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Equella 5.1 Gets Office Enhancements, YouTube Integration

Pearson recently released an update to its digital repository, Equella. The 5.1 release includes new tools for working with Microsoft Office files, new notifications, and integration with Flickr and YouTube.

Equella is a learning object repository and an authoring and content management system. The digital repository offers search by keyword, content type, and metadata; hierarchical browsing; and federated search across external repositories. It also provides a Web-based WYSIWYG HTML editor that can be used to create both static and dynamic HTML pages.

Equella supports a range of standards, including IMS/IMS DRI, METS, and SCORM 1.3/2004; and OAI-PMH; various authentication standards, including LDAP and Shibboleth; SOAP and WSDL; and library system interfaces, including MADS, MARC 21, MARCXML, and MODS, among others. And it integrates with popular learning management systems, including third-party commercial and open source LMSes, such as Moodle, Sakai, and various Blackboard systems, including Angle LMS, Vista, CE, Academic Suite, and Learn.

Version 5.1, which was released in mid-October, offers the ability to work with Microsoft Office files directly within the repository, including the ability to edit files. It also offers improvements to notifications and "seamless" integration with Flickr and YouTube.

Other enhancements include:

Equella 5.1 is available now. Additional details can be found on Pearson's Equella product portal.

In related news, Pearson has also recently implemented enhancements to LearningStudio, the company's LMS.

Pearson LearningStudio is a fully hosted learning management system designed specifically for online education programs. Currently boasting about 9 million active users, LearningStudio provides a scalable, software-as-a-service platform that offers an open API, customizable mobile options, workflow management for tracking data on a granular level, and analytics tools for learning outcomes management, student retention, and identification of at-risk students. It also provides a range of social learning tools, including Skype integration, chat, groups, feeds, commenting, and other features.

The latest update offers enhancements for students accessing the system through mobile devices, including the ability to:

  • View recent course activity more easily;
  • Access grades;
  • Submit files via dropbox;
  • View scheduled events, such as exams;
  • Receive alerts for uploads and deadlines;
  • View comments on assignments; and
  • Communicate with other students in their courses.

LearningStudio has also been given a UI overhaul "modeled after popular social media sites," according to Pearson. "These tools feel familiar and enable students to intuitively find what they need, which will ultimately drive their retention and success."

As Pearson described it: "New tools, available directly on the homepage, include a course information and activity feed that allows students to stay up-to-date on their classes. In addition, there are communication and collaboration tools to engage peers and instructors, including social profiles, avatars, chat, groups, remarks, activity feed and fully integrated Skype functionality for real-time discussion."

The latest updates to LearningStudio are available now. Additional details can be found on Pearson's LearningStudio portal.

Editor's note: This article has been modified since its original publication to correct a factual error. Equella 5.1 cannot, as previously reported, publish materials directly to Pearson LearningStudio, but just to Moodle and Blackboard. [Last updated Nov. 2, 2011 at 10:50 a.m.] --David Nagel

 

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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