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November 23, 2009 Release

Also see the Populi blog post.

This is a pretty far-reaching update, encompassing everything from minor interface-jiggering to substantial hardware updates that promise to greatly improve stability and performance. Some of the updates mentioned in this list trickled out over the past few weeks in response to some customer needs; we’ve included them in these release notes so you’ll know that they’re there.

Overall

We've adopted Terms of Service, a Copyright Policy, and a Privacy Notice which govern the day-to-day use of Populi.

New servers: Our page hits have been doubling every month, and we’ve been experiencing some growing pains. So we've obtained a new server cluster which considerably improves our speed and stability, while also affording us some much-needed room to grow.

Now you can access our help desk with a non-Populi email: whatever is set as your primary email within Populi will now let  you in to this help system.

Email

One of our hardware upgrades included a brand-new, dedicated Email server. Email is a storage and performance hog, and putting it on its own server substantially streamlines the workload for our other servers. Email will be snappier, and so will Populi as a whole.

UTF-8/Unicode support: Need to write an email in, say, Hebrew? Now you can.

WYSIWYG editor for email signatures

Academics/Courses

Course cloning enhancements: Faculty can now clone courses from the course instance page. Joining this is the ability to clone only specific items.

Registrars can use the new Import Courses feature to clone some or all courses from one academic term to another. Just go to the Courses view in Academics. You can even include course data (assignments, reading lists, etc. ... everything but faculty, students, and schedule) in the import.

Export your Gradebook to Excel, and import a .CSV database/spreadsheet into your gradebook. This means you can, among other things, import Scantron test scores straight into Populi.

New gradebook option: “Excused”

Custom Start/End dates for course instances

Export all Term Course schedules to spreadsheet

Total transfer credits added to transcript summaries

“Registration Lock” system tag

Save your custom queries as reports on Data Slicer

Granted date for Specializations

Degree Audit interface changes

Numerous tweaks, bugfixes, and display improvements for tests, including:

Import tests from any other section of a given course (whether in that term or another)... and you can do this without needing to clone or sync all the tests together.

New, cleaner To Be Graded interface

Zero-point questions for tests

Instructors can now email the students in finalized courses

Admissions

New Transfer Credits interface includes direct mapping of transfer credits to course groups and even individual course

Application data (degree, entrance term) now imports from Application directly to Student Information

Billing

Void Transactions and Apply Credits to invoices

Fee amounts and description now autoload when you add a pending fee

Improved links between invoice and transaction #’s

Cancel option added when editing fee rules

Handling of credits and refunds improved expanded all around

People/Admin

Adding New People feature back in Relationships interface

Public/Private default options for contact information in General Settings

Groups are now called “Roles” (it’s both more accurate to say and frees up the word “Groups” for some future features).

Mark Deceased: better handling, if you will, of deceased people

Customizable Student ID numbers

New organization type: Government

Bugfixes, minor tweaks, patches, et. al.

 

Fixed some isolated issues in online testing: lost essays, student access, grading issues, gradebook updates

Fixed an issue with middle names messing up other columns when exporting spreadsheets

Improvements to filter sensitivity on Pending Charges table

Better management of tuition schedule refund policies

Want to note a faculty member's degree? We put the degree field back into profiles

SAT Writing scores now available in Data Slicer

Fixed an issue where course prerequisites were preventing auditors from self-registering for courses

Tweaked the display of calendar events on Home screen

Fixed some issues with table sorting on Transactions view in Billing

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