Expert TA System Release Notes

January 22th, 2023

General Class Management

  • Grade Preference Override of Tolerance for Numeric Answers: In the grade preferences area you will now see a new section that lets you override the system default of ±3% for numeric answers. Here are some things to note regarding this feature.
    • The override will only apply to standard questions which are set to have the system default tolerance. Some questions require students to make estimates and therefore have a larger tolerance. Some questions require an exact, or more exact, answer and have a tighter tolerance. The override would not affect either of those cases.
    • If you want to make the tolerance different in general, for all questions in your assignment, you can use this Grade Preferences feature.
    • If you need to set a different tolerance for only a single question or select few, you will need to make a copy of the problem using the Problem Authoring area, and change the tolerance only for the questions that you want. If you don’t have an authoring account yet, please contact your account manager.
  • Improved Printable Assignment: General improvements to the look and feel of the page were made in order to create a “cleaner” layout.

December 20th, 2022

Instructor/Problem Authoring Dual Access

  • You can now access both problem authoring and Instructor areas with the same login. If you don’t yet have problem authoring access and would like to, please contact your account manager. For instructors who had problem authoring accounts that were separate from their instructor account, we have merged these. All of the questions that you previously created will automatically be associated with your instructor (“.edu”) authoring account.

Respondus LockDown Browser (Important)

  • Minimum Version Level now required. Important: If you use the Respondus browser for exams/quizzes, please read carefully and prepare accordingly. This version changes over time based on releases that are done by Respondus. Until communicated otherwise our strategy will be to require a version no later than two versions back from the current version that Respondus offers.
    Recommendation: Offer a practice exam for your students that uses the Respondus LockDown browser, at least a few days prior to the actual exam date. The students will be prompted to download the required version, and will be provided with a link to the appropriate download. This will ensure that things go smoothly for each student on the day of the actual exam.

General Class Management

  • Searchable Class Roster: You can now search the roster for all fields. This includes searching for student first or last name, student email, and student id. You also have the ability to search for text that would be included in any of the other fields in the roster including: payment field, status, grade sheet (visible/hidden), registration date, registration, and disability setting.

    Example Searches

    • Search for “Paid $0.00” to see a list of all students who are still on the free trial.
    • Search for “1/19” to see all students who registered on January 19th.
    • Search for “teachingassistant” to see all TA’s or co-instructors for the course.
    • Search for “waiting” to see any students who have done the first step of registration but who have not yet paid or selected the free trial option.
    • Search for “dropped” to see any students where the instructor has removed the student from the class.
    • Search for “Hidden” to see any students who are still enrolled in the course, but hidden from the grade sheet.
  • Batch Date Update: Practice Assignment Dates have been added to the batch date update function. As such, when a class is cloned, the practice period can be updated at the same time the other assignment dates are adjusted.

Rate and Review Problems
We want to make it easier for you to provide us with feedback about the questions in our system. In the Assignment Editor, as you browse the catalog of questions you will see there are two separate areas for this – Rate and Review & Report an Issue.

  • Rate and Review: This feature is designed to solicit feedback about a given problem that is intended to be shared with other instructors via the assignment editor. Once vetted by the Expert TA team, these rating values (1 to 5 Stars) and review comments will be visible for each problem as other instructors create assignments. Please do NOT use “Rate and Review” to report errors, misspelled words, etc. Errors like that should be communicated via the “Report an Issue” feature.
  • Report an Issue: If there is an error in a problem, please use this option as a way to report that error to us to be corrected. You can also contact your account manager with this issue if the issue has affected your students and immediate attention is required.

Feature Bug Fixes/Improvements

  • Copy Assignment/Clone Class: For some combination of operating systems/builds of Firefox, the functionality would not work or would be slow. We added code to work around the known Firefox browser issue.
  • Manage Grades (grade manually) area:
    • Disabled mouse wheel scroll in grade field to keep inadvertent grade changes from occurring.
    • Modified the number of decimal places associated with grade overrides to be two decimals.
  • Added Validation to Restricted Roster Date settings to ensure registration behaved the way instructors intended.
  • Bug fix for images in Advanced Graphical problems to not display in the assignment editor preview.

June 21nd, 2022

New System Features

  • Calendar: (New Feature) Instructors can toggle to a new calendar view of their assignments for one or multiple courses. In this view, assignment dates can be adjusted quickly by dragging the assignment to a different date on the calendar.
    Calendar Overview Video
  • Assignment and Problem Level Notifications: (New Feature) This feature allows you to send messages to your class that displays at the time they open an assignment or view a specific problem included in the assignments. While taking an assignment, students will see the main Assignment message at the top of the Take Assignment area and problem messages will show in Pop-ups as they access each problem.
    Assignment and Problem Level Notifications Overview Video
  • MathJax within FBD and Advanced Graphical Problems: (New Feature)Using MathJax, the Expert TA system now supports easy implementation of subscripts, superscripts, and formatted math within Free Body Diagrams, drag-and-drop, and other advanced graphical question types.

Assignment Editor

  • Sum of Problem Weights as Assignment Weight: (New Feature) Instructors can now automatically display the sum of the problem weights as the total assignment value by selecting a new option when creating an assignment.
  • Show Problem Answers: In the assignment editor, while selecting problems, you will now be able to see the answer to all question types including Free Body Diagrams, Multiple Choice/Select between images, Drag-and-Drop, etc. To see this in action, we suggest you go in to Create or Edit an assignment, check the box next to “Show Answers”, and view the problems in sections 5.3 (Newton’s Second Law – interactive FBDS), 35.2 (Geometric Optics – Multiple Choice between Images), and 19.5 (drag-and-drop labeling of pressure-volume diagram)
    Sum of Problem Weights and Show Problem Answers Overview Video

Problem Authoring

  • MathJax in FBDs and Drag-and-Drop Questions: See above under New System Features.
  • New Question Types: Instructors can now create Vector Drawing problems and point-and-click graphical questions within the problem authoring area.
    The Expert TA content team will be creating questions with these new question types to be available to assign from our default library soon.
  • Preview Entire Full Solution for Problems: In the problem editor, instructors can now view and edit the full solution for problems before they go live.
    Other additional suggestions have been implemented to improve the problem authoring process. Please contact your Expert TA account manager or with any additional questions or comments.

Accessibility Page

  • From the main Class Management screen, an Accessibility Mode has been added to accommodate anyone who needs to utilize a screen reader or other accessibility devices to take assignments. This mode should help to ensure that any student can access the digital content within Expert TA regardless of ability or impairment.

Bug Fixes/System Improvements

  • Final Grade Round: You may have noticed calculated grades previously displayed more decimal points than needed, this has been addressed and it now rounds to two decimal places at most.
  • Grade Preference Template Fix: Previously within the Grade Preferences screen, scrolling while configuring a numeric value for a given option would result in the value in that field changing as you scroll. Now, the fields have been locked so that scrolling no longer adjusts the value in the given field.
Other general improvements have been implemented across all areas of the system to create a better experience for both students and instructors. Please contact your Expert TA account manager or with any additional questions or comments, or if you would like archived release notes for older releases.