Surpass 12.20 Release Information (November 2019)

We've introduced some exciting new features and performance enhancements in the 12.20 release of Surpass. Read a brief description of each feature below.

Watch the Surpass 12.20 Release Playlist on the Learning Portal for a demonstration of some of the key features.

Note: You may not be able to use these features if you are not on this version of Surpass. Please check the version of your instance.

New and Improved Features

Test Delivery

IMPROVED: URL Source Material in delivery
Description: A candidate's position in URL source material is maintained when the source material is used across multiple questions.
Purpose: This improves the candidate experience and ensures they do not lose their position in the source material.
Affected Delivery Method: HTML SecureClient
WCAG conformance: Not conformant with WCAG 2.0 level A (known issue, captured in F5529)

IMPROVED: Extra test delivery languages
Description: This feature added Mongolian, Thai, Nepali, Khmer and Burmese as supported languages.
Purpose: This allows candidates to take tests in these languages.
Affected Delivery Method: HTML SecureClient, HTML web delivery
WCAG conformance: Not assessed with WCAG 2.0 level AA

IMPROVED: Successful upload dialog
Description: Candidates now see a dialog at the end of their test informing them about the submission status of their test.
Purpose: This ensures candidates can be confident their tests have been successfully uploaded, or what to do in the event of an unsuccessful upload.
Affected Delivery Method: HTML SecureClient, HTML web delivery, HTML SecureClient BYOD mode
WCAG conformance: Not assessed with WCAG 2.0 level AA

IMPROVED: Essay question word count
Description: Candidates now see a dynamic word count if enabled by the item author. They will also see a warning message if they reach the defined word limit.
Purpose: This ensures candidates know how many words they have written in their Essay response.
Affected Delivery Method: HTML SecureClient, HTML web delivery
WCAG conformance: Conformant with WCAG 2.0 level AA



NEW: Editing an item in a task locks it in Item Authoring
Description: Whenever an assignee edits an item in a ‘Review’ task, the item is locked for editing in ‘Item Authoring’ and is only unlocked upon completion of the task.
Purpose: This feature ensures that only accepted changes in 'Tasks' affect live items.  

IMPROVED: Consolidation of ‘Review’ tasks
Description: Single Copy and Multiple Copy ‘Review’ tasks have been unified and a new ‘Editing Mode’ parameter at the task creation stage lets you choose between shared (Single Copy) or individual (Multiple Copy) behaviours.
Purpose: This feature streamlines task creation and administration processes.  

IMPROVED: Nuxeo support in ‘Review’ task Word export
Description: Nuxeo media is now supported in ‘Review’ task Word export documents.
Purpose: This feature allows you to export items with Nuxeo media.

IMPROVED: ‘Tasks’ screen usability enhancements
Description: The ‘Tasks’ screen has been redesigned to remove duplicate start and complete functionality. You can now only start or complete a task from the task details panel.
Purpose: This feature is designed to improve the user experience and prevent accidental actions.


Item Authoring

NEW: Hints (HTML delivery)
Description: You can now create hints for Numerical Entry questions in HTML subjects. You can show hints to candidates if they answer the question incorrectly or do not attempt a question. Hints are supported in tests with forward only sections in HTML web delivery.
Purpose: This functionality supports candidates in their learning development.

NEW: Exclusive answer option (HTML delivery)
Description: You can now fix an answer option as the final option for Multiple Response and Multiple Response survey items.
Purpose: You can now include a ‘none of the above’ or ‘all of the above’ option, which candidates cannot select in combination with other answer options. This applies even if answer options are randomised or ordered alphabetically.

NEW: Shared information for item sets (HTML delivery)
Description: You can now add information text to item sets. All items within the item set will inherit this information, which will appear above each item's individual question text.
Purpose: This feature allows you to add the same information to all items within an item set.

NEW: Drag and Drop weighted marking (HTML delivery)
Description: You can now apply weighted marking when creating Drag and Drop questions in HTML subjects.
Purpose: This allows you to create weighted Drag and Drop questions, for example when creating situational judgement tests.

NEW: Information Page tags
Description: You can now add tags to Information Pages in HTML subjects.
Purpose: This feature allows you to use tag functionality when working with Information Pages.

IMPROVED: Filtering on tags in Item Search and Item Lists
Description: You can now filter the 'Tags' columns (renamed from 'Smart Columns') in 'Item Search' and 'Item Lists'.
Purpose: You can now filter your search results based on tags.

IMPROVED: Version Compare
Description: Version compare now supports:
  • Essay questions
  • Item sets
  • Candidate feedback
  • Citations
Purpose: These features allow users to see and compare earlier versions of Essay questions and item sets in 'Item Authoring' and 'Tasks'. Candidate feedback and citations can also be compared using Version Compare.

IMPROVED: Tag value drop-down list
Description: When searching for a tag value, a drop-down list of available tags now appears as you type.
Purpose: This feature allows you to more easily search for an existing tag value.

IMPROVED: Assigning owners to item sets
Description: You can now change the owner of item sets in ‘Item Authoring’ and ‘Tasks’.
Purpose: This allows you to change responsibility for item sets. Task managers can also change the item set owner to assign item sets to users to edit in 'Authoring' tasks.


Test Creation

NEW: Automatically add tools to a test form
Description: Tools are now automatically added to new test forms. This can be enabled or disabled in the edit tools dialog.
Purpose: This saves time when adding tools to test forms and helps to ensure test forms validate.

IMPROVED: Editing live tests and test forms
Description: You now see a warning dialog when editing live tests and test forms.
Purpose: This helps prevent users from accidentally editing live tests and test forms.

IMPROVED: Search bar when creating item pools
Description: You can now search for item lists when defining item pools in the ‘Item Pools’ screen.
Purpose: You can now search for an item list, which speeds up the search process.


Test Administration

IMPROVED: SecureClient Admin Console follow-on
Description: In the SecureClient Admin Console, you can now use the ‘Send Failed Uploads’ button and generate candidate reports from locally stored tests.
Purpose: This feature allows you to upload tests that have failed to send to the central server. You can also create a summary, candidate breakdown, and results slip for tests stored in the Admin Console.

IMPROVED: Void tests at 'Awaiting Upload' status
Description: You can now void tests that are awaiting upload in the 'Invigilate' screen.
Purpose: This feature gives invigilators more flexibility when voiding tests.

IMPROVED: HTML Mark Script dialog
Description: You can now launch calculator and caliper tools in the ‘Mark Script’ dialog on the 'Mark (Beta)' screen. If enabled in Site Settings, you must also enter a PO number when changing centre associations for a script.
Purpose: This feature further increases the compatibility of HTML content across Surpass.

IMPROVED: Mark Script Dialogue in 'Mark (Beta)' Screen
Description: The Mark Script dialogue in the 'Mark (Beta)' screen now features a resizable image viewer and supports SWF files.
Purpose: This feature narrows the functional gap between HTML and Flash Mark Script dialogues.



IMPROVED: Creating site-level users
Description: Users must now select a validation tickbox when creating a site-level user.
Purpose: This feature is designed to prevent the accidental creation of site-level users.

IMPROVED: User types reorder
Description: We have changed the order of the user types in the ‘Create User’ screen to centre, subject, site and custom.
Purpose: This feature has been implemented to reflect the more commonly chosen user types.

IMPROVED: Move items and subject master lists permissions at centre and subject-level
Description: The 'Move Items' and 'Share Items' (renamed from 'Subject Master Lists') permissions are currently site-level only. This feature implements these permissions at centre and subject-level. 
Purpose: This feature allows administrators to give centre and subject-level users permission to move items between subjects and share items with subject master lists.


Performance Improvements

There have been a number of improvements and updates to the performance of Surpass, including:
  • We have reduced the average loading time by 16% for opening and saving items.
  • We have introduced lazy loading on the 'Enemy Items' dialog.
  • The PDF viewer now loads more quickly when auto-launched in HTML SecureClient.
  • The performance of page navigation in the 'Setup' screens has been improved.
  • Bulk Update has been optimised to become more scalable and runs 80% faster.

Integration: API v2

There have been a number of improvements and updates to v2 of the Surpass API, including:
  • A new “selectedSections” parameter in the TestSchedule resource POST method to schedule specific test sections by section name.
  • A new 'extendedDemographics' parameter in the Candidate resource POST method to add extra information to candidates.
  • There is a new ‘requiresCheckIn’ property in the POST and GET methods of the TestSchedule API resource. This allows you to ensure candidates are checked in before they can access their test.  
  • When tests have the new 'requiresCheckIn' property set to true and are never checked in before they expire, a new auto-void state indicates that the test was not checked in on time.
  • There is a new StateChanges resource in the Result API that allows you to GET information about script state changes using the id or keycode. This allows you to track a script through the system and view the user who made the change and any reasons for the change.
  • There is a new filter in the GET method of the TestSession API resource. This allows you to retrieve information for test sessions that either awaiting marking or awaiting moderation.

Integration: SurpassLocal API

There have been a number of improvements and updates to the SurpassLocal API, including:
  • A new Centre resource that allows you to GET information about centres.
  • Support for extracting 'testTags' in the TestSession resource GET method.
  • Support for the new 'extendedDemographics' parameter when using the GET method in the Candidate resource to find extra information about candidates.
  • The ability to filter in the TestSession resource to find test sessions by date last modified and the date range of the session.
  • There is a new ‘externalReference’ property in the TestSession API resource. This allows you to use data to represent a candidate's test, for example if you want to record the scheduling system, client code, or confirmation number of tests scheduled.
  • When the state of a test is changed using the TestSession API PUT method, a new 'userExternalReference' field updates with the name of the user who made the change.
  • When tests have the new 'requiresCheckIn' property set to true and are never checked in before they expire, a new auto-void state indicates that the test was not checked in on time.

A Note on HTML Delivery

Adobe have announced that they will stop supporting Flash by the end of 2020. In response to this, we are accelerating the move to convert Surpass from Flash to HTML5 based technology. Over the course of the conversion there will be a notable increase in the number of features that are only available in HTML delivery as we stop producing any new development in Flash. 

For more information about the features that are currently supported in HTML, please see this article

We also intend to reduce the risk of conflicts and errors by reducing the amount of Flash content in the system by the end of 2020. Therefore, we advise you to start creating or converting your content for HTML delivery. This includes converting Flash media files (.flv and .swf) to new file formats that are compatible with HTML. For more information, please see this article.


Resolved Issues

ID: DE38806
Issue: Users were unable to export a task to Word if it contained media.
Resolution: Users can now export tasks containing media to Word.

ID: DE38908
Issue: The section level 'Randomise Items' setting was not working for tests that had been bulk scheduled across multiple centres.
Resolution: This setting is now working correctly for bulk scheduled tests.

ID: DE39055
Issue: Rescoring tests with non-scored items would lead to incorrect pass marks and percentages.
Resolution: Rescoring is now working correctly for tests containing non-scored items.

ID: DE38983
Issue: When exporting a task as Word document the contents of the review and central documents did not display in sequential order
Resolution: Exported items now display in sequential order in Word documents.

ID: DE38949
Issue: The Advanced Short Answer question character limit message was only shown for a short period of time, which caused confusion and the message was not visible to screen readers.
Resolution: The error for reaching the character limit can now be read by screen readers and is hidden from sighted users.

ID: DE38675
Issue: Timeouts were occurring when users accessed analytical data in Reporting. 
Resolution: You can now access analytical data in Reporting without it timing out.

ID: DE38507
Issue: Single sign-on (SSO) was unavailable for some instances after deploying a new environment with more than one web server.
Resolution: Single sign-on is now working as expected.

ID: DE35134
Issue: Grouped source material was not displaying to candidates in the order defined by the item author, and the source material names were not displaying correctly in HTML SecureClient.
Resolution: Grouped source material is now working as expected.

ID: DE37921
Issue: Microsoft applications running in the background were not fully closed when SecureClient was launching and this prevented SecureClient from opening.
Resolution: Microsoft apps now close as expected upon launching SecureClient without having to end background processes.

ID: DE40132
Issue: Candidates were unable to copy and paste to and from SecureClient with clipboard history and sync devices enabled.
Resolution: Users can now copy to and from SecureClient when clipboard history and sync devices are enabled.

ID: DE36694
Issue: Extra spacing was added to HTML source material text when downloaded to the Media Library.
Resolution: There is no additional spacing added to HTML source material text when downloaded to the Media Library.

ID: DE36701
Issue: An additional space was added to the first answer box in HTML Numerical Entry items when using the advanced option to make more than one box. This made the box out of line.
Resolution: There is no longer an additional space before the first answer box on HTML Numerical Entry items when creating more than one box with advanced options.

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