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CTAT 2.6.1 Release Notes

10 July 2009

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).

Note: The CTAT installer is now compatible with Windows Vista.

New users

  1. Download and install CTAT 2.6.1
  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. Uninstall CTAT.
  2. Delete the file brPrefs.xml from the folder in which you previously installed CTAT.
  3. Download and install CTAT 2.6.1.
  4. If you use NetBeans to build interfaces with CTAT, remove all CTAT widgets from NetBeans and add the new ones. If you had a very old version of CTAT (pre-1.5), remove the tutor template from NetBeans and add the new one.
    If you use Flash to build interfaces with CTAT, re-add the CTAT Flash components to the Flash IDE.
  5. Upgrade any existing interfaces as described below.

What's New in CTAT 2.6.1

General Changes

  • CTAT will now vary step-out-of-order feedback messages based on whether or not the tutor is configured to highlight the correct step. If highlighting is on, then the tutor will display "Instead of the step you are working on, please work on the highlighted step." If highlighting is not on, then it will display "You need to do other steps first, before doing the step you just worked on. You might request a hint for more help." In a future release, these messages will be configurable.
  • A new version of the tutor template for NetBeans version 6.7 (the current NetBeans release), used for creating new Java student interfaces. Users with older versions of NetBeans should use the template file TutorTemplatePre6_7.java, while those with NetBeans 6.7 or greater should use TutorTemplate.java. Specify this file when you configure NetBeans, as described here.

Known Issues

Java

  • Jess tutor-performed actions are not logged (CTAT2222).
  • The less-than sign does not display properly in CTAT’s separate hint window (but it’s fine in the integrated hint window).
  • In Cognitive Tutors, skills (rule names) are not logged.
  • DorminPicture does not provide any feedback message to the student when a step is out of order.
  • 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.

Flash

  • 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 are buggy. To use any of these components, download the CommComponents bundle from the CTAT 2.2 release and use these components with the 2.2 version of the CommShell component.
  • 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.
  • Logging custom fields does not work from Flash using CommLoggingLibrary.

Both Flash and Java

  • 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.
  • The JavasrcInstaller, 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.
  • Very large behavior graphs can take a while to open in CTAT.
  • 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 2.6.1

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.

Java

  1. Backup your existing projects directory to a separate folder on your hard disk.
  2. Ensure that you've completed steps 1–4 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 TutorTemplate.java. 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.

Flash

  1. Install the CTAT 2.6 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.