon and improved.
Quests no longer appear within a ‘course’. We’ve moved these to be a function of the TES organisation, instead of course specific. This means we can get clever about issuing badges when folks have completed multiple courses. All of your existing badges will remain in place with the same criteria though, so nothing to worry about there.
Look and feel options
You now have a few new options in terms of the type of layout you’d like to use for your courses. The ‘level view’ can now be a simple list, or the traditional ‘circles’ of content. And the actual content itself can now show the conversation on the right-hand side, or underneath. This new setting works really well with video-heavy courses.
New game type
We’ve introduced some light-touch ‘branching’ courses, which allow course authors to offer different streams / different unlocking features. When you next create a course you’ll see an additional ‘Branching’ Game Type available to you alongside the Classic (all content on one page), Linear (one level at a time, in a set order) and Non Linear (visit any level in any order) options.
Using this new feature authors can make the completion of Level 1 unlock Levels 2, 3 and 4 at the same time. You can also make completion of these new unlocked levels an ‘AND’ or an ‘OR’, so that users have to complete all of them, or just one of them (their choice) before unlocking further Levels.
Why not experiment and discover how this new feature can provide you with a greater flexibility in your design as well as a different experience for the end user.
It’s now possible to see all the comments, contributions and progress that has been made and respond to them from a single dashboard.
This means that as a tutor/facilitator you can spend more of your valuable time, monitoring and engaging in the valuable conversations that are taking place.
Whether you’re an administrator, a course designer, facilitator or end user, this upgrade provides something for everybody, so we strongly encourage you all to review these changes and and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions.