Monday, January 17, 2011

Sapling Learning v1.14 Release Notes

This week we're releasing the next update to SaplingLearning.com. We intended to only release a couple features to help with lab courses, but we ended up rolling a few extra features into this release, including one big one.

Activities
  • Introducing the Activity Sidebar: In November, I mentioned we were working on the Activity Sidebar. The first version of the Activity Sidebar will be available in this release. The Sidebar currently contains up to three drawers (depending on your course and assignment settings): Assignment Information (always present, open by default), Subject Resources (present if enabled and present for this subject), Technical Support and Bug Reports (always present). We'll add more drawers in coming releases.
Groups (aka Sections)
  • Student Self-Enrollment in Groups: Students can now add themselves to course sections, using a special enrollment key (password) to indicate which group they should be in. This makes it much easier to manage multi-section courses.
  • Group Due Date Offsets: You can now set up a "standing extension" for a group. For example, if you have lab groups that meet on Monday and Wednesday, you can give everyone in the Wednesday section a two-day extension on every activity, automatically.
Miscellaneous Fixes
  • Grades: We shortened the length of assignment titles in the gradebook, cutting down on the need for horizontal scrolling.
  • Extensions: Better error-handling (mostly for old, mis-set extensions that were hard to edit).
  • Profile Pictures: You can now upload profile pictures again.
  • Spacing of PayPal Payment Box: The PayPal box had a big gap above it where the enrollment key box goes when needed. That space is now gone.
  • Sorting Module: A rare bug in the sorting module caused images to very occasionally fail to load. This bug has been fixed.
We also released the prototype of a new feature in this release, but that isn't quite ready for general use. I'll be back next week to tell you about it, and to let you know how you can see it while we work the kinks out.

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