December 4 to December 8, 2023 Release Notes

Features & Improvements

We now check your password against a database of so-called "pwned" passwords—those that have been exposed in data breaches. If you enter such a password when first creating your user account, we don't let you use it. If your current password is exposed in a breach, we'll start nagging you (gently) to change it.

We added an integration with, so you can now use that service to scan student assignment submissions for similarities to other material. Check out their site if you're interested, and if you end up signing up, here are our setup instructions.

You can now control whether students can start discussions in individual course lessons, rather than the blanket course-level setting (which still exists, but the new setting can disregard it at the lesson level).

Tests now let you import GIFT and AIKEN test question banks into the Populi test question repository.

We've gone and taken LTI 1.3 out of beta. In so doing we also...

  • Added tool settings to control a tool's ability to publish grades, edit assignments, and access the course roster.
  • Fine-tuned sync functionality for LTI links: sync all changes except for custom params, lti_resource_id, and lti_resource_tag.
  • Added support for the $ LTI parameter, which tracks the cloning history for a link in the form of a string of course offering IDs.
  • Added support for the LTI postMessages storage spec, which allows tools to store nonce and state items in the parent iframe instead of relying on third-party cookies.
  • Brutalized the English language in other, even more esoteric ways than what was just outlined.

Some small Library items:

  • Re-arranged the fields when adding resource copies so that Published info fields are next to each other.
  • When adding resource copies, you can now enter acquisition date and source fields.

If you're trying to print more than 500 library labels at a time, you might remember the days when you just couldn't. Now Populi makes it a "background job" and emails you when the labels have been generated. Welcome to the days when you can!

The Online Payments report now displays (where possible, sometimes the payment processors make this info opaque to us) convenience fees and processing fees.

Even if a student doesn't have an aid application, he can now see his own Profile > Financial Aid view if you've entered any awards there.


If a student didn't have an active program, he would be withdrawn from a course for failing a prereq even if he didn't fail it—so we fixed the prereq-checker so it isn't so hyperactive.

Videos, Focus Sessions, and Whatnot

Over on the blog, we shared a few things that might help someone cut through the noise when considering new software for their school. If you know anyone who's in the middle of that process, maybe that article will help out a bit.

Next week's Focus Sessions will be...

  • Introduction to Populi: This'n'll cover setting up your Populi account, logging in, adding new users, login approvals, roles, search, basic reporting, Populi's global settings and so on. This will be most useful to Populi Account Administrator and Academic Admin users. It's scheduled for December 12th, 2023, 11:00 AM Pacific time.
  • Introduction to Academics: Get introduced to academic years, terms, programs, degrees, the course catalog, course instances, enrollment, and so on. This will be most useful to Registrar and Academic Admin users. It's scheduled for December 14th, 2023, 11:00 AM Pacific time.

Josh tells students all about where to find their grades in Populi—everything from assignments to course grades to transcripts and so on.

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