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Welcome to the ATutor General User documentation. The information found here is applicable to both instructors and students. Also see the the Instructor Documentation for details of other tools that might be used to author content while in a group environment.


A user may login to the system with the Login Name or Email address, and the Password entered during registration. Logging in gives users access to Protected courses, lets them enroll, and lets them participate in courses.


In order for a user to login to the ATutor system, a unique system account needs to be created. Use the Register link in the main navigation to access the registration form. If email-confirmation has been enabled by the system administrator, a message will be sent to the email address entered, containing a link that must be followed to confirm the new account. Once this has been done, the login name or email address, and the password entered during registration can now be used on the Login screen.

Note that if a system administrator has specified users to be checked against a Master List of allowed Student IDs and PINs (for example), this information must also be entered during registration.

Browse Courses

The Browse Courses page lists all courses presently available on the ATutor system.

If a course is Public, it may be accessed without logging in first. Protected and Private courses require that you be logged in. Private courses are available only to those who have been approved and enrolled in the course.

Forgot Your Password

If you have forgotten your password, use the Forgot your password? link on the Login screen. The form will email the login name to you, along with a link you must follow to change your password.

My Start Page

My Start Page is a personal area displayed after logging in. The My Courses section lists the courses that the user either teaches, or is enrolled in. From here one can also create a new course, or browse through courses. There is also a Profile section for editing personal details (including changing a password or an email address), and a Preferences section for editing some system preferences such as the way information is displayed and the preferred theme.

My Courses

Courses that the user is in enrolled in, or courses that are pending enrollment, are listed on the My Courses page.

To enroll into a public or protected course, follow the Browse Courses link and locate it, then enter the course and use the Enroll Me link located beside the course title. If the course is private, enrollment must be requested first. Admission into the course will be allowed once the instructor has approved the request.

Create Course

Only Instructors may create courses, though if enabled, students can request instructor accounts by selecting the Create Course link. View the Instructor Documentation on creating courses.


This section allows a user to change elements of his/her personal profile.

Although the login name cannot be altered, password, email address, and other personal information may be edited. There is also an option to keep the email address hidden.


The following preferences allow a user to control how some features function, and how information is displayed.

Themes are used for changing the look and feel.
Inbox Notification
If enabled, an email notification message will be sent each time an Inbox message is received.
Topic Numbering
If enabled, content topics will be numbered.
Direct Jump
If enabled, using the Jump feature will redirect to the selected course and load the same section that was being viewed in the previous course (instead of the usual course Home page).
If enabled, users are automatically logged in when they open ATutor. You should only enable this if you are accessing ATutor from a private computer, otherwise others will be able to login with your account information.
Form Focus On Page Load
If enabled, the cursor will be placed at the first field of the form when a page loads.
Content Editor
This preference controls how content is entered. Choose between Plain Text for entering content text that will escape any HTML markup and will be formatted as entered; HTML for entering HTML content manually; and HTML - Visual Editor for entering HTML content using the visual (also known as a WYSIWYG) editor which represents the content as it will be displayed. It is also possible to change the editor manually for each item.


The Inbox is used for privately messaging other users in your courses. Inbox messages appear in a table, with new messages flagged. Selecting a message will display its contents at the top of the screen.

In the sub-navigation there is a link to send a message. Choose the recipient, enter a subject and a message, and use the Send button.

Note: use the Inbox Notification preference to receive emails when a new Inbox message is received.

Course Features

After a student has entered into a course, he/she is presented with the course Home page. The Home page may contain a course banner, links to Student Tool, and course announcements.

A few of the course features are explained here, as they may be a little tricky for new users. Other features are fairly straight forward and should be intuitive to use. Look for the handbook link while using a tool, to open its help page directly.

Export Content

The Export Content feature creates a "Content Package" that can be downloaded and viewed offline in the viewer included with each package. If this feature is turned on for a course, it may be accessed through a Student Tool icon on the home page, and/or a link in the main navigation. Choose which section you wish to download as a content package the use the Export button. Export Content is also linked from top level content pages or all content pages (depending on what the instructor has set) in the Shortcuts box. Using this link will package the current page and all of its sub pages into a single "zip" file, and prompt the user to download the file.

The downloaded file can be unpacked with a common archiving application (e.g. WinZip, PKZip, Unzip). Unzip the file into an empty directory then open the index.html file into a Web browser.


If instructors have included SCORM compliant Sharable Content Objects (SCOs), they will be avilable for viewing using the Packages tool. Note that the SCORM Run Time Environment (RTE) requires the Java JRE 1.5 to function properly, as well as LiveConnect, which is enabled by default in the JRE 1.5. Download an install with latest Java JRE [] from the SUN site, if you need to upgrade your browser's java support.

TILE Repository Search

External content packages can be downloaded from the TILE repository by entering a search term and using the Search button. Use the Preview link next to a search result to open the TILE content browser, or use Download to retrieve the content package from the TILE repository. Once downloaded, the file can be unpacked with a common archiving application (e.g. WinZip, PKZip, Unzip). Unzip the file into an empty directory and browse the package's content.

Visit the TILE web site [] for more information about using the repository.

File Storage

Students, assistants, and instructors can access a personal file management tool using the File Storage area, if enabled for a course. Workspaces can be selected for storing files, their presence depending on one's access rights:

To move between workspaces, select them from the dropdown menu and use the Go! button. To view a file in the File Storage area, download and open it locally on your own computer.

Create Folders and Adding Files

To organize files, folders can be created using the Create Folder feature at the top right of the file area. To upload a new file, with an optional description of its contents, use the New File feature at the top left. The file will be uploaded to the currently opened directory.

Managing Files

It is also possible to Download files to your hard drive, Hand In a file for an assignment, Edit file details and rename folders, Move files around within a workspace, as well as Delete files and folders. Depending on the type of workspace, the buttons that appear will vary.

File Revisions

If enabled, file revisions can be kept, so a history of the document or file is available. Uploading a file of the same name as one that exists, will create a second version of the file, and so on. With each revision comments can be added, to summarize the changes from authors, and to perhaps collect feedback from reviewers.