June 2024 Cirrus Update: Your Favourite Marking Companion Just Got Better!

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After ten years of listening to your invaluable feedback, we’ve completely revamped our marking tool, and we think you’re going to love it. This new version is packed with features that will make your life easier and your work more efficient. We’ve poured a lot of effect and love into this update, making sure every tweak and adjustment is just right for you.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into what’s new and improved. We hope you enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed creating it for you.

Meet the New and Improved Marking Tool

We’ve given the Cirrus Marking Tool a major upgrade, making it the best on the market for marking exams. This upgrade focuses on simplifying the grading process and boosting your efficiency, while keeping everything accurate and consistent.

A friendly interface

The new interface is all about you. Our UX/UI designer Madina designed it to be more user-friendly, so you can find your way around quickly and easily. With intuitive controls and a sensible layout, you’ll spend less time figuring out menus and more time on other important tasks.

Flexible grading options

Teaching styles vary, and so do our marking options. Whether you prefer traditional points, rubrics, or narrative feedback, you can customise it to fit your needs. This flexibility ensures that your grading is as precise and effective as your teaching.

Better teamwork

Collaboration is key in education, and our tool makes it easy. You can share and comment on assessments with your colleagues, improving the quality of education through shared insights and feedback.

Instant Insights and Analytics

Get real-time insights into student performance with our data visualisation tools. See trends and patterns at a glance, and make informed decisions about your teaching strategies. These analytics are more than just numbers—they tell the story of your students’ progress.

AI-Powered Essay Grading

The highlight of our updates is the AI-powered essay grading. This feature supports you by providing consistent and timely evaluations. It learns from your grading patterns, offering insights that you might miss. It’s perfect for handling the heavy workload of essay grading, letting you focus more on personalised teaching.

Big Changes for a Better Marking Experience

Smooth navigation

Our upgraded navigation system ensures a seamless grading experience. Navigation options are now at the top of the question/response area, allowing you to move vertically (next question, same candidate) or horizontally (next candidate, same question).

Clicking in the search field reveals a dropdown menu, letting you toggle between viewing by candidate or question (default). You can search by question title, text, or ID, and by candidate name or ID. In question view, see all questions for the current candidate, with markers for unscored, scored, and auto-scored questions. In candidate view, see all candidates you need to mark, with a checkmark for completed ones and a number indicating remaining questions to be marked.

Better collaboration among markers

The revamped tool makes collaborative grading easier. You can see how your colleagues have graded questions, promoting a more unified evaluation approach.

Time-saving keyboard shortcuts

We know your time is valuable. New keyboard shortcuts let you quickly save scores, navigate between questions, and switch views between assessors, saving you time and effort.

Advanced Scoring and Annotation Features

Dynamic Scoring Options

Our scoring options are more versatile than ever. Whether you use criteria-based scoring or a simple score per question, the tool adapts to your grading style. 

You can even adjust criteria during grading to keep evaluations relevant and accurate.

Enhanced Annotation Capabilities

You can now link annotations directly to criteria, change the color of highlighted sections, and assign criteria to specific parts of a response. 

This detailed feedback is clearer and more targeted, helping students understand their strengths and areas for improvement.

You can mouse over the highlighted sentence to view the feedback and which criterion it’s connected to. This level of detail in feedback is unprecedented, offering clearer, more targeted insights to students.

File Attachments and Audio Feedback

Markers can now attach files or record audio as part of their feedback. This opens up new ways to provide detailed feedback, whether through annotated documents or verbal guidance.

Please see our Release Notes for all the details on the Cirrus Marking Tool.  Enjoy the new features and happy grading!

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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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