Wednesday, December 14, 2016

ampEducator Winter 2016 Updates

  • User Interface Updates (Ongoing)
  • ampEducator Manual and API
  • Institution Account Updates
  • Better Fit With Standard Accounting Practices
  • Apply Online Payments Automatically to Payment Plans
  • New Text Editor
  • No Grade Courses
  • and more...!
User Interface Updates (Ongoing)
You may have noticed the new look and feel of ampEducator in the Institution Account, Account Settings, Staff, Groups, Reports and Template sections. These have been completed as part of the rolling updates to the User Interface (UI) with all sections scheduled to be completed by Feb 2017. For more information on this please refer to the previous blog post below:
ampEducator Manual and API
A benefit of the User Interface Updates is that we are also publishing to our new online Manual and API in tandem. The Manual and API can be found on our public website. Please note: we are currently updating these pages - Last Update Dec 15, 2016. If you are looking for help and can't find it in the current Manual please email us at support@ampeducator.com:
Institution Account - Billing
The Institution Account now allows Administrators to make payments and view/download all invoices for your ampEducator service fees. You can also now more easily update your plan and credit card credentials as well as view your account status. Each month a new invoice is generated on the first and your card will be billed - if for any reason there is a problem with your billing the system will alert you and give you a 7 day grace period to correct the issue before automatically disabling the account. For more information on this please feel free to review our Terms of Service.

Institution Account - DB Read Only Access

We have re-introduced the ability to enable and configure DB Read Only Access in the Institution Account.

Better Fit With Standard Accounting Practices

We've made some changes to how student financial accounts work to bring them more into line with how a bookkeeper or accountant might need them. Each student account is now treated as an individual Account Receivables account and Financial Accounts have been renamed as Revenue Accounts to make their role clear in the process. The table below outlines how each transaction is now handled in ampEducator:

Transaction Type
Debited Account
Credited Account
Charge
Student A/R Account
Revenue Account
Payment
Bank
Student A/R Account
Refund
Revenue Account
Student A/R Account

Apply Online Payments Automatically to Payment Plans

For schools using the Student Portal option and allowing Students on Payment Plans to login and make payments we've added a new configuration option to Students > Online Payments.  When "Auto Apply to Payment Plan" is checked off, payments are automatically applied to outstanding payment plans starting with the oldest to newest.

New Rich Text Editor
We've updated the text Editor in ampEducator to provide better support for creating letters and email templates. Along with a cleaner and more updated look the new text editor is now consistent in all areas of ampEducator allowing you to do things you were not able to do before like insert images into Announcements. Check it out under Home > Templates.

No Grade Courses
Grades have been updated to support Courses with Custom Letter Grade outcomes that will not effect the overall GPA of the student. Users define their 'No Grade Reasons' under Configuration > Courses. The no grade reason can include a code (i.e. 'P', 'E' ....) and a reason (e.g. 'Exempt' or 'Something') and whether or not they receive credit for the course. Under Courses > Gradebook > Edit Student Grades there is now an additional option called 'Assign No Grade'. When you select this you get your No Grade List. When a student gets a No Grade, the No Grade Code appears in place of their final mark wherever it's displayed (Gradebook, Academic History, Student Courses, Transcripts) and the grade is not calculated into their overall GPA. When calculating program requirements it is also not included in the program GPA calculations but if they earned the credits then it will take that into account for program requirements.

Additional Changes:
  • Generate Schedule (PDF) as of Date. The Student Schedule can now be generated for any given period of time and not just the current week - select from the Calendar to view the schedule that week based on the Course timetables the Student is enrolled in.
  • View Student Course. There is a new option under Student Profile > Courses using the Magnifying Glass to the right of the Student Course List called View Student Course. From here you get all the details from the student course including status changes and you can update the enrol date of the Student in the Course which you previously could not do. Enrol Date is different than Start Date - this is the Date the Student was enrolled into the Course and not when the Course Starts.
  • Announcements to Students. You now have an option to omit Archived Students from Bulk Announcements made to Students. This is useful for when you only want Current Students and not Alumni (that should be marked Archived Status) to be notified.