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This feature was discontinued in March 2013.

What is ATutor?


ATutor(external link)is an Open Source Web-based Learning Content Management System (LCMS) designed with accessibility and adaptability in mind. Administrators can install or update ATutor in minutes, and develop custom templates to give ATutor a new look. Educators can quickly assemble, package, and redistribute Web-based instructional content, easily retrieve and import prepackaged content, and conduct their courses online. Students learn in an adaptive learning environment.


Why ATutor?


ATutor is the first fully inclusive LCMS, complying with the W3C WCAG 1.0 accessibility specifications at the AA+ level, allowing access to all potential learners, instructors, and administrators, including those with disabilities who may be accessing the system using assistive technologies. Conformance with W3C XHTML 1.0 specifications ensures that ATutor is presented consistently in any standards compliant technology.

ATutor has also adopted the IMS/SCORM Content Packaging specifications, allowing content developers to create reusable content that can be swapped between different e-learning systems. Content created in other IMS or SCORM comformant systems can be imported into ATutor, and visa versa. ATutor also includes a SCORM 1.2 Runtime Environment (LMS RTE3) for playing and managing SCORM based Sharable Content Objects (SCOs). ATutor uses SCORM content packaging specifications

ATutor's base in Open Source technology makes it a cost effective tool for both small and large organizations presenting their instructional materials on the Web, or delivering fully independent online courses. Comprehensive help is available through the documentation, through a number of support services, or through the public forums. Full language support is available through the ATutor Translation Site.


ATutor Features




  • Accessibility: ATutor was designed with accessibility as a priority. A wide range of features ensure assistive technology users can participate fully in learner, instructor, and administrative activities.
  • My Courses : Instructors and students can manage the ATutor courses they teach and/or are enrolled in.
  • Adaptive Navigation: Learners can move through ATutor content using global, hierarchical, or sequential navigation tools. Navigation elements can be displayed as text, icons, or both text and icons, and they can be hidden to simplify the environment.
  • Work Groups: When the ACollab add-on is installed on an ATutor system, learners can collaborate with others on course projects, communicate as a group with the forums and chat, share resources using their group library, schedule activities with the events calendar, and work together on project documents through the drafting room. Exercises or assignments can submitted to the group leader, or course instructor.
  • Feedback: Following an action (such as saving preference settings, or posting a message), feedback is given on the status of the operation. This could be a success message, warnings to consider, or errors to fix.
  • Preference Settings: Learners can control ATutor features and the theme ATutor is presented in.
  • Communication Tools: Learners can communicate with others using ATutor's private mail, the discussion forums, the chat rooms, or the "User's Online" tool. Threads and messages can be sorted in a variety of ways. Students can communicate with those in other courses through shared forum, or a community forum. Subscribe to forums or topic threads to have forum messages sent by email.
  • IMS content packagingContent Package Viewer: Learners can export content from ATutor as Content Packages that can be viewed offline in the accompanying viewer.
  • Content Tracker: Learners can keep track of the content pages they have visited.
  • Test Manager: Learners can take tests, review test results, and keep track of their scores.
  • GlossaryGlossary: Words and phrases added to the glossary by the instructor, can be accessed from terms embedded within content pages, or viewed alphabetically in their entirety using the Glossary tool.
  • Links Database: Each course has a tool for collecting links to course related Web-based information. Both students and instructors can add links. Instructors can also manage them.
  • Course Search: A search engine allows learners to search course content. Search for courses in the course catalogue.
  • TILE Repository Search: Learners can search the TILE learning objects repository for content related to the topics they are studying, and download content packages for viewing offline.




  • HandbookInstructor?ATutor Handbook: Instructor documentation is linked from each section of the handbook, to the screen ATutor it refers to. A link to the full Handbook is available on every screen.
  • SCORM Run-Time?Environment & SCO Manager: Thanks to Matthai Kurian and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich for creating an ATutor SCORM run-time environment (RTE) and SCO package manager. Add prepackaged, interactive, interoperable, content to your courses. Initial support for SCORM 1.2 LMS-RTE3, with additional SCORM support coming.
  • Student Tool Preferences: Instructors can choose from the available course tools and menu modules, selecting only those that are used in a particular course. Optionally display tools in the main navigation bar, or link them into the course home page for quick access.
  • Course Tools Page: New in 1.5.2! All ATutor tools can be accessed quickly from a central course Tools Page.
  • Content Usage: Individual usage statistics can be reviewed to identify gaps in content coverage and the learning tendencies of each learner.
  • Learning Tools: Instructors have access to all the learning tools that are available to learners. Context sensitive access to the ATutor Handbook allows instructors to access the right documentation page quickly. Full instructor documentation is also available in the ATutor HowTo?Course. Units of ATutor HowTo?can be imported and modified to create custom documentation for a course.
  • Content Editor: Instructors can create content in HTML or plain text. This content can be imported from a local editor, or edited directly online. Release dates can be set to control when content is viewable to learners. Content pages can be moved to different locations within a course. Related pages can be linked to content as references or relevant information. Use the File Manager while creating content. Click on the Insert button next to a file in the file manager to embed a link or an image in a page while authoring content.
  • visual editorVisual Editor: A JavaScript?based WYSIWYG editor is available as an extension of the Content Editor so content creators can format course materials without knowing any HTML. New in 1.5.2! A soon to be ATAG 2.0 compliant version of the TinyMCE 2.01 WYSIWYG HTML editor assists authors in creating accessible content.
  • AChecker ButtonAccessibility?Checker: The ATRC AChecker Web service has been integrated into the Content Editor to allow authors to review the accessibility of their content to people with disabilities who may be accessing ATutor using assistive technology. A variety of standards are available for an international audience. AChecker automatically identifies known accessibility problems, and allows authors to make descisions on potential problems that AChecker can not identify for certain. Accessibility reports are saved in the AChecker database, and allow ongoing monitoring of accessibility as content evolves. New in 1.5.2! The AChecker Web service is available as a plugin for TinyMCE, so content can be assessed for accessibility directly from within the editor.
  • IMS/SCORM Content Packaging: Instructors can export content from ATutor as IMS/SCORM conformant Content Packages that can be viewed offline in the accompanying viewer, or imported into ATutor or another conformant e-learning system. Entire courses, or individual course units can be packaged for viewing or redistribution. Content from other compliant systems can be imported into ATutor. Import and export complex content such as Java applets, Flash content, and other embedded programmed objects.
  • Learning Objects Repository: Search the TILE learning objects repository for course related materials. Download content packages from the repository for viewing, or import them directly into ATutor. Enter a URL to a content package anywhere on the Web, and import it into your course. Export content from ATutor into the repository, login to the repository to author new content, add to, or enhance existing content.
  • Backup Manager: The entire content and structure of a course can be backed up and stored on the ATutor server, or downloaded and saved to your local computer. Create a copy of a course as a master for future sessions, or move a course to a new location.
  • News & Announcements: Instructors can post messages to the course Home Page to guide learners through the course. News can be used for weekly introductions, announcing important dates, or posting critical information. The announcements page is always the first page a learner visits when they log into a course. An RSS feed can be turned on to display course announcements on other Web sites.
  • File Manager: Instructors can upload and manage course related files. Directories can be created to sort files, zip archives can be uploaded and unpacked. A popup file manager can be opened alongside the Content Editor or test question editor. Course files can be easily linked into content pages or test items as they are being created. Text or HTML files can be created or edited online. Rename files, or batch move or delete files.
  • Test Manager: Instructors can create tests with multiple choice, true/false, Likert, and a number of open ended question types. M/C (and multi-select M/C New in 1.5.2!) and T/F questions are marked automatically. A test release window can be created to make a test available for a certain period, feedback can be customized, and test results can be archived. Self-marking tests can be created to provide students with instant feedback. Create surveys and link them to the course home page. Select from a pool of questions to generate random question quizzes. Assign tests to groups of students. Add questions to a Question Database, then select questions from the database to assemble a test or quiz. Create image based test items, and arrange items horizontally or vertically.
  • Polls: Instructors can create one question polls to quickly gather student opinions.
  • Forums: Instructors can create and manage multiple forums for each of their courses. Messages can be edited, deleted, locked from reading and/or replying, and "stuck" to the top of a thread list if a message is important. Administrators can create forums shared across multiple courses. Request a shared forum to allow students in all your courses to communicate with each other. Subscribe to forums, or to topic threads to have messages sent by email.
  • Course Properties: Instructors can view course login statistics, edit course properties, and send course-wide email messages. A default display language can be set for each course. Assign a course as public, protected, or private, or hide a course while it is being developed. Control student access to content packaging. Turn on an RSS feed for course announcements, and display them on other Web sites.
  • Enrollment Manager: Instructors may import a comma separated list of students to enroll in their courses, or export an enrollment list for staff keeping. Create an enrollment list online to add new students to a course. Automatically generate login names and passwords for students and send them by email when a student is enrolled in a course. Assign students as Alumni so they can participate in discussions for future course sessions. Create groups of students and assign different tests or quizzes to different groups..
  • Privileges: Through the Enrollment Manager, instructors can assign students access to various instructor tools, creating teaching assistants or co-instructors.
  • Work Groups: With the ACollab add-on, instructors can create work groups for course projects, assignments, file sharing, and group communication. Group leaders can be assigned to manage group administrative activities. ACollab can be used for a variety of purposes: from managing assignment submissions, distributing course files, and scheduling activities, to multi-group projects, collaborative document authoring, and group or course file sharing. See the ACollab project for more about adding work groups to ATutor. Embed ACollab into ATutor, or have it open in a new window to participate in course group activities.
  • Addon Modules: New in 1.5.2! FAQ, Google Search, RSS Feeds, EWiki, ACollab, ATalker Text-to-Speech?, and SCORM Packages modules are each available with a quick installer. Many more add-on modules to come.




  • Module Manager: New in 1.5.2! Administrators can install modules, enable and disable them, define a default module and menu configuration for new courses. Developers can create integrated and third party feature modules for ATutor to extend its functionality.
  • Administrator's Home Page: New in 1.5.2! All administrator tools can be accessed quickly from a central Administrator Home Page.
  • Administrator ATutor Handbook: Administrator documentation is linked from each section of the handbook to the screen ATutor it refers to.
  • Administrator PrivilegesMultiple?Administrators: Create multiple administrator accounts assigning specific privilages to each.
  • Master Student List: Require newly created student accounts to be authenticated against a custom imported student ID/PIN paired list.
  • Themes Manager: Easily create a custom version of ATutor by modifying or creating a theme. Type in a URL to a theme to install it in ATutor (see Themes). Assign themes to categories of courses. Export a theme to share with others. Login to submit themes to to make them available to the ATutor Community.
  • Automated Installer and Upgrade: A fast and easy way to install or upgrade ATutor!
  • General Statistics: View system usage statistics.
  • Secure Course Content: Secure course content directory to prevent unauthorized access to course files.
  • Instructor Request: Review requesting instructors' personal information, and assign instructor status so they may create courses. Administrators are informed by email when new requests are made.
  • User Manager: Users on a system can be sorted, personal information can be viewed, and access privileges can be modified. Send announcements to all users on an ATutor system, or to students, or to instructors.
  • Course Manager: Much like the User Manager, courses on a system can be sorted, their properties modified, and their instructors managed. Create new courses and assign an instructor. Use course backups to generate initial content for a new course. Create shared forums for select courses, or create a community forum for all courses.
  • Backup Manager: Generate backups of courses to create master copies. Download backups for safe keeping or to move courses to another ATutor server. Use backups to generate new courses.
  • Course Categories: The ATutor course browser includes a course category browser, so courses can be sorted into a custom defined set of categories, perhaps by department or topic or grade level, for example. Themes can be assigned to course categories so all courses within a category look the same.
  • Language Manager: Import language packs directly into ATutor. Once imported, edit languages as needed. Create an ATutor Language Pack by exporting the language from your ATutor system. Make the language pack available to other, and submit it to the Translation Forum as an attachment, so others can use and continue to maintain the language.




  • Developer Documentation: Guidelines, instructions, recommendations for those who wish to develop ATutor core features, bundled with each ATutor distribution
  • Module Developer Documentation: New in 1.5.2!Guidelines, instructions, recommendations for those who wish to develop ATutor Modules, bundled with each ATutor distribution.
  • Hello World Template Module: New in 1.5.2!A sample module that implements all potential module features, which can be used as a template for creating new ATutor modules.
  • ATutor SVN Code Repository: Developers can checkout the live evolving ATutor source code from a public Subversion repository. With approval, developers can commit their features to the respository to be include in the ATutor distribution.


Contributors to this page: admin .
Page last modified on Sunday 19 of May, 2013 17:36:19 MDT by admin.
The content on this page is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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