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Smart VLE release notes - 29/04/19

Smart VLE release notes

29th April 2019

Our developers have been working very hard and we have some exciting new developments that are now live on Smart VLE. Please familiarise yourself with these updates.

Question Creation

There is a new tool bar in the question text box when an author is creating a question.

This new tool bar allows additional functionality when an author is creating questions. There is also an option to enable “full screen” mode, this gives you more space to see what the question will look like and can help when editing images.

Clear Formatting

If an author is copying and pasting content across from another document, they can now clear the formatting by using the “clear formatting” option in the “Format” drop-down menu.

Special Characters

Special characters can now be accessed using the “insert” drop-down menu.

When selected a table of special characters will appear, allowing you to insert special characters into the question text.

These will then appear in the correct format to the participant.

Special characters should not be used in the answer areas in fill-in-the-blank (text), spelling and punctuation type questions.

When formatting a fraction, type in the numerator first, followed by the fraction slash character from the special characters menu with the denominator following that.

The participant will see the fraction like this:

Inserting Images

Previously, you could only add images to a question as a question resource, these appear below the question.

The upload image facility on the new tool bar allows you to upload an image so that it appears as part of the question.

When you select “upload image”, you need to select a file from your computer and click “OK” to insert the image into the question. You can also access this by clicking the “insert” drop-down menu and selecting “image”.

Only .jpg and .png file formats are supported when adding images to the questions.

The “insert/edit image” dialogue box will appear. Select the file icon to browse your computer for your desired image.

You can alter the dimensions of the image in this dialogue box if desired. Alternatively, once inserted, if you click on the image, you can change the size of the image by using the handles on the corner of the image and change its position by using the alignment options.

The size of the question entry box can be increased by dragging the bottom right-hand corner to help you see the question in full.

The picture will then appear as part of the question when viewed by the participant.

Please note that the system will automatically optimise the image in order to reduce the file size.


Spellcheck functionality has been added to the question wizard. It is automatically enabled to English (UK and US), you can turn this off by checking the option under tools.

Author Groups

We have now added additional restrictions on author groups, allowing you to restrict an author’s access to certain courses. To edit these setting you will need to have permission to modify author groups.

This functionality is particularly useful if you plan to use Smart VLE for staff CPD as the authors that are restricted will not be able to view the questions to see the answers or see the results of other staff members.

You can also use it to limit access to courses that are within the vocational area that an assessor is associated to, for example you could limit access so that Health and Social Care assessors can only access their assessments and resources and not Construction assessments and resources.

The name of the “Default User Group” is now changes to “Client Administrator”, any author that is in this group will have no restrictions. Authors that were previously in the default author group will now be in the Client Administrator group.

When creating an author group, from the Settings - Author Groups – Add Author Group options, there is a new tab called “courses”.

The courses tab lists all the courses available in your Smart VLE site, the default setting is that access is allowed to all courses.

To restrict an author’s access to the course, untick the box next to the name of that course so that you can deselect it.

Any author in that author group will be restricted from seeing any part of that course including:

• The course listing on the courses screen.

• Questions linked to criteria within that course.

• Assessments that are linked to that course.

• Assigned assessments that are linked to that course.

• Assigned resources that are linked to that course.

In Smart Assessor, an assessor will only have access to the Smart VLE assessments and resources that they have access to in Smart VLE.

If a unit, criteria or question is linked to a course that the author does have access to and it appears in a course that they are restricted from, the author will still be able to see that unit, criteria or question.

Any courses that are imported from Smart Assessor will be enabled in the client administrator group. If you want to allow other groups access to the course that has been imported, you will have to edit the individual author group permissions.

If an author is in a group that has permission to create a course, they will be automatically be given permission to view the course that they have created, client administrators will also have full access to the new course.

Auto Assignment of Author Group

If an assessor is assigning an assessment, viewing the results of an assessment or linking Smart VLE resources to a course in Smart Assessor, a Smart VLE author account is automatically created for them in the system if they do not already have an author account.

You can select the default author group that these authors are place in to ensure that accounts are not automatically created with access to courses that you want to restrict.

When logged in as an author with permission to edit settings, choose Settings – SA Settings.

Open the drop-down menu next to “Default Author Group” and select the author group that you want automatically created authors to be registered to. If an author is automatically placed in this group and you want them to belong to another author group, this can be manged by editing the user in the user management page.

Learning Profile

The units in a learning profile are now automatically expanded by default, allowing you to view the results and progress for the criteria without having to click into the unit.

Drag and Drop – blanks made clearer

It has been reported that some participants were reordering the drag and drop options below the answer line and submitting that as their answer, leading to questions being marked as incorrect.

To prevent this the blanks in the answer line have been made clearer.

Please remind the participants to access the “help” button if they are unsure on how to answer a question as this will link them to a video which explains how to answer the question type that they are on.

Assessment Creation – Empty Criteria Automatically Disabled

When creating an assessment, if there are any criteria that do not contain questions, these will automatically be disabled.

An assessment cannot be saved if there are criteria enabled with no questions against them, so this will save you time when creating an assessment.

Unanswered Question Prompt

If a participant moves onto the next question in an assessment without fully answering the question that they are on, or flagging it for review, they will receive a prompt to confirm if they want to move onto the next question without completing the question that they are on.

If the participant selects “continue”, they will be taken to the next question.

If the participant selects “cancel”, they will remain on the unanswered question.

View Answers – question level

When you are viewing the answers of an assessment as an author, you will now see the level of the question next to the question number.

Next Steps

In the next release we will be creating a new type of assessment for learning styles.

Government Consultation

Please be aware that there is an open Government consultation on GLH for the Reformed Functional Skills that is live until 30th April 2019.

If you want to have your say, the details are available here:

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