To find out more about these changes and other updates made to Surpass for this release, read the 'New Features' section below. Visit the in-built Surpass Help and the Surpass Learning Portal for more detail on these great new features. You can also find a summary of issues fixed in this release at the bottom of this article.
Below you will find details of new and updated features that have been introduced in release 12.10 of Surpass. The features are divided into sections based on the area of the system which they affect.
Test Delivery: Assistive Video frame-by-frame navigation
When playing assistive videos, the candidate now has additional settings to control the playing of the video, providing the video meets the necessary requirements. This includes repeatedly playing the video, skipping backwards or forwards through frames, slowing down the speed of the video, and the ability to skip to any part of the video using the scrub bar.
Test Delivery: Finish Section Functionality
When sitting a test with timed sections, the candidate will be unable to finish the test as a whole unless they are in the last section. When selecting the 'Finish' button within a section other than the last one, the candidate will be able to finish that section only. This will help to prevent candidates from accidentally finishing the test rather than just the section they are in.
Item Authoring: Simplified Authoring
A new simplified Item Authoring interface has been introduced to enhance the usability of the Item Authoring screens. For all question types, the ability to add source material, assistive media, and a table to the question stem can now be accessed via a cog icon. Similarly, functionality within the multiple choice question type, such as the marking and layout options, can now also be accessed via the cog icon when authoring the item.
Item Authoring: Advanced Numerical Entry Question (HTML only)
Within a HTML subject. there is now an 'advanced' option within the Numerical Entry question type, which allows answer fields to be presented in line with the question text, as opposed to the standard functionality where the answer box appears below the question stem.
Item Authoring: Styles in HTML Subjects
For items authored in a HTML subject, it will be possible to select pre-defined styles form the formatting bar in order to add emphasis to parts of the text. This includes the ability to add a border to part of the text.
Item Authoring: Private Comments
Users can leave private comments against items, which can only be viewed by other users with the relevant permission. In order to give the ability to leave private comments, a custom role will need to be created with the 'Comment Manager' permission selected.
Video: https://youtu.be/3DC5Wf0NPA4; https://youtu.be/I8ZZstWBL_k; https://youtu.be/Hsf2P_9INpM; https://youtu.be/B2Qx6DzS5yM
Item Authoring: Polygon Shaped Hotspots
When creating a Hotspot question type, item authors can now create an irregularly shaped answer zone, in order to create a more accurate answer area on a specific part of the image.This is in addition to the existing ability to create a rectangular hotspot.
Item Authoring: Tag Categories
It is now possible to organise tag groups into tag categories at Subject level. Tag categories can be used to organise tag groups.
Video: https://youtu.be/ZHvG1XMSnIs; https://youtu.be/gfPDeAikYXs; https://youtu.be/toHUq_T3q10; https://youtu.be/XV8XPWTyO3w; https://youtu.be/eUgr-zqlDa4
Item Authoring: Add Citations
Users are now able to add citations to question items in Item Authoring. This enables users to add evidence of the source they used when creating the item.
Item Authoring: Export Items to a Word Document
It is now possible to export items to a Word document from the 'Tests' menu of Item Authoring. Users can do this for tests created within both Test Wizard and Test Creation, and can select which information should be exported. This export could be used, for example, for external review purposes.
Item Authoring: Partial Credit for Extended Matching Question Type
A new 'weighted marking' option is available for one-to-one matches in the extended matching question type, meaning candidates can be awarded different marks depending on which matches they make.
Video: https://youtu.be/JI8dzCb0IKg; https://youtu.be/5bNUc8T2Qq4
Item Authoring: Basic/Scientific Calculator
Item Authors can now choose to add either a basic or scientific calculator to a question, which will be available for the candidate to use during test delivery.
Item Authoring: Create HTML Source Material
It is now possible to create HTML source material directly from the media library, which is added as a shared resource. This means that source material does not always have to be created in a third party program and then imported to the media library.
Item Authoring: MCQ Answer Options as a Table
For Multiple Choice and Multiple Response question types authored in a HTML subject, it is now possible to display the answer options as a table, with the ability to specify column headings, add and remove rows and columns, and edit the column width.
Test Creation: Branching Delivery
It is now possible for Test Creators to upload an XML file to a Test Form that can apply branching logic to a section containing MCQ and MRQ Survey items. Branching logic determines what subsequent item is presented to a candidate depending on what their response to the previous item was.
Test Creation: Forward Only Section & Required Response
In a test with timed sections, it is possible to set an individual section as 'forward only'. Items within a forward only sections of a Test can be set to require a response from the candidate using a new 'Items Require Response' setting, meaning the candidate will be unable to navigate to the next question until they have answered the current one.
Test Creation: Enable Automatic External Marking
Within Test Creation, you can now specify that a Test will be marked externally. If this setting is selected, computer-marked questions will still be marked automatically and human-marked questions will be automatically given a mark of zero, meaning they bypass the Mark screen allowing them to be marked outside of Surpass.
Test Administration: Marking Auto-Void Period
Test Creators can now specify the auto-void time period for a test; tests will sit in the Mark screen of Surpass until the auto-void date, after which the Test will automatically be voided if they are not marked.
Setup and Site Admin: Read-Only Access
In the custom Roles screen of Site Settings, users can create roles with Read-Only access to the Test Administration screens.
Setup and Site Admin: Restricted Item Writer & Reviewer
New item authoring permissions allow users to further restrict what their users can access when editing items. It is possible to restrict item writers to view and edit their own items only, and restrict Item Reviewers to have the ability to view and comment on items, but be unable to edit them. These permissions can only be assigned to custom roles.
Video: https://youtu.be/PeAzARz2EWM; https://youtu.be/QACcebEStGw
Setup and Site Admin: Customise Email Footer
Emails sent from the Surpass system can now be customised to include additional information for users. Within the Site Settings screen, users can create customised footnote text for all emails sent from Surpass.
Integration: Updates to v2 of the Surpass API
There have been a number of updates to the Surpass API in Release 12.10, including the ability to:
- Get information on Countries and Counties that are available for Centre Addresses
- View and edit Centre Address details
- Add, update, view and delete Tag Categories
- Enforce strict control of test time using the TestSchedule Resource
- Set answer options as a table for MCQ and MRQ items in HTML-Only Subject using the Item Resource
- Add, update and view the Candidate Expiry date
- Retire Centres, Subjects and Users
A note on HTML delivery
Developments are continuing to move Surpass from Flash to HTML5. Release 12.10 of Surpass sees more features supported in HTML. To stay up to date with HTML developments, click here for a full list of supported features.
Release 12.10 of Surpass includes a number of further enhancements, including:
- The Numerical Entry question type now supports the ability for the user to set negative numbers as answers, as well as limit the candidate response.
- The Drag and Drop question type now supports a greater character limit for drag options.
- The Multiple Choice and Multiple Response question types now support up to 30 answer options.
- The ability to add an address to the Centre Details.
- The ability to retire Centres
- The ability to retire Users
- Improved support for Japanese-language delivery.
- Enhancements to the PDF Viewer - including the ability to configure the auto-launching of content during delivery and the ability to load multiple shared resources in the viewer if an item has more than one attached to it.
- The ability to view and edit the expiry date for a candidate.
- The ability to have strict control over exam availability.
- Tables can now be added within a question stem block of items authored in a HTML subject
Issue: When the language for a test was changed to Arabic, the calculator appeared back to front.
Resolution: The calculator appears as normal.
Issue: Test form availability dates did not validate correctly when using the API. Old test forms were allowed to be scheduled outside of their availability dates.
Resolution: Test forms with ineligible availability dates are not able to be scheduled.
Issue: Tables authored in ContentProducer were not rendering properly in tests delivered in SecureClient. Table gridlines were being shown when they shouldn’t be.
Resolution: A property has been added so the author can determine whether or not table gridlines should be shown.
Issue: The numbers in tables authored in ContentProducer appeared with two decimal places when displayed in SecureClient.
Resolution: Numbers now display without decimal places.
Issue: When delivering tests using in Arabic, the NDA confirmation tick mark displayed backwards.
Resolution: The tick in the check box now displays correctly.
Issue: When creating a custom role in Surpass, removing a sub-permission for the Test Administration tab removed access to the whole tab.
Resolution: You can now remove a sub-permission without removing access to the tab.
Issue: You were able to create a candidate and associate them with a Subject that was set to the status ‘Registration closed’ via the API.
Resolution: It is not now possible to create a candidate and associate them with a Subject at this status.
Issue: There was an error when attempting to download a keycode for some tests on tablet delivery.
Resolution: All tests can now be successfully delivered on a tablet.
Issue: When using the bulk update to update item status, the publish status was not updated in Test Creation.
Resolution: The publish status in Test Creation now matches that in Item Authoring.
Issue: A user with the permission to manage candidates at a centre level is able to see all candidates for all centres when their own centre does not have any candidates associated with it.
Resolution: Users with this permission can now only see candidates for the centres they are assigned to
Issue: Computer Based Project tests scheduled via the API were being automatically voided when they reached the Invigilate screen due to the end date showing before the start date.
Resolution: The dates show correctly and the test is not voided and can be taken as expected
Issue: An error was thrown while trying to create a rescoring event with valid subject, test form and date ranges.
Resolution: Users can now create rescoring events.
Issue: Candidates were unable to use the arrow keys when navigating between cells in the spreadsheet question type.
Resolution: Candidates may now use the arrow keys to move between cells.
Issue: Users were unable to open an AS2 swf in delivery, packaged exam or in the Upload Manager.
Resolution: AS2 swfs can now be opened.