Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sapling Learning v1.16 Release Notes

This morning we released another update to the site. This one wasn't as noticeable as our last release, but we're hoping you'll find it helpful. Here's what it included.

Activities

  • Web Help & Videos Drawer: We've added another drawer to the Activity Sidebar, containing a web search tailored to the subject of the assignment (general chemistry, biochemistry, etc) and the topic of the question (stoichiometry, SN1 reactions, etc). If we don't have anything specific in our Help With This Topic drawer, hopefully the web can help students out. This drawer is disabled if you disable resources for the assignment.
  • Better Data Structure: This won't be visible yet, but we've made another improvement to the way we store student responses for assignments. This will allow us to streamline some things in the future (and speed up load times), and to produce much more detailed reports about how students performed on assignments. Once we finish crunching the existing data into this new format (it's happening in the background over the next week or two), we'll show you a preview of what this new format will allow us to show you.
User Accounts and Login:
  • Facebook Connect Improvements: We've made our Facebook Connect integration easier to use. This should clear up any problems users have had using Facebook to log into the site. Note: We don't share any information with Facebook, we only use it to make creating accounts and logging in faster and easier.
Course Settings:
  • Course Institutions: We've added a formal "Institution" setting to the settings for each course. This will be invisible to you (your TechTA set it already), but it will allow us to make it easier soon for students to find your course.
Gradebook:
  • Better Scrolling: We removed the extra horizontal scrollbar in the gradebook, letting the scrollbar at the bottom of your browser window do the work. It looks a little ugly right now if your gradebook extends into the right margin, but we wanted to get the functionality in place right away. We'll clean up around the edges in an upcoming release.
In addition to those changes, we made several minor fixes to the new site, and a few behind-the-scenes bug fixes.

We'll have another major release around July, introducing several big changes for the Fall.

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