Thursday, July 03, 2008

ATutor upgrades for accessibility and searching


ATutor is one of the less well known open source Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS). The latest version (1.6.1 on July 2, 2008) adds two useful features: WCAG 2.0 Conformance and Pretty URLs. There is a demo of the new version available. ATutor is worth looking at for those considering an e-learning system.

WCAG 2.0 is the new version of the W3C's guidelines for accessibility for the disabled to web pages. In particular the use of forms is improved. ATutor was already using XHTML and has a user interface which is somewhere between Moodle's text rich format and Web CT's icons.

"Pretty URLs" are ones which are short and can be interpreted. Most LCMS, including Moodle and Web CT, generate long meaningless web addresses for the pages, which do not make sense to the human reader, or to a web search engine.

*WCAG 2.0 Conformance*: The default theme has been updated to conform with the recently released WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines. Primary adjustments include the addition of fieldsets to group related form fields, and focus highlighting to make it easier to see where the cursor is located when navigating through ATutor using a keyboard. (see http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/) ...

*Pretty URLs*: Administrators can enable Pretty URL to replace various URL variables with a more readable form, which search engines can now index so course content can be searched from Google etc.. Instructors can also define a course directory which gets added to the URL while in a course. Apache mod_rewrite can also be turned on to pretty URLs further. (Thanks to the Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine)

From: ATutor 1.6.1 Released, July 2, 2008

1 comment:

info said...

ATutor 1.6.2 has been released. This is a significant release, with the addition of quite a number of new features, and further support for accessibility and interoperability standards.

https://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?forum_id=896822