The Spring 2016 release of Surpass includes an array of new features and enhancements, including the ability to include 'non-scored' items in a test, the option to assign weighted and combination marks to certain question types and the option for candidates to strikethrough answer options during test delivery.
To find out more about the changes, read the 'New Features' section below. You can also find a list of changes to our minimum system requirements and a summary of issues fixed in this release at the bottom of this article. You can also visit the Surpass Help and the Surpass Learning Portal to find out more about these exciting new features.
Below you will find details of new and changed features that have been introduced in R12.3 of Surpass. The features are divided into sections based on the area of the system which they affect.
Test Delivery: Strikethrough of Item Response Options
During test delivery, candidates now have the ability to strikethrough answer options they know to be incorrect when responding to multiple choice questions. This is achieved by right-clicking on the answer option in test delivery. This allows candidates to easily disregard options whilst responding to a question.
Item Authoring: Checking an Image
In Item Authoring, when an image is set to open as a pop-up, the item author can now open the image as a pop-up in preview mode to allow them to view the image at its full size, and check that the correct image has been used in the item.
Item Authoring: Weighted and Combination Marking
A new marking method can now be set for multiple choice and multiple response question types. This allows weighted marking to be applied to MCQs, meaning that the candidate can be awarded a different proportion of the total marks depending on the answer option they select. Combination marking can be used for multiple response question types, so that candidates can be awarded a specific number of marks depending on which combination of answer options they select. This gives more flexibility over the responses that candidates are awarded marks for, rather than just being marked as right or wrong.
Item Authoring: Support for Commas Override Functionality
In the numerical entry question type, it is possible for item authors to override the site level regional setting which determines whether commas or decimals are used as number separators. Users will have the ability to choose whether to use the site level setting, or can choose to use decimal or commas at item level.
Item Authoring: Increase in Number of Tags Assignable per Item
Users can now assign up to 50 tags per item in Item Authoring, ensuring that all relevant metadata is associated with an item.
Test Creation: Increased Number of Sections in Test Wizard
Users creating tests with the Test Wizard, will now be able to create tests containing up to 10 sections, an increase from the 5 previously allowed.
Test Creation: Loading of Items in the Test Wizard
For subjects that contain a large number of items, improvements have been made to ensure that items are loaded in a timely manner. When using the Test Wizard, the folder structure will be loaded first, then items loaded as folders are opened. This enhancement also applies when importing items from other subjects in Item Authoring.
Test Creation: Inclusion of Non-Scored Items
When creating a test using the Test Creation screens, it is now possible to set items within a fixed section to 'non-scored'. This means that although these items will be presented to candidates and marked in the usual way, the mark the candidate is awarded for non-scored items will not contribute to their overall result. Statistics for non-scored items will still be generated and available in the Surpass Reporting screens, so this functionality will be particularly useful for pre-testing items, to assess their performance before including them as 'scored' items within a test form.
Test Creation: Results Display Options
During test creation, users now have the option to configure which results and reports are available in the 'Results' screen for a test. In the 'Advanced Settings' tab a new section named 'Results Display Options' is now available, where users can configure which reports or results will be available in the 'Results' screen for a test.
Reporting: P Value and Usage Count Seeding
For users who have items in Surpass that have been migrated from other systems, Surpass will now be able to hold a record of the P Value and Usage Count of the item prior to it being migrated to Surpass. The P Value and Usage count of those items will then be calculated from their existing value, so that this data is not generated from scratch in Surpass, and users have an accurate P Value and Usage Count for all items.
Reporting: Improvements to Surpass Reporting Screens
A number of improvements have been made to the Surpass reporting screens, to enhance the user experience. A new filter option toolbar has been introduced so that all filter options can be easily applied from the same place. Column widths have also been adjusted to ensure that they are appropriate to the information they display. The value for 'Item Exposure' on the Items Delivered report has also been changed to a number rather than a percentage to give better indication of the number of times the item has been presented within the test form.
Reporting: Selection of Columns for Raw Data Extract
When using the 'Raw Data Extract' functionality from the Items Delivered report, users can now select which columns of data they want to appear in the exported report. This ensures that only data that the user wants to analyse is included in the report, and users can set their selections as the default settings should they wish to only export these columns each time they run the raw data extract.
Setup and Site Admin: Ability to Create Numeric Tags
It is now possible to create a numeric tag group at Subject level, so that numerical value tags can be assigned to items during Item Authoring. Item Authors can be restricted to assigning tags within a certain range of numbers, less than/greater than a specified value, or have the ability to enter a custom value. It is also possible to allow the use of up to 6 decimal places in the numeric tags.
Setup and Site Admin: Security Question Re-set by Administrators
Site Administrators now have the ability to re-set a user's security question via the 'edit user' screen.
Setup and Site Admin: Customise Columns in Test Administration
Surpass now enables site administrators to customise the columns of the Test Administration screens. This includes the ability to hide unnecessary data columns as well as re-ordering them. In addition, users with site admin permission can now select which columns are printable.
Setup and Site Admin: Removal of Restriction on Number of Characters for Centre and Subject References
Restrictions on the number of characters needed for the Centre and Subject references have now been removed so that it is now possible to enter Centre and Subject references which include just one character or more.
Setup and Site Admin: Viewing Terms and Conditions
Integration: Updates to v2 of the Surpass API
There have been a number of updates to the Surpass API for Release 12.3, including:
- Create or update using the PUT verb on the user, centre, subject and candidate resources
- if the new header is passed into the request it will create OR update a resource, cutting down the potential number of requests sent to the Surpass API
- When creating a candidate, DOB is now an optional parameter that defaults to 01/01/1900
- New resources have been added to the Surpass API allowing users to migrate Tests and Test Profiles
- There have been updates to the POST Test Schedule method including:
- The ability to specify tags on a test session
- The ability to specify a test form during scheduling
- The ability to add reasonable adjustments in minutes rather than a percentage
- Auto associate candidates to centres and subject; requires a header
- Updates to the item resource including the ability to specify new item types
- Short Answer
- Introduction pages
- Information pages
To find out more, please visit the Surpass API help page by navigating to [your Surpass URL]/api/v2. Further information can also be found on the Surpass Developer Portal.
Release 12.3 of Surpass offers a number of exciting enhancements made to improve usability. Updates include:
- Improvements to the ‘Save’ button in the ‘Item Authoring’ screen, enabling you to either save and close your item; or to save your item and open a new question of the same type in just one action.
- In the ‘Item Authoring’ screen, the question types which are compatible with tablet delivery are now handily marked with the tablet icon.
- Improvements to the look of the recycle bin have been made.
- Source material file labels are now editable, meaning that files can be given a label which is meaningful to candidates during delivery.
- The ‘Feedback’ button has been given a new look and is now located in the top-right corner of every screen.
- Following a period of inactivity in the system, when logging back in you will now conveniently be taken back to the screen you were on when logged in.
The following updates have been made to the Surpass system requirements. Surpass now supports:
- Google Chrome 28 to 48
- Mozilla Firefox 24 to 44
- Adobe Flash 18 to 18.104.22.1686
Fixed Issues and Defects
Below you will find details of issues that have been resolved in this release of Surpass. The issues are divided into sections based on the area of the system which they affect.
Item and Test Creation
Issue: ContentProducer item movement is not picked up in Test Creation without ContentProducer check-in.
Resolution: ContentProducer item movement will now be picked up without checking in and checking out again.
Issue: The warning message that appears when attempting to delete a test form has some text missing in the Dutch translation.
Resolution: The Dutch translation of the message matches the English version.
Issue: When attempting to open items with duplicate subject tags Error 2 occurs and the items do not open.
Resolution: Items can now be viewed without any issues.
Issue: If an exam is set up as a Computer Based Project, the version duration does not change the Total Exam Time from the default of 60 minutes.
Resolution: The total exam time displays the number of days the project duration has been set as, not the default value.
Issue: When printable tests are downloaded, test questions close to the bottom of the page are split across two pages.
Resolution: Questions are now grouped so that it is not possible for them to display across two pages. If a question appears close to the end of a page it will be moved onto the next page so it is displayed as a whole.
Issue: When editing an item in Item Authoring and saving changes, the ‘last edited by' information does not update until navigating away from the item and going back in again.
Resolution: The 'last edited by' information updates as soon as the item is saved.
Issue: The maximum number of items per section is too low.
Resolution: It is now possible to include a maximum of 120 items per section of a test.
Issue: When attempting to filter by State in the Invigilate screen, filtering by 'Locked' or 'Downloaded to SecureClient' is not available.
Resolution: It is now possible to filter tests that are in the 'Locked' or 'Downloaded to SecureClient' state.
Issue: When a user prints an Invigilation Pack for a selected candidate from the Schedule screen, all candidates from the Schedule screen are displayed not just the selected candidate.
Resolution: Only exams selected by the user will be shown in the Invigilation Pack.
Issue: When using the 'Completed' filter in the Mark screen, not all the tests completed within the selected date range are shown.
Resolution: All tests completed within the selected date range from the 'Completed' filter are now shown.
Issue: Users are unable to filter by Test Name in the Invigilate screen.
Resolution: It is now possible to filter by Test Name in the Invigilate screen.
Issue: When scheduling an exam using multiple versions with varying availability dates, the schedule wizard will pick up the most recently created version's availability date regardless of whether exam versions with earlier or later availability dates exist.
Resolution: Exams are scheduled based on the correct availability dates.
Issue: When attempting to add extra candidates to a test showing as 'editable' in the 'Schedule' screen, the additional candidates are not being included.
Resolution: Additional candidates added to an 'editable' test will now be included in the 'Schedule' screen.
Issue: When reviewing essay questions in a candidate review session, a blank blue box is shown rather than the candidate’s response.
Resolution: The candidate’s response is visible when reviewing essay questions.
Issue: When using the Dutch Surpass user interface, the Moderate tab is shown as 'Gemiddeld' instead of 'Modereren'.
Resolution: The correct translation of 'Modereren' is now shown.
Issue: During a candidate review session, remarked computer-marked items are not being reflected.
Resolution: Remarked items are now displayed correctly during candidate review.
Issue: When packaging an exam from the Audit screen, the user is able to download and extract the file, but when trying to run the packaged exam, no content is shown.
Resolution: The content of the exam is shown when running a packaged exam.
Issue: When printing breakdown reports for more than one candidate from the Results screen, incorrect information is being displayed. Tasks with low marking item boundaries are displaying as 'exceeded' for the result, even though the highest achievable result is 'met'.
Resolution: The results are correct as per the low marking item boundaries set in Test Creation.
Issue: In SecureClient, when accessing index.html in the packaged exam the 'OK' button on the keycode page is cut off slightly at the bottom of the screen.
Resolution: The 'OK' button is now fully visible.
Issue: It is not possible to upload an exam taken offline using the SurpassDelivery app, even though the invigilation screen shows the ‘awaiting upload’ status.
Resolution: Exams should be able to be uploaded when in the ‘awaiting upload’ state.
Issue: When using the custom calculator tool within SecureClient, candidates will perform a calculation (e.g. 1000-2000) and this will bring back a negative number. This doesn't show the minus symbol (-) proving that this is a negative number.
Resolution: Negative numbers now display as expected.
Issue: When SecureClient is open on the Keycode screen, the application can be seen to be running with high CPU usage, ranging from 30%-50% usage.
Resolution: The CPU usage of running SecureClient on the keycode screen has been reduced.