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Educational Software Thread, Report Assist in Technical; Laserblazer: I'm sorry to hear that. Could you let me know what features were missing? I'll be adding them asap! ...
  1. #16
    ComputingData's Avatar
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    Laserblazer: I'm sorry to hear that. Could you let me know what features were missing? I'll be adding them asap!

    It is a pain how much some of councils lock down web access for teachers - I think they have seen one too many episodes of 24! lol

    The web side of things is optional, you could use memory sticks in virtually the same way as you did with ReportAssist. See:
    http://reportplus.co.uk/downloads/usb_settings.pdf and http://reportplus.co.uk/downloads/usb_reports.pdf

    Over the summer I'm creating an alterative method of transporting the data using http, this doesn't seem to have any of the proxy server problems that the normal ftp system has - if you can create the teacher username when this new method would work fine.
    Last edited by ComputingData; 27th April 2010 at 07:34 PM.

  2. #17
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    @Laserblazer .... there's always a way in the end isn't there! Would be interested to know what is missing as I never used ReportAssist - if you get a minute could you PM me so I can anticipate any teacher questions.

    @ComputingData - our teachers are starting their report writing on Tuesday next week (4th May) so no doubt I'll be back with any quetions that crop up :-)

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    It may not be important to others but the drop-downs for grades, teachers and attainment in the Subject boxes is a big miss. There are probably other things as well but we never got as far as letting teachers loose on it. I'm sure Reportplus is fine once it is up and running, it has just taken me too long to get anywhere, along with LEA blocking FTP. Within an hour of deciding to dust off ReportAssist, teachers had a memory stick to start reporting and I don't need to do any training OK, the subsequent merging and printing is a bit of a pain but the admin staff can do that.

  4. #19
    ComputingData's Avatar
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    I didn't know about those drop downs until relatively recently. Because of the way that RA works - each subject is in it's own edit box and RP uses a single window to edit a report (similar to a wordprocessor) - adding that feature required a little more planning than normal in order to 'get it right'.

    I'm looking at adding a system I'm calling 'QuickMarks'. It will allow you to do the drop downs for grades, attainments and more. Basically you are not limited to the 2 boxes (one on the left, one on the right) you have with RA. You can also have multiple 'sets' of them per subject. For example some text, some grades, some more text, more grades, etc... if you like. Although it may be too late for your school, this should be added to the program *very* soon. It will be added in such a way that it doesn't disrupt the reporting process.

    You may want to try using ReportPlus again next year, once more LEAs know about it and/or the http system bypasses them anyhow. In any event I'd stop using Report Assist as soon as you can as the problems it has with Vista and Windows 7 won't go away, they get even worse if you have a 64-bit version of Windows. I'm not quite sure if the reporting system in SIMS would be a good choice though, have you looked at it yet?

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    I agree, the drop down boxes in RA are limited and positioning is not brilliant. I admit I haven't looked at the SIMS reports yet but if I had my way, reports would be handwritten like when I was at school.

  6. #21
    ComputingData's Avatar
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    The problem then would be that the teacher handwriting is often worse than the pupils (even the under 10's) , so nobody would be able to read it! lol.

  7. #22
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    I've been dealing with this program at one of my schools for the last couple of weeks - it's been a bit of a nightmare to setup having been given the responsibilty half way through the setup process and no information about it whatsoever.

    Anyway, it's pretty much setup now, but can someone tell me exactly what information is sent and received when the admin uploads and a teacher downloads new settings. I'm concerned because I have had to make some tweaks to the settings and print layouts, and have uploaded them to the server. I'm a little wary of going ahead and downloading the settings onto the teachers laptops if they have started their reports.

    ComputingData, any chance you can confirm that their reports won't be overwritten by doing this? So far they will probably have saved the reports.rp file to the HDD, but probably not uploaded them to the server for back-up/merging.

  8. #23
    ComputingData's Avatar
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    First, to make it clearer, here is what happens when the various 'buttons' are clicked...

    An admin validates the admin account and creates users, they should never need to unvalidate. They give the user/password combinations to the other teachers, each teacher should have his/her own username/password.

    When an admin clicks on 'Upload settings' it sends the school details and settings, teacher names (not usernames) that have been created, custom subjects, custom layouts, subject order and a blank set of pupils and any template 'pupils' they may have created.

    When an admin (within the admin dialog) selects a user, then clicks 'download', it will download a copy of that users work into the 'reportplus/admin' folder in docs and settings (it creates the folder if it doesn't exist at the same time). It doesn't load the report afterwards, it is just a way of backing up what we have.

    If the admin (within the admin dialog) selects MORE THAN ONE user, the 'download' turns into 'merge' and by clicking this it will download into the admin folder the select users reports, then it will merge them together with the current report. This way the admin can see a current 'state of play', it appends a '_merged' to the save filename, so the admin can't accidently overrwrite his/her original work (in case they are a teacher as well and also using the admin as a username).

    A user validates his/her account, they should never need to unvalidate.

    When a user clicks on 'download settings' it will download all the settings, etc that the admin has uploaded. The program will then shut down and should be restarted for the new settings to take effect.

    When a user has done some work they can save as normal to the hdd or to memory stick, if they also wat a copy to be saved online they click 'upload pupil file to server', we may change this text to 'save pupil file to server' next year to avoid confusion. It is saved on our system under the validated username they used, that is why each teacher should their own username.

    If the user wants to recover their file from the server they can also 'download pupil file from server'. This downloads their file that is stored under their username.

    Finally, in order to answer your original question, settings and pupil text are independent from each other, this means that as an admin you can change settings and layouts then re-upload them. If the users then re-download them it will not delete work. However, if you rename or merge subjects (to create a new subject) then people who have started work on the original subject will see that text disappear. But if they re-enable the original subject it will re-appear - it is not deleted. If you are just messing with page layouts, etc then there won't be a problem. Changes to templates will obviously not be applied once a user has started work as they may have changed some of the text that is within what the template created.

    I know it's not related to your question, but one thing that may be confusing is that the teacher pulldown is just an aid to seeing just your pupils out of the school list of pupils, a teacher cannot see other teachers work. It saves the admin a stage in cutting up a school csv file for each teacher. Reports are usually only merged at the end, it is not a 'live' merge.
    Last edited by ComputingData; 28th April 2010 at 02:00 PM.

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    Thanks for the response - it answered my questions and then some!

    I'll get the staff to download the new settings in the staff meeting tonight then, and hopefully all will be well and they can go away and start using it properly!

  10. Thanks to dpittaway from:

    ComputingData (28th April 2010)

  11. #25
    ComputingData's Avatar
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    Sorry for going on. lol!

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    Ive been struggling with ReportPlus as well, went to a different school today who were sticking with Report Assist and had it all done in an hour. I must have spent 6 hours so far on ReportPlus and am far from done. I have also found it very hard to speak to anyone. Is anyone able to help with questions below:

    Does the File Export Save Pupil Files to Memory Stick save all pupils or just the one you are currently on? Is this the best way for teachers to save reports to memory stick as a backup? Once saved onto a memory stick how do they then import it onto a different computer if they want to work at home and school?

    How do you get rid of the half page acknowledgement slip and absentee details that appear at very end (before KS Results)- there for N, 3,4,5,6 not 1 and 2. I know you can edit pages under printing and can see the Keystage Results there but dont see this additional Absence/Ack Slip?

    How do you set up classes for individual teachers logons when you do a bulk csv create - if I create a user wont it copy up info for all teachers classes instead of just that teachers class?

    Can you use one machine for multiple teachers - how do they log out and back in as a different teacher?

    Thanks

  13. #27
    ComputingData's Avatar
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    To answer your questions:

    Save pupils file saves all pupils. This is the easiest way for people to save a file to a memory stick - as it is just a single click. They click 'load pupil file from memory stick' in order to load the file from memory stick when they go home (it's under the validate pulldown or the file > import menu).

    To get rid of the half page acknlowledgement slip, just go to 'Options', select 'Printing' and you will see a 6 'pages' on the right. The first one is the front page layout, the second is the main text and the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th ones are the optional 'back' pages. Select the pages that you don't want - in this case it would be the 3rd one (top right), with the pulldown to it's right select the page that has the big red 'X'. Do this for all the profiles that you don't want this page to appear on (the profiles selection box is just above the 'pages').

    If you want the program to 'know' which teacher is the form teacher for a particular set of children in the csv file, just add a 'teacher' column. If the teacher name is in this column of the list of children then it will be associated with that particular child. Or, if you want, just right click the child once imported and select the form teacher or a particular subject teacher there. You could also use the pupil/subject matric that is under the teacher menu to assign a teacher as a form teacher or a sepcialist teacher to any of the children just by ticking a box or selecting multiple boxes and then ticking 'set'.

    If they are using a proper Windows Logon to login individually then they should login as themselves and validate, save the password, then save and load their own work individually - as with ANY windows program (windows provides each properly logged on user with his/her own documents and settings on login), they shouldn't unvalidate as windows keeps them all separate, only some of the user 'read only' areas (such as program files) are shared on a modern day system (unlike ReportAssist, NO user data is stored normally stored in Program Files - unless you are running the Alternative installation as described in the resources section of the website - as this is considered 'bad practice' and by default is not allowed on any modern window system, as is the sharing of user data unless in a specific shared folder). If they are all sharing the same computer and are not logging off - for example it is a very small school with a single computer in the staff room and they all take turns 'sharing' the same single user logon, then they just write their own bits to the reports using the teacher pulldown to select their children (if they have bothered to do that).

    I'm sorry if you had trouble setting up, but to answer your initial comment about comparing RA and RP installing taking different amounts of time... Grrrr!

    If you already had ReportAssist installed and the school was familiar with it then it would take only 30 mins to setup - it most probabily had been custom setup for that school before on the CD. If you are familiar with installing and setting up programs then I can't understand how it too so long to setup though:

    *1) You install the program itself, takes all of 30 seconds - click - click - click and your done.
    *2) You create your user accounts for your teachers.
    *3) You import from ReportAssist your front page and subject order, edit these if you need to.
    4) Export your CSV file from whatever program you're using, then import it into the program.
    *5) Do a custom *ALL template if you need to, edit it a while, make changes.
    6) Upload everything to our servers if you want (some LEAs block saving files to external systems, in this case you can save all the settings to memory sticks like RA) - typically a few moments for the online system if you have a few files, instant for the memory stick.
    *7) Go to another users machine, install the program, validate as the user on that machine.
    8) Either download the settings from the server or import from a memory stick. Click 'yes to default class, select the teacher if you have set them up. Done!

    The * steps only ever need to be done once - you don't have to do these again next year.

    You time delay could have been due to external factors. It could be that you have a strange 'buggy' network and have had problems and need to install the alternative network install instead, or you have an LEA that seems to think that schools should be 'locked down' like some episode of 24 - in which case use memory sticks to transport data/settings. Or you may have a proxy that hasn't been tested properly and the ftp settings have been entered in the same as the http settings when they shouldn't have been or ftp proxy hasn't been enabled at all. This may not be a problem next year as I've figured out ways of bypassing the file proxy lockdown issues and will be testing this out over the summer...

    Edit: I've just re-read the last bit that I wrote and it sounds a bit mean. I'm sorry, it's been edited, and I userstand that you may have just been unfamiliar with how the program works, a lack of comprehensive instructions (being rectified) and somehow it took an extra long amount of time. If you were struggling though, you could have contacted me via a PM or via the RP support email and I would have helped as much and as soon as I could.

    Further edit: I've sent you a PM.
    Last edited by ComputingData; 30th April 2010 at 12:13 AM. Reason: I was mean!

  14. #28

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    Thanks for taking the time to reply in such detail, I will have a go editing as suggested. Regards the second to last page that shows an ack slip and details on absence, I tried the instructions below:

    To get rid of the half page acknlowledgement slip, just go to 'Options', select 'Printing' and you will see a 6 'pages' on the right. The first one is the front page layout, the second is the main text and the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th ones are the optional 'back' pages. Select the pages that you don't want - in this case it would be the 3rd one (top right), with the pulldown to it's right select the page that has the big red 'X'. Do this for all the profiles that you don't want this page to appear on (the profiles selection box is just above the 'pages').

    But the problem is I can delete it OK but would rather have added it to KS1 who currently dont have it. I dont seem to have the option to add it. I can add the KS1 and KS2 Results pages but the template for the ack slip/ absence details doesnt appear. When I look at the KS2 profiles, the page that has this slip is showing as a blank page in the printing details but again when I click to edit this to possibly cut and paste into KS1 the page is showing as having no text in it so its a bit confusing.

    Is there an option to log out once you have validated, only I have been testing the product on my laptop so was logged in as administrator. Once setup I then added a test teacher to log in and see what it looked like but would now like to log out again and relogin as administrator to make these changes but cant seem to log out?

    I didnt get a PM come through if you can resend? Thanks again for answering my questions so promptly.

  15. #29

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    Sorry should also have made it clearer I added all the pupils with the correct teachers fine from the CSV import but was asking if when the teachers log in they could only have access to their class from the drop down list instead of all - but this isnt really a problem just a thought. Also regards the default profile that can apply to all, I remember seeing this at the top of the pupil management screen at the begining but cant see it anymore, do I need to recreate it or is there a way of showing it again ? Thanks

  16. #30
    ComputingData's Avatar
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    The pupil list teacher pulldown is just a way of saving the admin having to cut up the csv file (that can take some time). Teachers don't see other teachers work. It is useful for teacher who teach multiple classes like a French teacher, as they can go form by form just adding the bits to French - then the merge takes care of it all later. Some very small schools like it if they only have 1 pc in a staffroom that everyone shares with 1 logon. If a two teachers add to the same subject then the merge will bring both in, but separate them with a blank line.

    To select 3rd page in KS2, select the KS2 profile on 'options > printing', then on the third 'page' pulldown to the page you want - rather than the big 'X'. If you're sure things aren't woring quite right, 'export the settings to a file' (see the top help menu) then email it me - I've PM'ed you with my email address - explaining what should be there and I'll have a look at it. It could be a conflict somewhere in the settings or possibly some kind of error, either way it shouldn't take too long to fix and I'll either send you back a corrected settngs file or update the program.

    The best way to test things out is not to unvalidate then validate as a different program user on the same windows logon. It would be much better to export the settings (either to the server or to a stick), logoff, then login as a different user, install the program, validate as that user then import the settings. This is because Windows normally keeps different users documents and settings seperate - only user read-only areas such as Program Files are usually shared.

    The template file was a *ALL template, any pupil who's reference number starts with a * is considered a template and not a real pupil.

    There are a few special templates: *ALL, *EYFS, *KS! thru *KS4, *FE and *NURSERY (I can see Secondary teachers starting to get curious if they read this!)

    These are all (if they exist) applied to all 'empty' pupils, with *ALL taking the lowest priority on a subject by subject basis (that is they all override *ALL per subject).

    To apply the templates once you have created the pupils, just do a 'file > empty pupil file', this will clear any text from all pupils and re-apply the templates.

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