Update – 20/05/2016
Due to some issues implementing a few of the proposed new features we have had to remove affected improvements and revert them back to their previous state. This is to ensure that we don’t cause issues for users who need to access these functions. The following items are affected, and will be released at a later stage:
- Improved Edit Benchmark process
- Score Details page
- Fixed scrolling for Data Grid pages
We will make every effort to release these improvements as soon as possible, most likely in an update patch to closely follow the 4.1 release.
Since releasing Scorelink 4.0 and the interface back in February this year we’ve been hard at work to bring that same look and feel to all Scorelink materials, including this website! We’ve also continued to eliminate any bugs as they are reported or we locate them, tweak existing features and even implement a few new things that have been requested.
This article will contain a fairly exhaustive summary of changes, so is not for the faint of heart; however, we’ve broken it down into sections to make it a little easier to digest. We have also included all changes we could recall since 4.0 was released, as patch changes during this time were not adequately documented.
A feature is something brand new we’ve added – this will usually be an entirely new element, such as a new page or graph, that constitutes a (reasonably) major development effort, or delivers substantial additional value.
- A new Group Note Index has been added, allowing users to view Student Notes for an entire group of students at once: this applies to Classes, Year Levels and Subjects. There is a new tab in the Class/Year Level/Subject Details screen entitled “Notes” that will take you to this new, unified view.
- A setup wizard has been added so that the installation process can now be done entirely on-site without our assistance. Though this won’t affect any existing servers, in the event of a failure requiring deployment of a new Scorelink installation this will make things much easier. This also speeds up our installation process for new schools, giving us more time for development and support (rather than spending it doing installations).
- Added an improved Create and Edit Benchmark process, to allow of substituting (non-numerical) tests. Previously benchmarking these tests (such as Australian Curriculum) required some arcane knowledge of what the base values were (10 – 50 for AC tests), and some clever manipulation of those values. Now the benchmarking process treats these as discrete values, and allows you to benchmark according to the actual letter value very simply.
- Added a new data import format for CeSIS data originating from Catholic Ed (CESA) schools, to allow them to be using Scorelink. This will widen the community of Scorelink schools, and hopefully lay the foundation for greater student data communication and collaboration in the future.
- Added new foundational features to facilitate multi-tenant access for sites housing multiple schools – this will allow one server to hold several different “sets” of Scorelink, rather than being restricted to one database. This is mainly due to work on the Cloud version of Scorelink, as we are aiming for one unified codebase, to allow Server schools to migrate to the Cloud if they wish.
- Added a new draft graph, the Single Test Progression. This can be accessed via the traditional progression graph (Student > Progression) by clicking “Test Progression” next to a single score underneath the progression graph. Single Test Progression will show the progress of a student in a single test over time, over a backdrop of the changing site benchmarks. This is a powerful way to view growth as it clearly highlights when a student crosses bracket boundaries, highlighting a positive or negative growth factor. This is classified as a draft graph, as we are still gathering feedback on how schools will use this data, so if you have any comments please send them to our support team.
- Added a new Score Details page, to allow a deeper level of drilling down to data. For scores that are entered with multiple values (converting data such as SA Spelling) this will allow the user to see each of the capture score values, even if they are not usually displayed. This can also be used as an entry point for opening up the Single Test Progression graph.
- Extended the user invitation process to allow a single user to be added on the fly, without having to import their data in from a bulk file. The Tools > Users > Invite page has been updated to easily be able to invite single or bulk users.
- Added new draft features to support the exporting and importing of student data between sites, as students transition from one Scorelink school to another. This is a powerful feature that will allow collected results to follow students as the move around different schools, and provide a tapestry of their testing to date from various sites. This is still in the draft phase as we iron out issues that arise in the field, but if you would like to explore this feature then please contact our support team and they will be able to provide advice about the process.
An addition is something new that may have been added to an existing page or feature, but isn’t really major enough to be classified as a feature on its own. These are still new inclusions to Scorelink.
- We now do supported browser sniffing to determine whether or not the browser being used is comaptible with Scorelink. This aims to help prevent display bugs and flawed functionality through the use of outdated browser software. Users with an unsupported browser will be notified on the login screen.
- Data Grid is now able to have test columns sorted alphabetically, and grouped or sorted by test category. This allows users to produce a Data Grid with just a single category of test (such as Numeracy), or have like tests grouped together. This will apply to Excel export as well.
- Added a Year Level filter to the Classes, Year Levels and Students indexes, to make locating these items easier
- Added a new section to the Student Details panel (on the left when viewing a student) to include their current tags for reference
- Added a new All Students option to the Benchmark Create wizard, allowing the creation of a single catch-all benchmark: this is really useful for Australian Curriculum tests, where one benchmark should be applied to all students (rather than creating them indivudally per year level, and setting the brackets all the same). This can be found as an alternative to selecting Year Levels.
- Added sorting and filtering to the User Index to make locating users easier
- Adjusted the Score Index page (in the Student Profile) to include a new Score Type column, to make it easier to identify which score type has been entered for a particular score entry
- Added a Test Category filter to the Session Index, so users can find sessions matching a specific test category easier
- Added filters to the Student Scores page to allowing filtering by Test Name and Test Date, and a column sort for Bracket to make ordering by scores more intuitive
- Added sort capabilities to the Data Grid pages so that data can be sorted by score value for each listed test; this makes ranking students low to high (or high to low) in a single test very simple. This will apply to exported Excel files as well.
- Added a new “generic file import” format to do a bulk staff import for data that does not come from the Learlink Site Report. This can be downloaded from the Staff Import page.
A tweak is just a minor or slight adjustment to how something works: adjusted a default sort order, or reformatting how some text is displayed. You may not even notice these changes, but they are still important to us.
- Edit Benchmarks was showing an incorrect URL (/Benchmarks/ExperimentalEdit); this has been adjusted to the correct URL (/Benchmarks/Edit)
- Removed the need for an Ed ID (aka Learnlink ID) when importing staff into Scorelink to allow for non-DECD sites
- Adjusted the Data Entry page so that past students are now grouped together at the bottom of the list by default, making data entry easier. To re-thread them through the list alphabetically, use the First Name or Last Name column headers.
- Adjusted the Test Details page so that you can no longer Create Benchmarks if you haven’t set a primary score type: this was causing a lot of issues for users who missed this key step. We are working to improve the entire test configuration process to make it much easier in the future
- The Class master panel (on the left) listed the teacher names in far larger text than everything else, which just looked weird.
- Adjusted the display of score values so that if the primary type is not available for some reason, one of the other score values will show instead. For example, if you have set up NAPLAN to use the Band type, but a student only has a Raw score, it will show that instead (and clearly indicate it is a Raw score and not a Band). Bear in mind that if the primary score type is missing, the entire score wont be benchmarked.
- Changed the Data Grid column headings to use the Test Code instead of the full test name, to save space on the page and show more data. You can hover over the column headings to see a tooltip of the full test name.
- Changed the display of substituting tests (tests that use a non-numerical scale, like Australian Curriculum or Fountas & Pinell) to show the non-numerical value instead of the base value. Previously you may have seen AC tests showing 10 for E, 20 for D etc; these are all adjusted.
- Adjusted the default Student list for Classes and Year Levels to only show current and future students for this year’s classes and year levels, to make viewing data a bit tidier. For past classes and year levels all students (including those who have since left) will be shown.
- Past and Future students are now visibly differentiated through a greyed-out row, and a badge showing “past” or “future” respectively.
- Changed the display of sessions’ Group Name to include the Class Code for class sessions
- Adjusted the default sort order of the User Index so that inactive users are grouped at the bottom of the list, to make locating current users easier. These can be sorted into the main listed or filtered.
- Merged the user invitation information from the Staff Index into the User Index, so it’s easy to see which users have pending invitations. All functions previously available on the Staff Index (resending or cancelling invitations) can now be done from here.
- Improved the Benchmark Edit interface to make it much clearer when turning brackets (colour bands) on and off using a simple on/off switch. Brackets can still be expanded to allow overriding of the sub-bracket values (and switching these on and off as well)
- Restyled the Data Grid to make use of the new adjusted colours, and used paler variants of the colours in the exported Excel file for better readbility and contrast.
- Removed the full test names in the Student Profile PDF export, instead using the shorter test codes: this is to compact the data and use less space for the same data. A legend mapping the test codes to their full names can be found at the end of the file. We are working on improving the format of this report to achieve better use of space, and keep with the new style guidelines.
- Adjusted the dashboard screen that is seen after logging in to remove the old help guides and include links to the new help centre, plus other useful information. This will be continually added to to build up a useful first-view when logging in.
- Adjusted the layout of the DataGrid pages so they use fixed scrolling, to make it easier to view extended data sets.
- Removed the reference to semantic bracket names such as “risk”, “caution”, “normal” and “excellent”, as these presuppose what purpose each colour band should be applied to, and can be interpreted to be making value-judgements about students assigned to each. In future each bracket will be referred to by its colour only.
- Restyled the layout of the User Preferences page, to make changing passwords a bit easier and the complexity requirements more transparent.
- Adjusted several of the functional “anonymous” pages (reset password, accept invitation et al) to use the new login layout.
A bug is an unexpected or unintended deviation from the way something should work. Bugs are always unintentional, and usually present through an error of some kind. We aim to resolve this swiftly and decisively as they can cause a negative user experience. All bugs are listed as how they presented when they were active, but all have now been corrected.
- Admin users could not access the Tools > Import menu even though they had permissions to import staff
- Session Breakdown and Test Breakdown PDF export were crashing when sorted by the Score column
- Password reset emails were not being sent to users if they entered their email with different case-sensitivity than when they were invited (e.g. invited as Support@Scorelink.com.au and reset password as email@example.com) – this was causing an incorrect mismatch when looking up the user account
- User Index page had a different default filter (on page load) than specified in the Filters panel, causing confusion
- Long tag names were being cut off as they extended outside the tooltip container
- Creating benchmarks using the new All Students option was failing to submit due to the option being incorrectly deselected by Step 2 of the wizard
- Changes made to user accounts caused issues with the display of usernames for Sessions (via the Session Index) and Student Notes (crashing the page)
- Session Breakdown PDF default sort order was different to page default sort order, resulting in incorrect exports
- Email addresses for user invitations were not being treated as case-insensitive, resulting multiple users being invited with the same email address in different casing
- Data Grid export was crashing for subject groups
- Sorting the Session Index by the Description column caused sessions with no specified description to be hidden
- In the Session Index, the Test Filter dropdown list was sorted in the wrong order
- Filtering by Tag in the Student Index caused false-positive matches for students who had the tag previously, but not longer
- An error was being thrown when changing a users role to Inactive to revoke their access
- Anonymous pages (login, unsupported browser et al) had a display bug in Safari causing the Scorelink logo to appear off-centre
- Sorting Classes by name did not correctly sort them alphabetically
- For pages with a lot of data (e.g. Student Index) where the page count was greater than 9, an ellipses was shown incorrectly formatted
- Sorting by First Name or Last Name on the Data Entry page was not operating correctly
- Colour bars in the Benchmark Index (Test Details) page did not line up to 100% width, and in some cases were missing colours
- There was some ambiguity about whether or not data was being re-colour-coded when benchmarks were created and edited
- New custom tags were being allowed with codes that conflicted with system tags (such as ATSI), causing updates to fail
- Data Grid test column names were not sorting in the correct order when specified in the Filters panel