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Release Notes: May 16 and Preview of Dashboard

NOTE: On Saturday, May 16, at 6 AM, the app may be offline for a few minutes. Users who return to an open tab later may also need to sign out and sign back in.

A 24/7/365 web service like Eli requires consistent updates to address our ever growing list of teacher and student users around the world. You might say that revision is as important to making Eli better as it is to making any piece of writing better. All of our revisions are inspired by great feedback from you, our users and customers.

This update continues to make your experience in Eli Review safer, more accessible, more reliable, and more convenient. We also drop a few hints about what is on our revision plan for the near future.

We’ve invested more than 100 hours in testing to be sure these updates are seamless:

  • More security upgrades
  • New features
    • “Remove submissions” so instructors can allow writers to update wrong files.
    • “Withdraw” so students can remove themselves from an Eli course when they switch sections or withdraw.
  • 20+ improvements that solve our some of our most reported errors

If you encounter problems, please contact [email protected] so that our team can track and troubleshoot.

Security Upgrades

In this update, we are completing the security improvements we began in January to ensure that data stays private and to expand our measures to prevent motivated, malicious attacks.

These changes will be invisible to users who work in Eli Review on one browser on one tab on one device.

Users jumping between tabs, devices, and browsers may be asked to sign out and sign back in, which will re-authenticate your access to the app.

Pro Tip: Users who get error messages about authentication or access should sign out. Then, load in a new browser window, sign in, and try completing the action.

Remove Submissions

Ever had a student upload the incorrect file who needed to update it AFTER the due date has passed?

Previously, the only option was to move the deadline for the whole class so that the student could update the submission.

The new feature allows instructors and agents at [email protected] to remove the incorrect submission from the student’s account.

View of student submission in writing task now includes button to remove submission
Removing the submission allows writers to resubmit.

The student can then upload the correct file.

This file replacement has two possible consequences in a review task, depending on the group’s progress:

  • If reviewers HAVE NOT clicked “Send Feedback to Classmate” and are “incomplete” on feedback to this writer, they will see the updated file and be able to give feedback.
  • If reviewers HAVE clicked “Send Feedback to Classmate” and are “complete” on feedback to this writer, they will NOT be able to see the updated file.

Instructors will have to make a judgement call about whether to move writers who originally submitted wrong files to a new peer review group in order to be sure the writer gets feedback on the updated file.


Previously, instructors had to “suspend” students who had withdrawn from the course in order to make sure these students weren’t included in future peer review group assignments. Now, students can withdraw themselves.

The student dashboard includes an option to withdraw from a course.
Students can manage their Eli courses when they switch sections or withdraw.

This feature solves problems especially in large lecture courses. In 2019-2020, these large courses included 300, 500, and more than 700 students. Providing more tools to help students self-manage their withdrawal saves instructors time.

Remove 20+ Friction Points

We track, classify, and weight tech support tickets. This is important feedback from you that guides our revision priorities! Thanks to the careful reporting by instructors and students, we are able to replicate and solve many of the problems that arise. The May 16 update removes twenty-four friction points for users.

Here are four problems you might have noticed:

  • the count of groups skipped a number or two when you edited groups that you’d previously formed;
  • a student’s name was in the roster but not on the group list on a review task;
  • while viewing the revision plan of one student, the completion dots for group members changed;
  • deleting a resubmit never quite worked the first time.

Under the hood, these problems were connected to something else: the shuffler, duplicate accounts, a query missing a lookup, and incomplete task removal. Since the details are as weedy as they come, we’ll leave it at this summary:

We are making Eli easier to use.

Up Next: Dashboard Improvements

We are working on a major update to the dashboard.

The new designs make the connections between the discrete steps of the writing process more visible so instructors and students see how better feedback and better revision leads to better writing and. . . better writers.

The changes will also help teachers planning for an upcoming semester that may be online or face-to-face or both. Here’s just a sneak peek…

Proposed dashboard shows projects and related tasks.
Dashboard links tasks and drafts so students see their writing improve.

Release Notes: May 16 and Preview of Dashboard was published to the Eli Review Blog in the categories Release Notes, Uncategorized.

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