Class Climate 

 What’s new in Class Climate v7.1?

Learn more about the new features in Class Climate v7.1 and how they benefit your organization.

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Enhanced Integration Capability

Function Description Benefit
Plug-in Interface

The completely new plug-in interface replaces the previously available customizations by Scantron.

  • Plug-ins are now developed and maintained based on Open-Source-approaches by:
    • Scantron
    • Partner companies
    • Independently by users or collaboratively by Special Interest Groups. 
  • Plug-ins will now be provided centrally in a marketplace for all users via the Extras menu in Class Climate.

With the new plug-in interface extensions for Class Climate you can simply install and configure plug-ins via the user interface without requiring IT assistance. Plug-ins can extend existing functions as well as contain entirely independent desktops or analysis report types to suit your needs. 

Simple LTI® interface configuration 

The user interface now supports:

  • Defining LTI connector parameters, required to activate and configure the LTI® interfaces integrated in Class Climate.
  • Administering the style sheet data used for the content and design of LTI® responses.

The LTI® interface is directly supported by numerous learning management platforms such as Moodle, Blackboard, Sakai, Canvas or Brightspace. Class Climate offers a wide spectrum of usage possibilities to include students and instructors in online surveys and to configure the display of survey results. 

Improved Reporting

Function Description Benefit
Multicolored histogram and stacked bar diagram   

Two new functions are now available for the display of histograms:

  • Set colors on individual bars.
  • Set histograms to a horizontal display with the stacked bar diagram option. 

Increased display options ensure that reports using histograms are more easily read and interpreted.

Extended indicators display 

You can now supplement indicators with stacked bar chart options and individual bar colors.

The stacked bar diagrams enable an easier interpretation of responses with regard to the distribution of differing assessments. This supplements the usual display of mean with standard deviation.

Newly designed presentation slides

The presentation slides have been redesigned for more effective display via projectors with a completely revised layout.

Presentation slides provide a quick and appealing display for discussion of survey results. The pagination was adjusted to better support their use in presentation software. 

Quality Guideline display

You can now display a list of the quality guidelines, including the respective achieved percentage per guideline as well as the overall. These guidelines appear below the indicators in the PDF report.

Previously, only the traffic light symbols for the respective individual items appeared in the PDF-report. It is now easier for recipients of the evaluation reports to view and understand their level of attainment against the generic guidelines.

PDF report accessibility

You can now regulate whether instructors can access results for surveys marked as not yet completed, or must wait until the survey period is over before seeing results.

Some organizations choose to withhold the results of instructor feedback until certain requirements (such as the availability of exam results) are met, even if the survey period is already complete.

Cumulative frequencies

You can now include cumulative frequencies in the PDF report for scaled questions.

This enables you to provide a way for report recipients to see total responses in PDF report. For example, you could include a cumulative view of complaint rates or support rates as a figure in the report.

Reading direction in PDF reports

You can now choose to display contents of PDF reports as a Right-to-Left (RTL) version. All displays of histograms, profile lines and survey contents fulfill the requirements of the Arabic language area.

If you provide reports in Arabic or other right-to-left languages, this display option ensures characters display correctly for that language’s reading direction.

Improved Performance and Security

Function Description Benefit
General security improvements   

We subjected the Class Climate platform to a penetration test performed by a company specializing in data security and incorporated resulting insights as various improvements to security-relevant areas.

We repeat penetration tests at regular intervals to test the latest relevant attack mechanisms on web servers and data base servers as well as within the Class Climate codes. This ensures the core system as designed is safe from known attack types.

General performance improvements 

We optimized various functional areas, including:

  • The display of subunits
  • Loading of the question library
  • Batch events

These optimizations reduce processing time and speed up system response. 

Database improvements

We converted the internal communication between Class Climate and the database server to transactions.

Until now, unexpected program terminations occasionally left data fragments, which could cause side effects in various ways at a later point. This conversion:

  • Increases system stability
  • Enables the complete reversal of more complex processing actions in case of unexpected errors. 

NOTE: To support these changes, the required working storage of the system has increased.

Mass deletion of obsolete image data 

In the system cleaning area, you can now use a single process spanning entire survey periods to delete:

  • Image data from handwritten comments on paper-based surveys
  • Original scans from captured questionnaires

For data sets with hundreds of thousands of image data which have grown over time, this data volume represents a critical factor for the compliance with certain parameters of the backup of data sets for storage capacity as well as for the length of back up processes, aside from the general guidelines of data privacy acts. Mass deletion simplifies complying with these requirements.

Reduced mail service notifications

The mail service responsible for sending mass e-mails comes with a multitude of alerts and error messages, which are shown to the administrator directly after login. The classification and frequency of these error messages has been reduced.

In many cases, the temporary shutdown of the database server used by Class Climate during backup procedures caused unnecessary error messages. The system now waits for a certain amount of time before an error message appears in order to avoid false alarms.

Fewer mail service notifications

We reclassified and reduced the frequency of error messages and notifications for mass email sends.

Reduces false alarms and unnecessary notifications when system administrators log into Class Climate.

Improved User Experience

Function Description Benefit
Instructor notification at start of survey   

Parallel to sending online survey invitations to survey participants, you can schedule notifications to instructors.

Notification ensures instructors are actively engaged from the beginning of survey administration and can, for example, motivate students to participate in the survey in any remaining lectures. 

Improved comment editing

Administrators can now edit:

  • Entries made by data entry assistants during the anonymization of handwriting
  • Open comments from online surveys

From time to time, you may need to make corrections after the completion of the data entry anonymization process, for example, to remove mentioned names or inappropriate passages of text in comments. You can also make these corrections to open comments from online surveys.

Improved filtering and deletion

You can now choose different periods and statuses (such as with/without surveys, anonymous/non-anonymous) as a filter criterion in the lecture list. You can then mark and delete the resulting filtered lectures.

This improved feature makes it easier to administer large catalogs of lectures.

Integrated online help

We have integrated a context-sensitive online help system, controllable via the web browser, for administrators and users with active accounts. The usual PDF manuals remain available for download.

The online help loads faster than downloading the entire manual and provides convenient searching.

Fix-list display

A list of fixes recognized in the system now appears in the area of license administration. 

 

Administrators can now check the correct installation of a fix and be informed about the existing fixes, for example when contacting Support.

Volume license capacity alert

You can now configure and display two warning thresholds to prompt automatic email notifications to Class Climate administrators when specific residual capacities of the relevant valid volume license fall below the thresholds. 

In some cases, clients have unexpectedly exceeded their volume license capacity, causing surveying to shut down in the middle of a survey cycle. This feature helps you avoid unexpected shutdowns.

Reading direction in online surveys

We have supplemented the language sets for online surveys (all message text and button labels), with an Arabic translation. A distinctive feature is the automatic mirroring of the entire questionnaire to support Right-to-Left (RTL) reading direction.

Arabic text on questionnaires now displays a consistent RTL user experience. This can be helpful, for example, in international employee surveys or surveys of students with an Arabic language background.

Optimized layout in the VividForms Editor

Previously, the multi-column layout possible in the VividForms Editor led to a several changes when computing the automatic layout.  We have now corrected this by adjusting the layout of checkboxes for alternating scale resolutions as well as the layout of pole text. 

This optimized layout addresses the formatting to provide more consistent form appearance. 

NOTE: Due to the complexity of guaranteeing readability of already-printed questionnaires, these layout optimizations could not be made within a fix. However, you will not need to convert questionnaire; all newly created questionnaires from v7.0 can be automatically adapted to the correct layout when updating to v7.1. Older questionnaires were not affected by these changes.  

Question library in Instructor’s Optional Questions

Instructors using pre-defined optional questions can now use the question library to select additional questions.

This addition enables you to support instructors who want to add optional questions with a question library.

You can choose to turn off the question library entirely. If your turn it on, you can specify whether users can only use questions from the question library or whether they can also create their own questions