Search CTAT

CTAT 2.12 Release Notes

18 August 2011

Downloading and Installing

System Requirements

CTAT system requirements are commensurate with those of the Java Runtime Environment. Additional requirements may exist, depending on your authoring environment (Flash, NetBeans, and/or Eclipse).

New users

  1. Download and install CTAT 2.12
  2. Download and install additional software for authoring tutors. (Not sure whether to go with Java or Flash? Read our Java-Flash comparison.)
  3. If you'd like to build interfaces in Java, configure NetBeans.
    If you'd like to build interfaces in Flash, configure the Flash IDE.

Existing Users

  1. Download and install CTAT 2.12.
  2. If you use NetBeans to build interfaces with CTAT, remove all CTAT widgets from NetBeans and add the new ones.
    If you use Flash to build interfaces with CTAT, re-add the CTAT Flash components to the Flash IDE.
  3. Upgrade any existing interfaces as described below.

What's New in CTAT 2.12


  • All Java widgets have been renamed. Instead of Dormin as a prefix, it's now JComm (e.g., JCommLabel, JCommChooser).
  • DorminWidgets.jar is now ctat.jar
  • We performed a major cleanup in our Java code, resulting in a smaller JAR file size.
  • When using CTAT, the tutor type (e.g., Example-tracing or Cognitive Tutor (Jess)) is saved to and loaded from the BRD file
  • New function for use in Jess matching: lhs-predict-oa (left hand side predict observable action). This can be used to improve the efficiency of slower Jess tutors. The logic tutor example has been updated to use this function.
  • A new checkbox on the mass production dialog, "Table file was edited with Microsoft Excel", enables CTAT to handle Excel artifacts in tab-delimited files such as "" (two quote marks) and surrounding quotes on fields.
  • The authoring tools will now warn you when you try to create a start state with no interface connected.

General Bug Fixes / Changes

  • CTAT2050 – Jess 'no model' warning isn't displayed. If a graph contains a link that is not represented in the cognitive model, a No Model warning dialog no longer appears at author time when input matches that link.
  • CTAT2222 – Tutor-performed actions in Jess aren't logged
  • CTAT2601 – Setting skill increment values not working
  • CTAT2636 – Hint requests on Java text components in Jess tutors display '-1'
  • CTAT2653 – CTAT crash with out-of-order selection formulas
  • CTAT2654 – Log student selection in tutor_messages. This prevents the values of complex matchers (such as the regex matcher) from showing up in the step name of logs.
  • CTAT2659 – Tutoring Service ignores log parameters when logging via socket

Flash Bug Fixes / Changes

  • CTAT2501 – Flash: paired tool and tutor message log different selection name for Done
  • CTAT2503 – Flash: tabbing doesn’t grade text after loading next problem in same swf if success message on Done step
  • CTAT2577 – Flash: Current text components do not respond to focus changes caused by clicking in other components
  • CTAT2641 – Flash: CommImageButton scales hover/clicked/disabled images when scaling is set to false
  • CTAT2657 – Flash: CommImageButton set to 'Image Source: Symbol' superimposes the 'Default Label' even if the image is shown

Known Issues


  • CTAT2314 – Skill pKnown values are cumulative at author time
  • NetBeans 6.7.1: class files are deleted if all jar files required for examples are not specified. Workaround is to add all JAR files required by the examples as described here.
  • The less-than sign does not display properly in CTAT’s separate hint window (but it’s fine in the integrated hint window).
  • DorminPicture does not provide any feedback message to the student when a step is out of order.


  • CTAT2200 – Tabbing though Flash text components resubmits student input in suppress-feedback mode
  • CTAT2349 – Flash: CommCheckBox isn’t checked if ‘selected’ parameter = true. Workaround is to set a state as the start state.
  • CTAT2433 – Flash: CommRadioButton isn’t “selected” in the start state
  • The component-specific methods The Correct Method, The InCorrect Method, and The Reset Method do not work when Suppress Student Feedback is turned on. The solution is to use a new CommShell parameter, MonitorLog, which will receive tool_messages and tutor_messages as they are logged.
  • In a Flash cognitive tutor, creating a start state no longer automatically generates working memory facts and templates for some components.
  • Flash components Jumble, Multiple Selection, and Media Multiple Selection have some known issues. Contact us if you’re interested in using these components.
  • Flash widgets can't be modified in Set Start State mode.
  • CommCombobox does not work with some languages such as Japanese. The current workaround is to use HTML entities for these characters in these languages.

Both Flash and Java

  • Inconsistent behavior when clicking on a state (CTAT2249).
  • Docked windows sometimes aren't loaded on Mac (CTAT2198)
  • Demonstrating a step in an unordered graph that matches an existing step does no create a new link in the graph (CTAT2210). The workaround is to temporarily change the graph to 'ordered' to demonstrate the step.
  • In graphs with Suppress Student Feedback enabled, success and error-feedback messages are not displayed, but they are logged. The feedback should not be logged, since it never appeared to the student.
  • Current state (a node with bold text) in an unordered graph is incorrect for Jess tutors (CTAT1927).
  • The JavasrcInstaller, which is used to set up source documentation for Java functions in the Formula Wizard, does not extract sources on the Mac. To do this manually, see Installing the Formula Wizard.
  • The enforceDone attribute of a behavior graph cannot be set from the CTAT user interface; it can only be set in the behavior graph XML using a text editor.

Upgrading an Interface to CTAT version 2.12

If you would like to use new CTAT widgets or components in an existing interface, you will need to upgrade that interface as described below. If you do not feel comfortable upgrading your interface, contact us and we will upgrade your interface.


  1. Backup your existing projects directory to a separate folder on your hard disk.
  2. Ensure that you've completed steps 1–3 listed above.
  3. Launch NetBeans, and view your project file hierarchy (Window > Files).
  4. Right-click on the folder containing the interface you'd like to upgrade, and click New In the "File Name" field, specify a name for this file that is anything but the name of the interface you're upgrading. All other fields can be left unchanged. It is not necessary to create a new subdirectory of Projects by modifying the Folder field, although you can if you prefer to do so.
  5. Press Finish.
  6. Expand the folder that contains the interface you're upgrading. You should see the .java and .class files for the interface you're upgrading, as well as the new .java file with the name you specified in the previous step.
  7. Open both the new file and original interface file by double-clicking each of their names in the Files panel.
  8. You should see both interfaces in "Design" mode. If you do not, click the button at the top titled "Design" for each interface. The new interface should contain only a blank panel.
  9. For your original interface, view the widget objects in the interface using the Component Inspector (Window > GUI Editing > Inspector). Within the Inspector panel (located on the bottom left of the NetBeans window by default), expand the TutorPanel object. This object has a blank icon. You should see a number of widgets appear within it.
  10. Select all of the interface widgets. On Windows, this can be accomplished by clicking the first widget inside TutorPanel, then while pressing and holding shift, clicking the last widget.
  11. Copy your widgets (CTRL+C on Windows, COMMAND+C on Mac).
  12. View the new interface that you created in step 4. Select the JPanel in the Inspector, and paste the widgets (CTRL+V on Windows, COMMAND+V on Mac). You now have a working CTAT 1.5-compatible interface.
  13. Run your new interface (SHIFT+F6) to verify that the upgrade procedure worked. If you encounter an error and the file will not run, contact us for assistance.


  1. Install the new CTAT Flash components as described on the Flash configuration page.
  2. Open an existing Flash interface (a file with extension .FLA) in the Flash IDE.
  3. For each component in the interface that you would like to upgrade, drag that component from the CommComponents section of the Components tab onto the Flash stage.
  4. At the Resolve Component Conflict prompt, choose Replace existing component and press OK. All instances of that component will be upgraded to the new version.
  5. Delete the extra component that appeared on the stage.