Category Archives: Training Info Posts

New Search Features Added to NCLOR Dashboard


In response to user feedback and as an outcome of the recent K-12 project, the NCLOR has added some new search features for NCCCS users.

Dashboard Additions

The North Carolina Community College System faculty users will now see a new portlet on their dashboard called “Welcome!”. The Welcome! search portlet is an area that displays shortcuts to the keyword search, browse, the advanced search functionality. The tabs allow for quick access to custom searching in the NCLOR. The Welcome search portlet also displays short descriptions of the differences between browsing, keyword and advanced searching.

Welcome Portlet

Figure 1: Screenshot of Welcome! portlet with tabs and search descriptions highlighted

The portlet has been customized to display different logos, browses, or advanced searches depending on which NCLOR user group you are in. Therefore, NCCCS users and K-12 users may see different logos images, or the tabs to the Browses and Advanced Search areas will link to lists that are relevant to them. The Welcome! portlet can be closed or removed  from your dashboard if so desired.

Navigation Menu Additions

start_new_search

Figure 2: The Start a New Search or Browse buttons

Two new buttons have been added to the main navigation menu in the NCLOR. With the latest update to NCLOR, the application has the ability to remember the last search or browse the user was viewing before selecting a specific resource to view. This is great feature but it can be confusing to some users. When clicked, the “Start a New Search” or “Start a New Browse” buttons will clear the current search query and present a new search or browse page.

Note: The new features listed above apply to the main interface of NCLOR and not the learning management system integrations. The LMS interfaces have not changed.

NROC webinar avaliable


NROC ProjectNROC hosted an informational webinar on October 29th. This webinar reviews the vast collections available from the NROC Project through the NCLOR. Beth Pickett, NROC Project HippoCampus Product Manager, provides a whirlwind tour of some of the 3,000 + objects across subjects. Jonathon Sweetin, NCLOR Systems Administrator, demonstrates how to easily include objects from NCLOR into your Blackboard or Moodle courses.

The NROC Project is a community-guided, non-profit project focused on new models of digital content development, distribution, and use.

For more information, please contact Jonathon Sweetin: sweetinj@nccommunitycolleges.edu
Run time apx. 54 minutes.

The NROC project collection in the NCLOR is only available to the NCCCS faculty.

NCLOR 6.0 New Features


Recently, the NCLOR updated the application to version 6.0. The update went very well without any technical issues. With the update came a few notable end-user functionality enhancements that could be of benefit to educators.

The following is a list of the features now available in NCLOR 6.0:

  • Accessibility Enhancements – NCLOR 6.0 meets the international Web content accessibility guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium, specifically Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) at Level AA, and meets the current US Government Section 508 Standards, specifically § 1194.22 Web-based intranet and Internet information and applications.
  • User interface changes – Navigation buttons have been improved to offer better cueing for next action required. Some buttons may appear a different color depending on the action needed.
  • LTI Provider support – NCLOR now has basic LTI provider support, allowing users to embed any NCLOR content into compliant LTI consumer applications.
  • Expanded grade levels – The NCLOR grade levels, tagged to any resource, are expanded to included each grade level individually.
  • Facebook and Google+ integration – You may now recommend resources from with the Open Educational Resources (OER) collection to your Facebook or Google+ accounts. This social media integration lets you share those resources with anyone which includes people without NCLOR accounts.

To view for more information about these new features, see the NCLOR 6.0 New Features Tutorial.

NCLOR Tutorials Updated to 5.0


In preparation of this weeks upgrade, the NCLOR self-paced online tutorials have been updated to show the changes in version 5.0.  The new 5.0 tutorials include topics like;  NCLOR Orientation, Using NCLOR with LMSs, Searching and Downloading Resources , Contributing Resources, and Resources Management. You can find the new tutorials on the Training Page of the NCLOR portal.

Also available on the training page is the NCLOR 5.0 New Features Tutorial.  In this tutorial, you will find information about the new features and interface changes available in the 5.0 version.

NCLOR Presentation at the NC3ADL Conference


On November 7th, 2011 the NCLOR staff presented at the North Carolina Community College Association of Distance Learning at the Raleigh Convention Center, downtown Raleigh NC.

The topics covered  in this presentation were:

  • What is the North Carolina Learning Object repository (NCLOR)?
  • Ways to Access the NCLOR
  • LMS vs. Main Interface
  • What goes in the NCLOR?
  • Accessing the NCLOR
  • Searching vs. Contributing
  • What benefits does it bring to faculty?
  • Planned features in NCLOR 5.1

Below is the slideshare of the presentation:

NCLOR and SoftChalk Integration


SoftChalk, the very popular learning module creation software, is releasing it’s new 7.o version this month. The NCLOR staff know that this application is widely used and wants take this opportunity to remind users that they can directly integrate resources loaded in  NCLOR with their SoftChalk application. Therefore,  if you wish to take advantage of the great learning resources already available in the NCLOR, you should add the NCLOR as a repository in your SoftChalk application.

Want to know how to add the NCLOR as a repository in SoftChalk?

Review this tutorial for step-by-step instructions:

Important Notes:  The following conditions must be met in order for the resources to be viewed from your SoftChalk project:

  1. You must have a NCLOR account for the main interface to use the SoftChalk integration.
  2. Only NCLOR resources available to guests can be imported to SoftChalk projects.
  3. SoftChalk will only link to resource summary pages in the NCLOR and not directly to resource attachments.

Integration of NCLOR with Softchalk


It is now possible to add the NCLOR as a repository in Softchalk 5 & 6.  Many NCCCS colleges are already using Softchalk but in case you are unfamiliar with it. Softchalk is a powerful web lesson editor that lets you easily create engaging, interactive web lessons for your e-learning classroom. It has the ability to add media directly from learning object repositories.  The following video tutorial will demonstrate how to  add the NCLOR as a media source repository in Softchalk.

Important Notes:

  1. You must have a NCLOR contributor account for the main interface in order to use the Softchalk integration.
  2. Only items available to guest can be imported to Softchalk projects.
  3. Softchalk will only link to item summary pages in the NCLOR.

NCLOR 2010 Spring Training Tour


Half-day classes (10am – 3pm) will be held across North Carolina in three convenient locations during the second week of May.

May 11 Pitt Community College, Greenville
May 12 Randolph Community College, Asheboro
May 13 Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory

Topics include:
•Value of the North Carolina Learning Object repository (NCLOR) to faculty
•Finding resources
•Integrating resources into your Moodle or Blackboard courses
•Contributing to the NCLOR
•What resources would you like to see in the NCLOR?

All are invited.  Cost is free.  Bring your lunch of visit a local restaurant.  Deadline for signing up is May 6.  Click here for the online registration form.  Once registered, contact and location information will appear.

NCLOR 4.0 New Features


The NCLOR recently upgraded its application software to 4.0 and along with that upgrade came some new features not in the 3.2 release. There has been two new features added to the NCLOR. Both new features have to do with item contribution. These new features give the user the ability to search for YouTube and Google Books content directly from the upload tab of each collection wizard. The training documentation for using these new features is available here:  http://www.explorethelor.org/user_tutorials.html.

Blackboard Building Block update required for NCLOR 4.0


Blackboard Logo The NCLOR will be undergoing maintenance for a system application upgrade to Equella 4.0 starting at 3:00 PM on December 17th. The NCLOR will be up and running by 8:00 AM on December 18th. In response to the application update, all institutions running Blackboard will need to update their NCLOR building block.
Why is the update needed?
This update is needed to integrate Bb 9.0 users to the NCLOR, fix federation searching with other LORs and because the building block version and the application version must be the same in order for the Blackboard integration to work correctly.
Who will need to complete this building block update?
Any institution running any version of Blackboard that is integrated with the NCLOR will need to update the building block. Moodle installations are NOT effected by this upgrade and will function after the application update as usual.
When should the building block be installed?
To ensure that there is no disruption of service, the 4.0 building block should be installed by the college’s Blackboard Admin anytime AFTER the application update or after 8:00 AM, 12/18/09. If it is installed before the application update, the integration will not function correctly until the application is updated.
How do you install the new building block?
Instructions for installing the building block with Bb 6.x -8.x and Bb 9.x along with the link to the building block file are available here: http://www.explorethelor.org/resources_dladmin.html
Note: All versions of Blackboard use the NCLOR 4.0 Blackboard 9.x and below Building Block.
Please contact Jonathon Sweetin sweetinj@nccommunitycolleges.edu (252-737-2766) if you have any questions.
%d bloggers like this: