May 2023 Cirrus Update 

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Last month, we improved library management in Cirrus to help you save time, make data-driven decisions and easily expand your library. We also added support for Angoff values and added the option to set a maximum time for candidates to answer questions.  

And we’re not stopping there! Cirrus continues with unabated rigour to improve and increase value for our users. This month, we’ve added a host of new features to let you manage your assessments more efficiently, save time with assessment templates, deliver secure candidate feedback and much more. Read on to find out about all the improvements!  

Cirrus May Software Upgrades

Manage your assessments more efficiently

The upgraded assessment overview table introduces a range of new features that help you manage your assessments more efficiently:

  • Quickly zoom in on specific assessments with enhanced filtering and searching capabilities.
  • Easily identify assessments that need to be updated, such as when items within them have been modified.  
  • Update and publish assessments in bulk.

Save time with assessment templates

Do you often find yourself using the same or similar settings across assessments? Then the new assessment template feature is perfect for you! It helps you streamline your assessments by letting you build new assessments based on existing ones, rather than starting from scratch every time. 

Publishing assessments has become more intuitive

In the 16 May software upgrade, we revamped the “Publish Assessment” dialogue to make it more intuitive. Thanks to helpful tooltips, you’ll have a clearer understanding of the implications of your choices, making the process more user-friendly and efficient. 

We’ve also renamed the various workflow options to highlight the distinctions between them: 

  • Scheduler is assessor’ replaces the old ‘Simple workflow’ 
  • ‘Coordinator assigns assessors’ replaces the old ‘Extended workflow’
  • ‘Autoscored’ replaces the old ‘Do not assign assessors’. Please note: The option to auto-score questions will always be visible – but won’t be clickable if you’re using one or more manually scored questions, like Essay or File Response questions.

Improved question types: File response and Office 365

The 16 May software upgrade further improved the file response question type and the Office 365 question type: It now gives test-takers the possibility to add a rationale when submitting their files. This is very useful in case they need to add clarifying information or comments that they cannot add to the file itself. 

Secure candidate feedback with Timed Results

Allowing candidates to review their answers straight after the exam is incredibly useful to help them understand their mistakes and learn from them. In order to do this while maintaining exam security, the new Timed Results feature lets you display results straight after the exam for a limited amount of time, set by you. 

The Timed Results feature is available if you select one of the following options for ‘Show candidate results’: ‘After each attempt’ or ‘After last attempt’. In either case, an extra option will appear for you to select the maximum time that candidates will be able to see the feedback after the exam (in minutes). When that time has passed, the results will no longer be available.

Limiting the amount of time that results are visible helps you keep your exams as secure as possible. Additionally, the timed results feature has two benefits over review sessions: It displays the results while test-takers have the exam still fresh in their minds and saves you from having to schedule separate review sessions.

Note: Of course it’s still possible to set up a candidate review session at a later stage. 

Upcoming Cirrus upgrades

June: Better candidate experience with Navigation in Sections

Give test-takers the freedom to take their exam in the order that works best for them, while staying in control of the overall exam delivery. With the new ‘Navigation in sections‘ feature, you can allow free navigation through the exam, but limit candidates to forward-only navigation within sections. This can help test-takers build confidence by tackling the questions they feel confident about first, and help reduce anxiety and stress levels. 

Summer 2023: Coordinators take centre stage

Next up are several key improvements to the marking coordinator functionality in Cirrus. The coordinator plays an important role in Cirrus: They set up the marking workflow and assign markers and moderators. The improvements we are currently working on fit well with our goal to give users better insight into the entire assessment process. 

Insight into exam marking progress

First up, the coordinator table will get a complete overhaul, utilising the new table component that you have become familiar with in other parts of the system. These key improvements will give coordinators greater insight into the status of the marking process for each exam: 

  • Better filtering and searching
  • Possibility to archive assessments
  • View the overall marking progress for each assessment
  • Possibility to view and adjust markers for assessments with ‘simple workflow’ set up

Insight into assessor and moderator progress

We’ve conducted extensive research into the needs and wishes of our customers, and a coordinator dashboard is high on that list. The coordinator dashboard will give coordinators a full overview of the progress of individual assessors and moderators. It will also allow the coordinator to view their activity level and view the progress of each marking round, for example round 1, round 2, moderation round 1 etc. This helps the coordinator stay on top of the marking process at all times and plan accordingly. 

We hope these updates will contribute to your success and provide an even better experience for your candidates. As always, we appreciate your feedback! If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact your Cirrus support team.

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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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