January Software Update: New Year, New, More Organised You!

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With the start of 2024, it’s that time again for resolutions. Whether hitting the gym more, eating better, or getting your home life sorted, we all have our goals for the New Year. And hey, Cirrus is right there with you, especially regarding organising. That’s why we’re thrilled to share some exciting updates with you: an improved Library, smarter Manual Question Selection, faster Performance Improvements, and a sleek API Library Upgrade. These aren’t just any updates; they’re your new tools for staying on top of things. Imagine less time fussing with your assessments and more time for… well, whatever your heart desires (like sticking to those New Year’s resolutions 😉—how are they going, by the way?).

And with that, let’s dive into our winter upgrades:

Improved Library

We’re revamping how you manage Collections, Items, and Media elements. This isn’t just a minor tweak; it’s a complete overhaul to bring you a more consistent and user-friendly interface across the application. Here’s what to expect:

Enhanced Filtering: This feature is upgraded for a smoother, more intuitive experience. 

Advanced Sorting: Organise your data more efficiently with our improved sorting capabilities.

Uniform Layout: Enjoy a cohesive look and feel across the entire platform, making navigation a breeze.
Application on Tabs: These improvements span the Collections, Items, and Media elements tabs, ensuring a smooth experience in all key areas.

Bug Fixes – Section Timer Issue: We’ve also addressed a bug where the section timer continued to count even when an exam was paused. This fix ensures accurate timing, giving you peace of mind that exams are being timed precisely as intended.

LOFT 3.0 Upgrades: Enhanced Manual Question Selection

LOFT 3.0 keeps getting better and better with our Enhanced Manual Question Selection, providing greater control and precision. We’ve elevated:

Improved Filtering 

This update introduces advanced filtering options, allowing users to locate specific questions efficiently. Filters can be applied based on multiple criteria like collection, marking type, taxonomy, item purpose, difficulty, question type, labels, learning objectives, and topics, enabling users to quickly find the most relevant questions, saving time and enhancing the assessment creation process.

Table Component – with New Columns!

You can customise the table view by showing or hiding columns as you see fit, enabling a tailored view of your dashboard.  Use the new columns for topics, difficulty, and timer settings for a more detailed overview.

  • Topics: A new column in the question selection table that displays the topics associated with each question. This helps users identify and select questions that align with specific topics, ensuring a comprehensive assessment coverage.
  • Difficulty: This column shows the difficulty level of each item, providing a quick reference for question complexity. This assists in creating balanced assessments with a mix of difficulty levels, catering to diverse candidate skills.
  • Timer: A new column indicating the maximum time allotted for each question. This aids in managing the overall timing of the assessment, ensuring it fits within the allocated duration.

Show Blueprint

This feature offers a read-only overview of the questions used and the categories they belong to, such as Learning Objectives, Taxonomy, and topics. This provides a visual representation of how questions are distributed across various categories, aiding in balanced assessment design.

Assessment Option Tab Update

  • Auto-Saving: The assessment options tab now includes an auto-saving feature, reducing the risk of data loss and ensuring that changes are saved automatically, enhancing the reliability of the assessment creation process.
  • New Ordering Fields: the update includes newly named ordering fields, although their functionalities remain the same. This streamlines the user experience with more precise and more intuitive field names, simplifying the assessment setup process.

Removed Notifications: Unnecessary notifications have been removed from the tab. This declutters the interface, allowing users to focus on essential elements of assessment creation without distraction.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed duplication in blueprint question types.
  • Resolved issues in the Admin Collection tab.
  • Addressed database performance issues during blueprint creation.
  • Fixed printing issues in the Summary/Details section.

Other Software Upgrades

We’re thrilled to announce a series of enrichments to our Cirrus platform designed to enhance performance, security, and integration capabilities. These upgrades are part of our ongoing commitment to providing a robust, efficient, and user-friendly experience for all our users.

NET Upgrade and Performance Improvements / API Library Upgrade 

  • .NET Upgrade: We’ve upgraded our platform to the latest .NET framework, ensuring improved stability and security. This upgrade lays the foundation for future enhancements and feature additions.
  • Performance Improvements: Our team has focused on optimising the platform’s performance, resulting in faster response times and a smoother user experience.

API Library Upgrade: We’ve updated our API library along with performance enhancements. This update provides better integration capabilities, more robust features, and compatibility with various third-party tools and services.

LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) Library Upgrade 

The LTI Library has been upgraded to support the latest standards in learning technology interoperability. This upgrade ensures seamless integration with various learning management systems and educational tools. Users can expect enhanced reliability and smoother interactions between Cirrus and other LTI-compliant systems, leading to a more integrated learning and assessment environment.

Single Sign-On / SAML 2.0 Upgrade 

We’ve upgraded our Single Sign-On (SSO) capabilities to fully support SAML 2.0, the leading secure and efficient authentication standard. This upgrade means users can enjoy a more secure and streamlined login process. It minimises password fatigue and security risks while providing quick and easy access to the Cirrus platform.

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Picture of Vegard Sivertsen
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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