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The Extempore team has been busy over the summer. As we do every year, we use the break to push updates to the platform. Some of these updates are major new features (teaser: a BIG one is coming in late July!) but many others are small tweaks, performance and usability improvements that are reported to us during the year. As usual, please continue to send us your suggestions for improvement at firstname.lastname@example.org: your feedback is what drives our prioritization process.
The New Round of Usability Improvements Include:
Better Layout of the Grading Tab
It is now easier to select a student or question from the grading tab. Color coding makes it easier to see which student or question is selected. The student selection and grading panes have now been separated, so you can scroll each one separately… no more scrolling up and down if you have dozens of questions!
Better Performance of the Grading Tab
Loading times for the grading tab have been reduced by over 60%!
Due Times for Assessments Default to 11:59pm
This is a small one, but you’ve asked for it: now the default due dates for all assessments are 11:59pm. You can, of course, override it as you see fit.
New Look and Feel for the Student Portal and Mobile Apps
Assessments are now grouped in three accordions: Active Assessments (top and always open), Past Due Assessments, and Future Assessments.This will clean up the interface for your students and reduce scrolling.
Coming before the Fall….
The changes above are already available in your account. In the next few weeks, we plan to roll out the following changes:
Better Separation of the Locked Attempts Section
This will include bulk unlock: if many of your students locked a question, you’ll be able to unlock all of them at the same time.
Play Student Submissions at Double the Speed
We at Extempore are all about saving time! Soon, you’ll be able to play the student’s submissions at double the speed, all while keeping the pitch. So you can grade faster without thinking all your students are Donald Duck!
New Recording Test
When students use Extempore for the first time, a microphone/camera test will display. This will allow them to test that their phone or browser is configured and that they can record before they start answering real activities.
New Recording Workflow
We are changing the way students tap to start recording. Instead of having to tap twice, after one tap they’ll see a counter: 3…2…1, and then the recording will start automatically. This way of recording is closer to a standard for most of the products students use (for example, the timers with their smart phone camera, PhotoBooth, etc…) and should reduce the likelihood of them speaking without having launched the recorder.