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New Features and Improvements: 6/30/14 Release Notes

While most of the academic world has slowed for the summer, Eli’s design and development teams are moving swiftly to prepare a series of improvements and features for the coming fall. Today’s updates include a very prominent set of visual improvements and some new features we think will help instructors be even better writing coaches.

Visual Improvements

  • New landing page – perhaps the most visible chance is the new Eli Review log in screen, which has been greatly simplified by removing the signup form and focusing on signing in. Simple and pretty!
  • Sign Up – by removing the sign up form from the landing page, we gain a bunch of space to group form elements so they’re easy to follow. Signing up should be even easier now.
  • Student dashboard – we’ve put the focus in these spaces on active courses and on joining a course. Inactive courses are now located under an “Inactive Courses” tab, making the dashboard much cleaner.
  • Instructor dashboard – like the student dashboard, instructors now have tabs for their active courses and inactive courses and much nicer tables. However, the “Create Course” form is no longer right on this page – it’s been moved to a page of its own, and you access it via a simple new button (see screenshot below).
  • Course creation – in addition to giving this form more space by breaking it out of the instructor dashboard, the creation process has been simplified – Eli will remember where you’ve taught in the past, so there’s no need to enter your school information multiple times anymore (YAY!)
  • Review reports – we’ve made some cosmetic changes to review reports that we think will make a big difference, including reposition some items and renaming the report tabs to be more clear.

New Features

The new features in this release are focused on the report from an individual review. Beyond the visual improvements described above, we’ve added some new functionality that puts quantifiable data about student performance right at an instructor’s fingertips.

  • “Engagement Data” tab – the review report now has a fourth tab displaying what we call engagement data. This is not meant to be assessment data, though it certainly could be used for that – rather, this data is meant to illustrate exactly how students are performing as reviewers. If engagement data shows that a student is receiving far more feedback from their reviewers than they are sharing, for example, we have a specific piece of advice to offer them about how to be more helpful.
  • “Engagement Data” download – in addition to the new tab, each review report now has a download feature that will provide instructors with all of their student engagement data in a CSV format. This download will make it possible to sort and query their student performance data in any way they wish. The download also provides a substantial amount of data that couldn’t be fit into the “Engagement Data” tab. Download an engagement data sample to see what data is available from this feature.
  • “Comment Digest” download – the second new download feature in this release makes it possible for instructors to download a CSV file of all of the comments exchanged between reviewers. This download gives the qualitative comment data (the full text of the comment) as well as quantitative data about those comments (ratings, endorsements, word count, etc). Again, having all of this data in a CSV makes it possible for instructors to sort and query the data to reveal all sorts of interesting things we likely couldn’t have anticipated. Download a sample comment digest to see what data is available in this feature.

For a complete breakdown of data available in both downloads, as well as details about how to use CSV files, see the Eli Instructor Guide.

Note: these features are available retroactively. If you have taught Eli courses in the past, these features make all of data from all of your previous reviews available in the same formats.

We hope this data proves helpful both to instructors as coaches but also teacher researchers who want to study their own performance.

The Road Ahead

While we feel that the engagement and comment data for individual reviews is extremely powerful, we can already hear folks asking for the same data but from the macro level of an entire course. Stay tuned – it’s going to be a busy summer!

New Features and Improvements: 6/30/14 Release Notes was published to the Eli Review Blog in the category Release Notes.

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