CTAT 3.2 Release Notes

7 June 2013

Downloading and Installing

System Requirements

CTAT requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), version 6 or greater. Additional requirements may exist, depending on your authoring environment (Flash and/or Eclipse). Eclipse requires the Java Development Kit (JDK).

New users

  1. Download and install CTAT 3.2
  2. Download and install Flash or Eclipse with WindowBuilder for authoring tutors. (Not sure whether to go with Java or Flash? Read our Java-Flash comparison.)
  3. If you decide to build interfaces in Java, configure Eclipse and WindowBuilder.
    If you decide to build interfaces in Flash, configure the Flash IDE.

Existing Users

  1. Download and install CTAT 3.2.
  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 3.2


  • "Open Recent" menu for accessing recently opened behavior graph files, stores your most 15 recently opened BRDs.
  • Reorganized menus to be more standard. The mass production commands are now located under Tools > Mass Production.
  • Tutor-performed actions from the start state are now possible.
  • A Java applet-based Tutoring Service (for Flash AS3 tutors) is now included as a new deployment option. See the README.txt in the folder CTAT/deploy-applet for more info.

Flash Changes

  • The ActionScript 2 (AS2) version of the CTAT Flash components is now deprecated and no longer supported or updated. This release contains these components as an MXP in the folder CTAT/Flash/Deprecated/, but future releases may not.
  • Improved display of Flash (AS3) "connecting" screen
  • Updated Flash examples and templates to use ActionScript 3 (AS3) components. Two new example tutors are now included—DecimalAddition and Factors
  • Improvements to the following components
    • CommAudioButton (new)
      • The audio file or url will now immediately play back from the beginning if a user clicks the play button again.
      • If you want to use the audio button as a player activated by a tutor-performed action (TPA), then use playClip as the action and set the input to the desired clip URL.
    • CommControllerButton (new)—auxillary component to all complex components
    • CommFractionBar (new)
    • CommHintWindow
      • Better support for images in hints. When displaying an image in the hint window using HTML, you can use either a relative path (e.g., "image.png") or an absolute path (e.g., "/path/image.png") to that image. If the path is relative, the tutor will translate the image URL relative to the location of the SWF file (as specified in the student_interface flashvar). If the path is absolute, the tutor will use the curriculum_service_url to complete the full path to the image. Both of these flashvars, described here, are set by the TutorShop LMS.
      • Font styles embedded in hints as HTML are now properly used and will override whatever settings were set in the hintwindow parameters.
    • CommNumberLine
    • CommPieChart (new)
    • CommSkillWindow
    • CommSubmitButton (new)—auxillary component to all complex components (Fraction bar, pie chart, numberline). Evaluates on demand the component listed in its parameters. CommSubmitButton works for most components. Target components should have their "Tutor Component" parameter set to "Do not tutor"
    • CommTable (new)
    • CommTextArea
  • Reduced the number of component style parameters that are saved and automatically read from the behavior graph, making the appearance and behavior of a Flash interface across behavior graphs easier to predict.

Known Issues

  • Double-clicking a BRD does not load the graph on Mac OS X
  • AS3 CommHintWindow should display scroll bars when an image exceeds its dimensions
  • AS3 components do not yet create Jess templates in Cognitive Tutor (Jess) mode.
  • Flash components cannot be modified in Set Start State mode.
  • Demonstrating a step in an unordered graph that matches an existing step does not 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.

Upgrading an Interface to CTAT version 3.2

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 (Eclipse Window Builder)

  1. Backup your existing projects directory to a separate folder on your hard disk.
  2. Download and install the new version of CTAT.
  3. In Eclipse, remove the old CTAT widgets from the pallete and add the new ones. From the Window Builder palette, right-click and choose "Palette Manager". In the manager, under the category containing the CTAT widgets, select all and press Remove. Then add the new ones from ctat.jar using the Import Jar button.
  4. Open the interface you'd like to upgrade in Window Builder's design mode.
  5. Verify your tutor has a CTAT_Options object in it. This invisible widget is now required. If you don't see it, add one from the palette.
  6. Set the CommName property for each widget in the interface to the respective widget's variable name. So if you have a widget named "table1", set its CommName property to "table1".
  7. Run your new interface in Eclipse to verify that the upgrade procedure worked. If you encounter an error and the file will not run, contact us for assistance.


Note: To upgrade your Flash FLA file to use the latest components, follow the directions below. Unfortunately, there is no automated upgrade path from a tutor with AS 2.0 components to one with 3.0 components. The only way to do this is to recreate your student interface in a new AS 3.0 document using the AS 3.0 components.

  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 type in the interface that you would like to upgrade, drag that component from the CommComponents section of the Components panel 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.