August 2013―We are proud to introduce three major additions to the a Concourse platform this summer: system data removal and item feed processing, purging of users and courses, and mass setting of group permissions. Together these three features empower Concourse administrators with some of our most valuable and symbiotic capabilities to date.
Beginning with our new feed process, you can now disable users, delete courses, and drop registrants in large numbers yet little time. The format for this collection of feed files is not unlike the ones used to initially create them and can be both manually uploaded or automated. Then when coupled with the new purge users and courses function, Concourse enables a "recycle bin" of sorts to make sure that full removal is a two step process to mitigate any mistakes in the construction and running of the feed files.
Probably the most anticipated enhancement is the expansion of feed processing to directly consume syllabus content. In other words you can now provide a feed file which contains content like course descriptions or outcomes and have that data inserted directly into the right syllabus or template.
Better still you can "lock" said syllabus content so no one, not even system administrators nor course managers, can edit it. This can be extremely helpful when you are looking to synchronize certain syllabus content with an external system rather than migrate it, such as course descriptions that are maintained in an SIS or catalog tool.
The final big enhancement is another highly sought after feature, the ability to set group permissions en masse. Preceded by the standardization of group names to the seven root roles supported by IMS (managers, developers, instructors, assistants, and students) system administrators can now select a large number of courses, choose a group, select some permissions, and BAM! All group permission are applied to those courses. This is fantastic for supporting changes to policies impacting syllabus visibility, enforcing editing rights post a data migration, and even for releasing syllabi once they have been reviewed.
It's not often that the system administrator is focused on when it comes to new education technologies but we've done just that with Concourse. We hope you enjoy these new capabilities and can manage Concourse better and faster than ever before.