What’s new in Edsby – September 2020

Welcome to the Edsby September 2020 update

Edsby is excited to share with you great new features that have been added in recent months. Enhancements included here were selected based on the input and feedback from teachers, administrators, students, and parents across our entire customer base.

Key product areas of focus for September 2020 include classes, embedded content, online testing, groups, Panorama and notifications.

New documents and videos have been created to describe new features in more detail. These are all available in the support section of our website; click your role to see the resources available to you.

Not all new features will necessarily be available to all users immediately, as it’s up to individual schools or districts/regions when or if they choose to introduce specific new Edsby capabilities. This list is here to help teachers and administrators with planning and to give end users insight into new things you may see in Edsby soon, if not already.


Last year, we enabled parents to turn on notifications when they logged in for the first time. In September 2020, faculty will see the Setup Notifications dialog the first time they log in.

For teachers, the following notifications will be enabled if Turn on Notifications is selected:

  • Private messages
  • Replies & likes on my posts (groups and classes)
  • Grades commented on
  • Assignments due soon
  • Class calendar reminder
  • Upcoming tests
  • Digest – weekly

These notifications are not automatically enabled when selecting the above but can still be manually enabled if desired:

  • Group calendar reminder
  • Class feed activity, posts, replies
  • Group feed activity, posts, replies

Notifications are delivered via Edsby, email, and mobile. Selecting Turn Off Notifications will leave the message notifications enabled. Notifications can be changed by navigating to the Account Settings.

Unread Tracking for Evidence, Learning Story, Portfolios

Unread Tracking has been added to Evidence. Within a Class, a teacher will see the unread counter on both the Evidence link and on the All Evidence page.

Students and parents will now see an unread tracker for both the Learning Story and Portfolio.

Content Builder Show Progress

A new Show Progress page has been added to the teacher view of the Content Builder within a Class. The page provides the teacher with information about what items the students have completed and records the student’s reaction to the Content Builder item.

The Content Builder now supports the importing of epub3 files. Also, when files fail to import an error is visible to the user.

Embedded Content in Notes & Journals

Content from the following sites will play within the Class Feed when added as a link to a Note or Journal.

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • SlideShare
  • SoundCloud
  • Google Docs (view link)

YouTube and Vimeo will play within the Content area of classes and groups.

Online Tests

In Online Testing, teachers can change the number of retakes for a specific student. To change the number of retakes, navigate to the Gradebook and select the online test cell. Click Change Attempts and set a number in the Attempts field. The student will be able to retake the test while the test is open.

Perspective and My Work Graph

The graph includes an updated look with controls to zoom in and out along with the ability to download the graph.

Report Card Sheets

Edsby has added a new “cardlet” view for teachers on report card data entry sheets. This view is helpful on report card sheets that have large input areas per student. It enables the teacher to view a single student’s sheet by clicking on their name rather than having to scroll down through all students’ sheets to find one student. This view is enabled on an “as needed” basis. For example, it will be automatically included in the Ontario Kindergarten report card data entry sheets, since those contain a number of large text areas per student.


Edsby’s Content Builder technology is now being used for authoring and editing knowledge base documents. Teachers have grown familiar with the Content Builder and wanted to see the Content Builder used in all groups. The Content Builder enables users to create a richer set of documents with sections, pages, links, and uploads and it is much easier to reorder sections and items. Visibility controls enable people to work on content before revealing it to other members of the group. Existing Knowledge Bases have been converted.

Panorama UI improvements

The student Panorama has been restyled, however all content and permissions remain the same.

  1. The Planned Absence and Message button have moved beside the student’s name.
  2. The link to the Portfolio has moved to the right side of the screen and a link to the Student Admin has been added.
  3. The Student Admin page includes the Student Information section of the Panorama
  4. Within the Student Admin tab, the Caregivers button opens the Parent/Caregivers information. Clicking on Parent or Contact on Panorama will also open this page.

Permission and roles changes

Removing manually added staff improvement

Faculty can be added to schools through the Staff Zoom’s Add Staff function and can be removed by clicking the Remove button. We’ve enhanced the removal of the manually added staff members to also remove them from any groups they are enrolled in.

Removing access to classes at other schools

IT Admins, Senior Admins, Head Office, and Guidance roles can no longer see information about classes and students at another school. Previously, this access occurred when a teacher was teaching at two schools and the Teacher Details page included classes from both schools. This access has been removed by only showing the classes that the Teacher and the School IT, Senior Admin, Office Head or Guidance have in common. For example, James Maupin teaches at both Tecumseh and Mesa. When the principal at Mesa views Mr. Maupin’s Details Page she only sees the 4 classes taught at Mesa. When the principal at Tecumseh views Mr. Maupin’s Details Page he only sees the 2 classes at Tecumseh.


Monitor groups are now available as a filter in the Analytics Dashboard. Students can be added to Monitor groups to create a custom filter. The key feature of a Monitor group is students do not know they are a member of the group. Administrators, classroom teachers, itinerant teachers, guidance and support all have a place by which they can discuss and monitor students at risk or those needing extra attention.

Assessment and reporting by outcomes

Many jurisdictions assess and report on outcomes as a rubric rather than a Letter Grade or Percent. An outcome-based Report Card looks like this:

Rather than this:

Assessing and reporting based on Outcomes requires a new set of tools. New assessment schemes have been created to support assessment based on the Global Level Outcome (GLO). For example, if an Outcome has three levels, A would be the strand, A.1 would be the GLO and A.1.1 would be the Specific Level Outcome (SLO), sometimes called indicators. The GLO assessment type enables teachers to link any SLOs (indicators) to an assessment but assess on the overall GLO.

The GLO assessment type enables teachers to link any SLOs to an assessment but assess on the GLO. In this illustration, the teacher has selected 5 SLOs but will be assessing on the GLOs.

The next tool needed to support the assessment and reporting by outcomes is the ability to weight by GLOs and choose an aggregate method. The available aggregate methods are mean, mode, latest, and highest.

For example, when assessing by outcome, the teacher could choose to set the Aggregate Method to Latest. Any time the teacher accesses a student’s ability for an outcome like “Multiplying a 2 or 3-digit number by a 1 digit number” the result reflects the student’s current ability and the Report Card system would use the latest evaluation of any GLO to populate the report card sheet.

Outcome-based assessment and reporting also needs to pull the data from the gradebook based on the Aggregate method to create a report card input template.

And finally, the school would send home a report card that looks like this: