Feb ’24 Cirrus Update: Enhanced Reasonable Adjustments for Fairer Assessments

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Welcome to our February software update blog. This month, we’re excited to unveil a significant upgrade to our Reasonable Adjustments feature, a step forward in honouring the individuality of each student. Whether it’s a candidate with dyslexia requiring more time to process information, or another with anxiety needing additional time to alleviate stress during exams, our update introduces a more flexible approach to accommodate these varied needs. Our commitment to fairness and inclusivity in assessments is about understanding and adapting to the distinct requirements of every student, ensuring a level playing field for all.

Customised Support for Diverse Needs

Our previous version of the Reasonable Adjustments feature already allowed for the allocation of extra time for candidates who needed it. Building on this, we have now expanded the feature to offer more nuanced support. You can now assign individual extra time percentages to each user, ensuring a tailored approach to each candidate’s specific requirements. This ensures that every candidate receives the exact amount of additional time required for their exams. 

For example, a candidate with dyslexia might require a 25% increase in exam time to accommodate their reading pace. With our updated feature, you can set this specific percentage in their profile, ensuring they receive the exact amount of extra time needed. Another candidate with an anxiety disorder on the other hand might only need a 15% increase in time to manage exam stress effectively. 

What’s more, this update extends to Timed Sections, where extra time is automatically adjusted in proportion. For instance, in a section allocated 10 minutes, candidates eligible for 25% extra time will receive 12.5 minutes, while those with a 15% adjustment will get 10.5 minutes, ensuring fairness and accommodation in every part of the assessment.

How to use it

To use this enhanced functionality, go to Admin > Users on the Cirrus platform. Select a user and assign the desired extra time percentage in their profile. 

When setting up an assessment, you now have the choice between using the traditional fixed extra time or the new percentage-based method. This addition provides greater flexibility in catering to a variety of special needs, ensuring each assessment is as fair and accommodating as possible.

For more detailed instructions on how to utilise this feature, please visit our Knowledge Base.

What’s coming up in March? 

We’ve got a whole raft of exciting features coming in the next month, read on for a sneak peek! 

Test Wizard: Simplifying Exam Creation and Scheduling

The Test Wizard is designed to streamline the creation and scheduling of exams. Embodying our ethos of simplicity and advanced functionality, the Test Wizard offers an all-in-one solution, allowing users to set assessment options and scheduling details simultaneously. This feature, accessible directly from collections, will not only simplify the exam setup process but also provide flexibility and control, ensuring a seamless and efficient experience for both beginners and experienced users alike.

Marking Submissions: Streamlining the Review Process

Our upcoming enhancements to the Marking Submissions page are set to significantly improve the assessment review process. This crucial component of our platform, where candidate submissions and their statuses are reviewed, is receiving both functional and aesthetic upgrades. These improvements are designed to make the marking workflow more intuitive and effective. Key quality-of-life enhancements include a simplified, user-friendly interface and the ability to perform bulk actions, such as submitting scores. These changes aim to make the marking process more efficient, allowing educators to concentrate on the quality of assessment rather than the intricacies of the process.

Assess Tab Enhancements: Optimising the Marker’s Experience

The Assess tab is where it all begins for markers. Next month, we’re introducing a series of improvements to enhance the efficiency and ease of the marking process. Once assigned to an exam, markers will find their tasks more manageable and organised on the Assess tab. Key enhancements include: 

  • A progress bar for tracking marking progress
  • The addition of informative columns like ‘Hierarchy’, ‘Marking workflow’, ‘Scheduler’, and ‘Integration ID’
  • Improved filtering and sorting capabilities within the table
  • New archive functionality 
  • The option to export data to Excel 

Elevating the Assessment Experience

As we move forward into 2024, these updates reflect our unwavering commitment to enhancing the assessment experience for all users. From the nuanced support offered by the Enhanced Reasonable Adjustments feature to the streamlined processes introduced by the Test Wizard, our focus remains on providing a platform that is both intuitive and efficient. The improvements to the Marking Submissions page and the Assess tab further demonstrate our dedication to simplifying workflows and ensuring fairness and inclusivity in every aspect of assessment. 

We are excited for you to experience these new features and look forward to your feedback as we continue to innovate and improve our services. Stay tuned for more updates and enhancements as we strive to make Cirrus the most user-friendly and effective e-assessment platform available.

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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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