What’s new in Edsby – September 2021
Welcome to the Edsby September 2021 update
Edsby is excited to share with you great new features added in recent months. Enhancements included here were selected based on customer input and feedback from teachers, administrators, students, and parents.
Key product areas of focus for September 2021 include a new Social Emotional Check-Ins feature and enhancements to Online Testing, Professional Development Groups, Learning Object Repositories, LTI Certification and Moodle imports.
New documents and videos to describe new features in more detail are available in the support section of our website. Click your role to see the resources available to you.
Not all new features will be available to users immediately. It is 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 plan and give end-users insight into new things you may see in Edsby soon, if not already.
Social Emotional Check-Ins
The optional Social Emotional Check-Ins feature enables students to share their feelings with their teacher(s). It presents professionally curated strategies so educators can help them be as ready as possible to succeed. Whether students are in class, hybrid, or fully remote, Edsby now gives teachers a quick and easy way to poll students at the beginning or throughout the day on how they’re feeling.
The user interface, icon color, age-appropriate emotion selection, and regulation strategy content in Edsby Check-Ins come courtesy of a team of social-emotional, academic advisors and an exclusive relationship with MindUP—an evidence-based non-profit program designed to improve children’s emotional well-being founded by actress Goldie Hawn. MindUP is aligned with current SEL research and is accredited by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, or CASEL.
Once this feature is available at the district level, teachers can choose which classes they want to enable Check-Ins. If students decide to check-in, they can click the Check-In button and see color-coded icons representing the various emotions students their age can recognize. After they make their selection, they can explain their answer further. After completing the check-in, students will see regulation strategies tailored to the specific emotion they selected and their age range.
For teachers, the Class includes a Check-Ins summary page complete with an unread counter.
Teachers see their full roster of students and emotions they’ve been sharing, represented by the characters the students chose and whatever optional explanations they gave about how they’re feeling. Icon colors indicate the overall category of emotion.
Teachers see the regulation strategies the student was presented with and receive their own recommendations.
Teachers can also see student emotions on the Attendance sheet.
For more information about Social Emotional Check-Ins click here.
Teachers have two new Content items and a re-organized Class and Gradebook Setup form within the Class. Teachers teaching a self-paced course can also take advantage of a new Smart Release feature.
Content panel enhancements
There are two new items in the Content panel: Question Sheet and LTI Deep Link. Teachers can add Question Sheets to the Content area. The ability to store Question Sheets in a Class enables the teacher to share a complete course with other teachers through a Professional Development or Learning Object Repository.
Question Sheets created in the class can be attached to assessments to deliver an online test. The Assessment form’s Choose Question Sheet now opens a picker that enables the teacher to choose from the Personal Folders, class, or group. Once a sheet is chosen, a list of questions is visible.
The Content panel’s other new item is LTI Deep Link. Deep Linking is an LTI standard for exchanging content between applications and tools. Deep Linking enables LTI tools to appear in the same way that internal tools do. A broad range of content types can be shared, such as static links, embedded images, or other media types and files, extending the LTI toolbox and streamlining the process of setting up an LTI tool link.
A district may use a content provider that has hundreds of Chemistry videos and quizzes. After the district sets up the LTI tool, adding an LTI Deep Link will provide a drop-down of all existing tools.
Once the teacher selects an LTI tool, clicking Launch will enable them to choose what specific quiz, video, or page they want from the LTI vendor’s site.
If the teacher chooses a quiz, the students will see a launch button to begin the quiz.
If the LTI vendor provides content, the student can view the content from within Edsby. In the following example, the student can play the video and view the four pages of content on Thermal Energy created by wcln.ca.
We’ve made several improvements in online testing. We’ve added ways to manage the question order within question sheets. We’ve added more question types and new options for existing question types. We’ve also made it easier for people to develop question sheets together and share question sheets with others.
Question sheet management
Questions can be cut, copied, and pasted within the Question Sheet or to other sheets. Teachers can reorder questions or easily reuse and adjust existing questions.
The rich text editor has been added to enable the teacher to include rich text or add equations with the Equation Editor.
In addition, the Equation Editor now supports MathML to enable teachers to copy MathML from an external source and paste it into the Equation Editor.
Question sheets now remember previously used courses to speed up the use of standards/expectations/outcomes within a question sheet. Teachers no longer need to choose a new course each time they create a new question sheet.
New question types
Fill in the blank, Match and Numerical question types are available as choices. Teachers can also add instructions within the question sheet.
The Fill in the blanks question contains a drop-down list of possible answer choices, including Distractions answers, embedded within the question.
The Numerical question expects a numerical answer and offers the option of providing a tolerance range. If the answer is 165 and the tolerance is 0.5, answers between 164.5 to 166.5 would be considered correct.
For a Match question, the teacher supplies a list of items that must match another list of items. The teacher has the option to give decoy answers.
The student view of a Match type question is illustrated below.
Teachers can provide additional instructions to students within a Question Sheet by creating a label.
New options for existing question types
The Multiple Choice questions support partial and negative marks. However, an online test cannot have a negative grade; a student’s minimum score on an online test is 0. For Multiple Choice questions, the selected answer is set to 100% by default.
The Short Answer question type now supports partial marks and wild cards. The student would get full marks for entering Victoria and any additional text such as “BC” in the following illustration. The student would get half marks for not capitalizing and any other text such as “, british columbia.” Entering Vancouver or vancouver and any additional text would result in a deduction of 10% of the question’s value from the overall score.
Using existing question sheets as a question bank
Edsby enables teachers to quickly build a question bank by reusing questions from other Question Sheets from their Personal Folder, class, or group.
When creating a Question Sheet, teachers have the option to copy questions from other sheets. For example, Mr. Harris’ class is studying Romeo and Juliet. He has created a set of Question Sheets in his Personal Folder. He can create a new test and draw from other existing sheets by clicking the +Add From Question Bank button.
He can select any other Question Sheet and see a preview of the questions. Mr. Harris can click all the questions or choose a subset to add to the current Question Sheet.
In addition to the Personal folder, teachers can also use Questions Sheets from Professional Learning Communities, Learning Object Repositories, and Classes.
Professional Development Groups and Question Sheets
Question Sheets can be created and edited from the Content panel of a Professional Development Group. Question Sheets can also come from other groups and Personal Folders to the Content panel. This enhancement enables teachers to work together to build Question Sheets and to share with other teachers.
Sharing Question Sheets
Creating good online tests takes work on teachers’ parts. The improvements to Question Sheets help them with this task and empower them to collaborate and share Question Sheets. Improvements include the ability to select questions from other question sheets, create and edit Question Sheets from within a group’s Knowledge panel, and the ability to post Question Sheets to a Learning Object Repository.
Teachers can work together in an Edsby Professional Learning Community group to create Question Sheets within the group. In this example, the Chemistry teachers have created a set of questions based on the lessons within the course.
The teacher can create an assessment with an online test within a class and choose a Question from the Chemistry Teachers group.
The teacher can also create a new Question Sheet and draw individual questions from any of the Question Sheets in the Chemistry Teachers group. The teacher can pick four items for Lesson 1 Questions.
And the teacher can add five items from Lesson 2 Questions.
And the teacher can add all the items from Lesson 3 questions to create a customized online test.
The teacher can then create an online test assessment and choose their own custom Question Sheet for the online test.
Class & Gradebook Setup form reorganization
The Class Setup, Weighting, and Gradebook Settings forms are now one form, and the fields are reorganized into sections. The redesign gives teachers the ability to access all the Class and Gradebook options in one form.
The students and parents section controls how students and parents interact with the class content.
The Teachers and assistants section contains the names of teachers and their access level to the Class.
The Class names and visibility section enables the teacher to change the name and code the teacher and student see. Teachers can also remove a class from their Classes panel. More information about the Teacher, Support, & Substitute permissions sets can be found here.
The Assessments section includes all controls that impact assessments, including the grade scheme for the Perspective/My Work graph and the Gradebook Summary columns.
The Weighting section enables the teacher to set up the weighing buckets.
The Additional Options section displays class information from the Student Information System.
The Student well-being page is seen if the optional Social Emotional Check-In or other forthcoming well-being features are available at the organization.
Teachers will continue to access this form from existing menu items. When teachers choose the Class Setup, the form will open to the Students and parents section.
When the teachers choose Edit Weighting from the Gradebook, the form will open to the Weighting section. When teachers choose Gradebook Setup from the Gradebook, the form will open to the Assessments section.
The Help document for the Class and Gradebook Setup form can be found here.
New Class Setup option – Smart Release
Teachers can choose how students work with the information and assignments in the Content panel. Smart Release enables students to work through Content at their own pace. To support this type of learning, assessments are not added to the feed or calendar. Smart Release is enabled by navigating to the Class Setup form > Student and parents page.
When set to Smart Release, a student must open each item in the Content panel before revealing the next item.
If an item or section is not visible to the student, it is not in Smart Release. In this illustration, students would not see the lesson plan named Review for Test, nor would the students see the upcoming Novel Study unit.
When the student completes all the visible items, the Show Progress will indicate to the teacher which students have completed all the items in the Content panel.
Learning Object Repository group enhancements
More information about the LOR package includes how many units, lessons, links, and assessments it contains. Copy and View buttons have been added to help teachers add LOR items to Classes, Personal Folders, or other groups.
Non-moderators can copy items from the LOR for use in Classes, Personal Folders, and other groups.
A LOR item can be created by clicking the Paste button and once the item is pasted the Learning Object form can be edited to provide more precise details about the item. Anything from a Content or Knowledge panel can be pasted into a LOR. Question Sheets from a Personal Folder can also be pasted into a LOR.
Roster printing added to groups
The ability to print the class roster is a popular feature, so we’ve expanded it to groups. Print the group’s roster, save it as a PDF and open it in Word, or copy and paste the names to a spreadsheet. With a group, you now have an instant checklist or sign-in sheet. Group permissions already include the ability to control who sees the member list.
Student Portfolio exports
We’ve added an Export Portfolio button to the Student Portfolio. The content is exported as a zip file containing HTML files and images.
Settings now include the option of choosing a Dark theme, which works on both browser and mobile views of Edsby.
School and District Admin roles that can view the Teacher Details page have access to account history through the Show History button.
Account history details changes made by the Student Information System and manual changes to account settings. Information can help track down where changes have been made and by what system or person. In this illustration, the Principal can see the teacher’s updated account settings and change her profile picture. The Principal can also see that William Ham changed fields in the Information section of the Detail page.
Edsby certified for LTI Advantage Complete
IMS Global Learning Consortium has certified Edsby for LTI Advantage (LTI 1.3 Core, LTI Assignment and Grades Service 2.0, LTI Deep Linking 2.0, and LTI Names and Roles Service 2.0). The first of these (LTI 1.3 Core) is the primary LTI protocol used to launch links. The second (Assignment and Grades 2.0) is the gradebook write-back protocol. The third (Deep Linking 2.0) creates a workflow to allow the easy creation of LTI links by a user. Some tools use the fourth (Names & Roles 2.0) to read the class roster to perform their function.
LTI tools are configured by the organization’s District IT Administrator on the district’s Manage page. The LTI Tool configuration form has been updated to support the LTI Advantage requirements. The LTI vendor supplies the district with the information required for the Edsby Config and the Cryptography section. When the form is initially opened, the Tool Config fields are automatically generated. This information is shared with the LTI vendor to complete the setup.
Edsby has enhanced its support for importing Moodle packages (.mbz). We currently support the following objects and map them to Edsby as follows:
|Edsby item||Moodle equivalent item|
|Assignment with online test||quiz|
|Assignment with upload||assign|
If the Moodle import file includes a question bank, Question Sheets are imported into a hidden section named Question Repository.
The importer currently supports the following question types:
|Edsby Question Type||Moodle Question Type|
|Short Answer||short answer and description|
|Drag and Drop||ddwtos|
Currently, the importer does not support the following:
- files and attachments
- hidden objects are not hidden when imported
- teacher/Student per-object permissions are not imported.