Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Major Software Update

  • Live Date June 27th, 2016
  • Fixed Roles & Updated Sharing
  • Calendar Overhaul
  • Announcements Overhaul
  • UI Tweaks
If you've been following the blog you would have noticed that we've been pushing back the dates for Fixed Roles and Updated Sharing for almost 6 weeks now. This was partly to make sure that everything was working as expected but it was also to allow our developers to implement some other major changes they've been working on. We're now currently testing all the changes and expect them to be implemented over this weekend.

What to Expect
Since this is a fairly major update we've been working hard (and continue to do so) to make sure any issues are kept to a minimum. However we will have all of our support staff and developers dedicated to fixing any problems which arise next week. In the worst case scenario we will also have the option to roll-back any changes and postpone the update to a later date.

Fixed Roles & Updated Sharing
We will be replacing the existing user definable roles with a set of fixed roles. While these roles will cover the needs of most institutions users will also be able to combine roles in order to meet the unique requirements of some institutions. The sharing system will also be updated replacing the existing system with one based on fixed roles. For example the 'Registrar' role will automatically have access to all students while 'Student Advisor' will only have access to students for which they are assigned. You can read more about these updates here:

Calendar Overhaul
We've updated the calendar in response to feedback we have been receiving.
Updated calendar page showing events from personal, staff and course calendars.
These changes include
  • Multiple Calendars
    Display personal, staff and course calendars simultaneously.
  • Public Events
    Add public events which will show up on everyone's calendar.
  • Completed Events
    Toggle whether or not completed events are shown.
  • Availability
    When adding events for prospects / staff you can view the availability for the assigned recruiter /advisor. You will also receive a warning when you try to double book.
  • Meeting Attendees
    Assign attendees to meeting events.
  • Student Portal Calendar
    Students now have access to their own calendar which lists event for any courses they are currently enrolled in.
  • State Tracking
    Calendar will remember the current view, date and filter selection.
  • User Interface
    Updated to be more consistent with rest of application.
New calendar filters let you choose which calendars are displayed and how they're filtered.
Announcements Overhaul
The announcements have been improved and expanded. They've been designed to make communicating with students and staff and simple as possible. The changes include:
  • Email Notification
    All announcements including general, course and program can now be emailed to recipients in a similar way to group emails. The emails are tracked and stats are available on how many users received and viewed the announcement.
  • Display Until Date
    Announcements now have a 'Display Until' date. They will be seen by users under Home->Announcements until the display date.
  • Pinned Announcements
    Announcements can also be 'Pinned'. These announcements will remain in the announcement area until they are unpinned or deleted.
  • Course Announcement Document
    Course announcements can now include a document attachment. These documents are available for download when a student views an announcement and can also be downloaded from the course documents section.
  • Program Announcements
    We've added the ability to create program announcements. These announcement will be seen by students currently enrolled in the program.
  • Institution Announcements
    In addition to newsletters and this blog, users will be notified of any changes, updates or interruption to service through institution announcements. These announcements will be created by ampEducator staff and appear in the regular announcement section.
  • Course & Program Titles
    When viewing course or program announcements in the announcement area, users will see the announcement title preceded by the course or program code (e.g. [ABC123] Announcement) in order to help them identify announcements.
UI Tweaks
We're continuing to update the user interface to make the application faster and easier to use. We're also making adjustments so that users can use ampEducator across a wide variety devices from phones to tablets to desktop computers. These updates are ongoing but in this release we have done the following:
  • Less Page Reloads
    For a lot of pages when you hit 'Save' the page will no longer need to refresh. The data will be automatically sent and any success / error messages will be displayed. 
  • More Modal Windows
    In some areas full page loads have been replaced by modal windows. These are small windows which sit on top of the existing page. This allows you to view / add / edit items without having to load a new page.
  • Institution Name
    The institution name has been moved into a separate new bar along the top of the screen.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please email us at support@ampeducator.com.