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Educational Software Thread, report assist in Technical; All posts about Report Assist must start off with some damming icon I wish the whole reporting process could be ...
  1. #16

    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    All posts about Report Assist must start off with some damming icon

    I wish the whole reporting process could be made real!

    Teachers should just say A-F for effort, A-F for expected attainment at time of report, A-F for actual attainment.

    Comments only needed when sequences like AAB, CBC etc.

    Even 3 letters might be overkill

    If the teachers could be allowed to concentrate on how the pupils are actually doing instead of making up/selecting flowery teacherspeak/PC statements (John is working hard towards an appropriate level of understanding alliteration and is able to comprehend many aspects of word capitalisation in sentences ) who they feel are imposed upon them by headteachers who feel imposed upon by advisors who are imposed upon by ........
    [/rant]

    Sorry back off to my joomla migration

  2. #17
    ComputingData's Avatar
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    Edited so not to be so 'spammy'. Sorry!

    -Anthony
    Last edited by ComputingData; 27th November 2008 at 06:19 PM.

  3. #18

    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    multi spam postings be this?

  4. #19
    ComputingData's Avatar
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    Horrible, horrible program to administer.
    lol! I took a look at it a while back. I don't know why they didn't just make it a standard install (with the admin rights request switched on) then a standard user program, keeping data in the user data area (or optionally on memory stick?). All pretty easy stuff.

    I also don't know why they used access as a database system, then they protect it with a password - what a waste of time! (Access uses XOR encryption for the password, with a standard 'key' - very easy to bypass/crack). The data also become slow and 'clunky' (is clunky a word?) - not ideal for a memory card.

    I don't mean to be biased, but when everyone using Report Assist is used to using Windows programs, why does it use such a non-standard user interface? I've been using computers for 30 years and I found it difficult to get to grips with.

    It must drive people crazy.
    Last edited by ComputingData; 27th November 2008 at 10:20 PM.

  5. #20

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    Since Report Assist is so bad, why are so many primary schools using it?

    It's probably because most schools have never heard of anything else and the "follow the herd" factor comes into play
    - but how did they manage to get so well known in the first place?

    I've looked at the demonstration version, looks fairly rubbish, but I didn't know that deploying and merging was as complicated as it appears to be from reading these posts.

    And the ultimate insult is that they charge for upgrades, most of which are probably correcting faults!

  6. #21
    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metchley View Post
    Since Report Assist is so bad, why are so many primary schools using it?
    Because the headteachers are convinced by the dog and pony show marketing talent that push it out.

    It became a standard package that's been around for quite a while now and nobody has really improved on it.

    Plus, because people are already used to using it, no matter how bad it is, they don't want to learn a new system because it's more time they don't want to spend/have.

    QED: The pain continues...

  7. #22

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    "and nobody has really improved on it"

    Well. I don't agree with that. But the rest is spot on.
    Salesmanship beats quality every time.

  8. #23
    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metchley View Post
    "and nobody has really improved on it"

    Well. I don't agree with that. But the rest is spot on.
    Salesmanship beats quality every time.
    There's got to be something better out there but where?

    I think I've seen one that seemed much better but the name escapes me at the moment.

  9. #24
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    We started using it this year, networked version. Not ideal, but it does the job. It was tricky for those teachers who job-share, or who wanted to take it home (particularly if they are non-techie).

    There aren't masses of alternatives. One by 'Rays Learning' which is good, albeit more standalone.

  10. #25
    ComputingData's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metchley
    And the ultimate insult is that they charge for upgrades, most of which are probably correcting faults!
    You should not have to pay for updates... especially if there is a bug in the version your using that stops it working properly and they've manages to 'fix' it in the latest version. The very least they could do is produce a patch for the old version to get it working.

    Quote Originally Posted by contink
    There's got to be something better out there but where?
    <-- Unauthorised Advertising! -->

    Quote Originally Posted by "rocknrollstar'
    It was tricky for those teachers who job-share, or who wanted to take it home (particularly if they are non-techie).
    They could have made it (optionally) install to a U3 stick - that way it's plug and play wherever they are.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 28th March 2010 at 08:43 AM. Reason: Unauthorised Advertising

  11. #26
    Steven_Cleaver's Avatar
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    We use a package here called Aim High for reporting & have used this for about six years now, it extracts information from MIS system, SIM's CMIS etc staff can install a small package on their laptop so that they can then do reports at home on laptops then upload them onto the school system very simple to do so staff only need minimal training.

    It has been so succesful that we now use this system for assessment, producing colour coded assessment reports and also use it for teacher Assessment, are pupils reaching targets etc.The company that provide the software also write reports to extract the information and create reports etc as part of their maintenance support upgrades are also part of the support contract.

  12. #27

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    My first year at the school was a nightmare when this came about. I installed it on all the machines in the ICT suite as a stand alone. The following year i installed it as a network client because the teachers had a week off time-table to get them done. Great. But what happened? Most of them didn't do it and then came to me asking for it to be installed on their laptop so they could do them at home. So 1 network and 15 stand-alone installs later and i could relax. Last year, me and the boss had a meeting to discuss how we would do it.

    We decided to copy the disc 15 times, one for each member of staff and an instruction manual on how to install it and use a memory stick to save the reports to and left them to it.

    I supported the ones that still struggled even though we gave them a virtual hand to help them through.

    I hate that time of year. We have the new release every year. I would love to see an alternative. I think the boss would as well.
    Last edited by HodgeHi; 30th November 2008 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Because i can't type properly

  13. #28

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    I'm always surprised when 'Rays Learning' is recommended when people ask about report-writing software. It's probably good for what it does, but it doesn't seem to do a great deal.

    I'll come clean and do a bit of spamming since other people seem to be getting away with it.
    <-- REMOVED SPAM -->
    <-- If you think others are getting away with it, please report them -->
    An comments welcomed of course, polite or otherwise.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 28th March 2010 at 09:53 AM. Reason: Unauthorised Advertising

  14. #29
    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metchley View Post
    <-- Quoted SPAM removed -->
    An comments welcomed of course, polite or otherwise.
    If I can find some time I might pop this on a spare laptop and let a few teachers take a look at it..

    One thing that immediately jumps out at me before I do anything like testing the software though.

    1. The website... Ok, so it's nice to have a pretty one but that's basic beyond basic... Doesn't sell and teachers like pretty.

    2. Documentation... Erm... is there any? I know you have a word doc for installing the demo but a user guide with screenshots is a must.. Techs in particular are going to want to know if it's an MSI, compatible with their setup etc... so a FAQ, etc... needs adding

    3. Flash demo? Again it's about selling the product... There's none of that going on aside from the "User Comments" which are great but you need waaay more.


    I know what you'll say... but I'm a coder, not a marketeer... I'd think seriously about finding someone who can help you improve the site and invest the time in the screenshots, demo, etc... Coders will love you but the headteacher has the purse strings..

    Anyway, I'll comment on the actual program when I get the time to sit down and look at it properly.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 28th March 2010 at 07:15 AM. Reason: Removal of Quoted SPAM

  15. #30

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    Thanks for comments, contink - noted and agreed with.

    BTW, the manuals (.doc files) are downloaded with the programs - accessible from the 'Help' menu item.

    The priority was to keep it simple for the teachers and put any complexity that couldn't be avoided in the admin program. It needs an administrator who knows what he is doing to run the show- but school secretaries manage OK with a bit of support - though not many users are getting the best out of it, I don't think.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

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