The team at Compass has spent June in two modes: on the one hand, continuing to navigate the unfamiliar landscape that the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown has created, on the other, adapting to the gradual easing of restrictions taking place across the country. When we updated you last month, students in a number of states were still learning remotely - now teaching has returned to classrooms in every state and territory. But we’re not entirely back to normal yet, and June’s product update blog reflects that.
This month’s update also showcases some enhancements we have made for our schools in Europe - a reminder of our growing global reach - as well as additions to our security functionality, localised changes to Attendance Notes, and much more.
Discussions: forum-style functionality within Compass
If the last few months have demonstrated anything, it’s that the importance of communication cannot be underestimated. While we have always prided ourselves on our tools to connect your school community, we quickly identified a number of areas that we could improve upon to strengthen your Compass experience, particularly in the remote teaching and learning space. Discussions is one of the results of the work we undertook: a forum-style feature to better facilitate communication between teachers and students in your school.
You can take a look at the feature in action here; as you can see, it’s nice and easy to use and understand, part of our increased commitment to user-friendly design. And while Discussions was originally designed to allow teachers and students to discuss work set during remote teaching and learning, we think you’ll agree that there are a wide range of uses beyond this period, from homework tasks to the school book club.
Keep your eye on the blog for more information about how you can benefit from Discussions in the future.
COVID-19 Kiosk & KioskLite settings update
As we suggested in a recent blog, there’s a lot that Compass can do to assist school communities adjust to social distancing best practice, including reducing footfall through your school. With around 80% of Compass schools using Compass Kiosks, adaptations to the Kiosk sign-in process seemed like the best place to start.
By adding a COVID-19 sign-in process to your Kiosk, visitors and contractors will be required to confirm that they meet a range of requirements before further entering your school: these include stating that they have not been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and that they do not have any flu-like systems.
Two-factor authentication (2fa) and security enhancements
The online safety and security of our community of users has always been a top concern at Compass, and COVID-19 has not changed this. Adding to our existing two-factor authentication functionality, we have had some additional security features in beta that we will now be making available in all portals. These include the handy ability to see what devices have signed into Compass and end suspicious sessions.
We want you to be able to make the most of these changes, so we’ll be dedicating a standalone blog to these updates shortly.
Roll flag for boarding students
We know that recording attendance for students who board can sometimes pose unique challenges; to meet popular demand among our growing base of schools with boarding students we have introduced a roll flag for these students.
Mandatory comment field in Attendance Notes in iOS (currently unavailable for Victorian schools)
Occasionally parents and carers may forget to leave a comment when creating an Attendance Note from the iOS app, meaning a student is marked as absent without an explanation for not attending school. We’ve now added a mandatory comment field, preventing this from occurring.
Ability to export a list of students, classes and teachers (Irish schools)
While many schools in Australia benefit from booking in sessions at parent-teacher conferences through Compass, the process in other jurisdictions is far less formal. Meetings at a school parents’ evening will range in time, and parents and carers will queue up to speak to the relevant teachers rather than arrive for an allotted slot. As we don’t believe in ‘one size fits all’ solutions at Compass, we’ve made it easier to export a simple list of students, classes and teachers to assist the easy management of more informal occasions of this kind.