August/September 2023 Cirrus Update: Quick Insights Into All Your Assessment Data

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As we continually strive to enhance your e-assessment experience, the Cirrus summer update brings a host of new features and improvements: The improved Invigilation Overview is your new command centre for seamless assessment management. With its customisable features and advanced search options, it simplifies schedule management and makes it easier to track and oversee assessments.

Next, the game-changing addition of the Coordinator Dashboard revolutionises how you manage the marking process. Imagine having a bird’s-eye view of every assessor and moderator’s progress, all in one place. This dashboard doesn’t just offer oversight; it empowers you to act swiftly, ensuring that no assessment falls behind schedule. It’s the ultimate tool for coordinators seeking to elevate. Read on to discover how these updates can benefit you.

Invigilation Overview

The improved Invigilation Overview (or Proctoring Overview) offers a streamlined view of all the schedules you’re involved with, whether for active invigilation or view-only permissions:

  • The overview enhances efficiency by displaying key details such as schedule title, unique code, start and end times, and current status. 
  • Customisable columns allow you to add and review additional information, like duration and candidate progress. 
  • The search function allows you to quickly locate schedules or users by username, userID, name, or ID, making it easier to find specific assessments or candidates.
  • The filter options provide targeted results, enabling you to sort by date ranges, clusters, hierarchies, and security measures like Proctorio or Safe Exam Browser. This ensures you see only the most relevant schedules. 

For more information, visit our Invigilation Overview Documentation.

Coordinator Dashboard

In September, we empowered coordinators with a comprehensive dashboard. Not only does the new Coordinator Dashboard offer you a panoramic view of every assessor and moderator’s progress, but it also acts as your early-warning system for timely interventions. Say goodbye to missed deadlines and hello to assessments that run like clockwork, all while safeguarding the quality and timeline of your marking process.

The Coordinator Dashboard offers a range of features to streamline the management of the marking process:

  1. To-do List: Guides coordinators through initial steps like setting workflows and allocating assessors.
  2. Details: Provides key metrics such as the number of candidates, assigned assessors, and overall marking progress.
  3. Progress by Assessor: Displays each assessor’s marking status through percentages and colour-coded legends.

  1. Progress by Round: Allows tracking of marking in multiple rounds, offering flexibility in workflow settings.
  2. Export Results: Enables the download of preliminary marking results in Excel format.

In short, the dashboard enhances oversight, facilitates timely interventions, and ensures that marking timelines are met effectively.

For more details, consult our Coordinator Dashboard Documentation.

VPL Programming questions

The VPL (Virtual Programming Lab) Execution Server is a cutting-edge feature in Cirrus that allows for the assessment of genuine programming skills. Unlike traditional methods that test only theoretical knowledge, this feature provides a real programming environment for more authentic assessments.

In collaboration with the VPL team, Cirrus released a future-proof upgrade in August, ensuring long-term reliability and performance.

For more details, consult our VPL Programming Questions Documentation.

Next month’s updates

Improved Forms Overview

Test forms sit at the heart of Cirrus, it’s here that you manage the tests your candidates take. We’ve recently overhauled the forms overview in anticipation of an upcoming feature: the capability to specify the desired difficulty level for each form. This will have the following benefits for you: 

  • The revamped forms overview shows you the difficulty level of each test form at a glance. This ensures that each assessment aligns with your specific objectives, whether they involve challenging high-achievers or providing a more accessible test for all candidates.
  • The upcoming feature to generate a balanced mix of easy, medium, and hard questions streamlines the test creation process. This not only saves time but also ensures a well-rounded assessment, enhancing the quality and fairness of the tests you administer.

The first part of this improvement – the revamped forms overview –  will be released in October: 

Shortly thereafter, we’ll also add the second part: the option to generate a random (Linear On the Fly Test) form with a balanced mix of questions – easy, medium, hard – according to your specifications. 

The benefits of Linear On the Fly Testing for test security cannot be overstated, and this new feature will make it much easier to ensure that all the LOFT exams you administer are balanced and of equal difficulty. Keen to learn more about LOFT and test security? Find out more in our ebook: LOFT 3.0: Beyond Test Centres.

Invigilation dashboard

Also coming up, the new Invigilation Dashboard will offer significant benefits such as enhanced search capabilities and more efficient table management. We’ll revamp the dashboard entirely to include:

  1. Search and Filter: This feature simplifies the process of locating specific candidates or assessments, enhancing your oversight capabilities.
  2. Table Management: You can now choose which columns to display, allowing for a more personalised and relevant view.
  3. New Columns: Additional columns like ‘browser version’ and ‘IP address’ provide more detailed information, aiding in troubleshooting and security measures.
  4. Select All: Unlike the previous limit of 100, you can now select all candidates at once, streamlining bulk actions.
  5. Printing Keycodes: Improvements in this area make it easier to generate and print keycodes, reducing manual effort and minimising errors.

These updates collectively will contribute to a more user-friendly, efficient, and informative invigilation process.

In summary, the Cirrus summer updates offer valuable enhancements that aim to streamline your e-assessment processes. Whether you’re an invigilator looking for a more efficient way to manage schedules or a coordinator seeking better oversight, these updates are designed with your needs in mind. With the upcoming improvements in October and beyond, we will  continue to focus on delivering features that make your life easier. Thank you for your continued support, and stay tuned for more exciting updates in the coming months!

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Vegard Sivertsen
Cirrus’ founder and CEO is passionate about the potential of EdTech to transform how we teach and assess skills and knowledge.
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