Schoolbox Version 13.5 Roadmap Released

Posted by Sean Richards on in Release Notes | No comments

With version 13 deployed in most of our customer’s live environments, we recently conducted a group scoping meeting with our technical and user interface experts to plan the version 13.5 roadmap.

We have big ambitions as a team to deliver on all the features requested by our users. However we have to make sure that we select features that can be delivered in the timeframe available before the next release in October.

What’s coming your way for Schoolbox version 13.5.

Major Features

  • Lesson planner – Enable teachers to create courses and subscribe to them in classes. The courses will consist of lesson plans, content pages, rubrics and other curriculum resources. The purpose of this is to provide a centralised framework for developing curriculum and deploying throughout the school.
  • Social stream component – a “social” conversation stream (like the Facebook news feed) for homepages supporting links, files, videos images and more. This will support commenting from all users in the class and an optional collaborative mode that will enable students to also post to the stream.

Other features

  • Schoolbox mobile improvements including:
    • Better support for parents to access their student’s information, timetables and due work
    • Video support
    • Online testing support
  • Horizontal marking of online assessments – Enabling teachers to mark Q1 for all students at once, then Q2 for all students and so on.
  • New commenting system – Available for teachers to deliver comments via the report card and eportfolio showcase work items to students and/or parents.
  • Per-user storage report to assist Schoolbox administrators identifying disk space usage across the system.

Behind the scene’s

  • User interface and UX style guide – Aims to bring uniformity and new standards to all new and existing user interfaces. Once completed this will be applied over future releases to ensure the Schoolbox user experience is second to none.
  • SAML for simpler implementation of single sign-on.
  • Standardising on a single library for retrieving data from a database.
  • Updating the internal email sending class.
  • Continued clean up of old code ensuring the foundations of Schoolbox continue to evolve keeping our system at the cutting edge of web-based technology.

Sports Fixtures Module
Over the years there has been a lot of interest in the development of a sports fixtures module that’s fully integrated with Schoolbox.

We are excited to announce that in addition to the version 13.5 roadmap we will be commencing the development of this module. This will be available to all clients as an optional add-on module to Schoolbox.

When will 13.5 be ready?
We are currently aiming for a release candidate to be ready for deployment to staging environments early October.

What didn’t make the cut but is still on the long term roadmap
Hard decisions were made and whilst these items didn’t make it into version 13.5, they are still high on our agenda for future releases:

  • In browser document editing like Google Docs and integration with the submission system to create a speed grader.
  • Upgrades to the question bank to improve the UI and extend to support complete online assessments and surveys.
  • Upgraded WYSIWYG editor and improved asset browser.
  • Clean up scripts to assist administrators removing files and assets no longer referenced in the system.
  • Group manager simplifying the creation of groups for teachers. Ability to invite users from outside Schoolbox to participate in collaborative groups and activities.

We hope that everyone is excited as we are about the upcoming major features and continued system improvements. Let us know your thoughts by posting a comment below?

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