Changelog

What's new with BusinessU?

2021

We've completely overhauled the grading system.

We’ve heard you! Because of your feedback, we have dramatically changed the way our grading system works. It should look a lot familiar, and feel much easier to navigate. Check it out today by going to the “Grades” tab inside a class, and click the link above to learn more about what changed and how it works.

This feature includes the following changes:

  • Grades are now managed in a familiar “gradebook” table, with rows representing students and columns representing individual assignments.
  • You can now filter assignments based on their ungraded state, their due date, the grading category they belong to (formerly called “rubric type”), their associated lesson, or any other tags associated with them. And finally, you can still search for assignments by name.
  • View average student grades, assignment grades, and class grades all in one place inside this new gradebook view.
  • This gradebook supports quick-edit, allowing teachers to quickly change student grades in one view.
  • Rubric types and custom class rubrics have been renamed to “Grading Categories” - create, reorder, and set the weight of grading categories on your Class Settings page.
  • Grade large assignments like projects and presentations quickly with a rubric. Provide custom criteria, scores and descriptions when creating the assignment and grade quickly by clicking one of your preset selections when grading.
  • Customize point values for existing questions on BusinessU assignments. Click on the Customize Rubric button when viewing assignment settings to set your own point values for each question.
  • Select from three different grading modes for your classroom: points-based with weighted categories, pure points-based, and our legacy weighted average grading system. Edit this setting by clicking Change Grade Calculation in your Class Settings.
  • When viewing grades for an assignment, select multiple students at a time and assign them all the same grade, or reset all of their submissions, all at once.

Enable a piece of content for a subset of students.

Only want to assign an assignment or reading to a specific subset of your students? No problem! Simply click on the “Enable for…” option in the settings menu for a piece of content, and select the students you want to be able to see that content.

Content enabled for only some students is shown as blue instead of the traditional green on the enable toggle. If you want to enable for more students, disable the content and then click “Enable for…” again and select some more students. If you want to disable for all students completely, simply click on the enable switch for that piece of content to disable it.

This also applies to the new gradebook! Assignments enabled for only some students will only affect their specific grades.

Send messages to your students.

We now support sending direct messages to students, complete with a flexible rich-text editor and the ability to add multiple students to the same thread. Send a message to your entire class, or to one specific student.

Students also have the ability to send teachers a message individually.

Teachers have access to moderation controls. You can remove any student message, or remove a student from the thread entirely.

2021 New Course Catalog, New Website, New Promo Video

The new businessu.org website includes information about our 2021 course catalog, and our new BusinessU explainer video details our standards-aligned, video-based lessons and latest platform enhancements. Please be sure to share it with your fellow Teacher colleagues.

Our team has been hard at work developing all new interactive courses that bridge the business world to your classroom in a more engaging way. The 2021 course catalog includes updates to our Personal Finance, Principles of Entrepreneurship, Principles of Marketing and Intro to Business courses, and includes a new Pitch Deck series. We also announced a new Accounting I course, due in Q1 2022. For more information please browse through our 2021 fully hybrid-enabled course catalog.

Check out the new learn section, complete with our teacher tutorial series, to learn how to make the most out of BusinessU.

Finally, learn about the new features showcased in our new explainer video.

You can now view your notification history.

Instead of dredging through your email client in search of an old notification, you can now click on the notification icon at the top-right of the page to view all notifications that have been sent to you.

We also added controls to this popup to quickly mark all notifications as read / unread.

Students now have access to an enhanced outline view.

This is the new default view for students.

The outline view for students looks exactly the same as teachers, with the following adjustments:

  • It only shows content enabled for students.
  • Content completion status is shown on top of the icon for each piece of content. Students complete content by reading sections, and completing and submitting assignments.
  • If an assignment is graded, the student will see their grade and any teacher comments on this screen.

We refreshed navigation and class management.

Use the top navigation bar to find content, create content, or view reports.

To manage your classes, click on the Classes link at the top of the page, and you’ll be presented with your list of classes. Click on a class to view the course, manage students, and grade assignments.

Easily browse the entire BusinessU universe of content with our new Explore view.

Use the new “Explore” tab to find extra content for your class. Browse your library of courses, or search for specific content areas or standards.

Use the search box at the top of the page if you’re looking for something very specific. Once you find something, hover over it and click on the Use in Class button.

When previewing another course, you can click on the Create Class with this Course button to immediately create a new class with that course, or you can click on the folder icon next to each group to add that entire group to your class.

We dramatically simplified moving content around your course.

You can now drag and drop any content around inside the Course Outline view, anywhere you would like.

Watch our tutorial video on how to move content inside your outline view.

Drag a piece of content into any other group you would like, or drag an entire group anywhere in the course.

We have also added two shortcuts when dragging content around:

  • Drag a piece of content onto a Topic on the left sidebar to scroll to that topic.
  • Drag a piece of content onto a different semester at the top of the page to move content from one semester to the other.

Teachers can now create custom groups and topics.

Create a new group or topic by clicking Add Content from the Course Outline view, and then click either Group or Topic. This is especially important for build-your-own courses.

Once you create your new group or topic, drag it wherever you’d like using the new drag and drop functionality in the Course Outline view.

If you’d like to remove it from your class, hover over the group and click on the three dots at the right, and then click Remove from Class.

We redesigned the custom content (or Add Content) section.

We have redesigned the custom content (or Add Content) section. You can now access the redesigned custom content section by clicking “My Content” at the top of the page.

Watch our tutorial video on how to create and manage custom content here.

This also includes much simpler interfaces for creating new sections and assignments. We hope you will find the assignment creation process familiar and easier to use.

Preview content by clicking the Preview option in the settings menu for a piece of custom content, or add it to your class by clicking Use in Class.

Copy Content to Other Classes

Teachers can now automatically copy content from one class to another. Either copy an entire class to another, or copy a specific piece of content to another (or all) of your classes.

Watch our tutorial video on how to copy content from one class to another here.

Copying an entire class’ settings to another class is the quickest way to setup different periods for the school year. Setup an entire class exactly how you like it, then go to the Class Settings page and click Copy Settings

You can also copy settings for one specific piece of content from the outline view. To do this, hover over the three dots on the right side of a piece of content, and then click on the Copy to Class options.

2020

MS Teams integration

BusinessU now supports Microsoft Teams for rostering and assignments. Import students from your Teams, and sync assignment grades back to the MS Teams gradebook.

We have created two tutorial videos on how to use MS Teams in your classroom:

To get started with Microsoft Teams, click on the settings gear from the Manage Classes page, and connect your Team.

You can sync assignments back to MS Teams the same way you do with Google Classroom. Go to the Settings tab when viewing the assignment in the course viewer, and click on the Sync button from that page.

Google Classroom integration & performance improvements

BusinessU is much faster: We’ve gone through and reworked significant portions of the platform with performance in mind. Because of this, reports, grading, and course navigation are all now much faster.

Login with Google: Teachers & students can now login to BusinessU with their district Google accounts. Teachers will be able to use this functionality immediately, but students will not be able to login with their district accounts until their teacher associates their Student ID / Teacher ID with a Google account.

Once you login with Google, you will be prompted to allow access to Google Classroom and your basic profile information.

Google Classroom integration: Teachers can now import students directly from their Google Classroom rosters, and can configure assignments to automatically sync grades back to Google Classroom.

Students can belong to multiple classes: Currently, if one student is in multiple classes, they have to be given a separate Student ID for each class. We understand this is cumbersome, so we’ve fixed it! Teachers can now invite a Teacher ID / Student ID pair to their class, or they can invite a student via Email Address or through their Google account. Students can now use the same account through their entire tenure at your school.

Student ID / Teacher ID deprecation: We no longer recommend creating student accounts with a Student ID & Teacher ID, though we have left the feature available to support existing customers and those who prefer to use Student ID / Teacher ID instead of logging in with a Google account or email address.

Switch to student account: Every teacher is now enrolled as a student in all of their classes and can quickly switch to their student account without having to log out and back in as the student. In the top right corner, teachers are able to toggle between their student account and teacher account all while logged into the same user.

More convenient grading experience: Currently, teachers have to click through each question on a student’s submission individually. We’ve already updated the grading dialog to display all questions in the same view so teachers can tab down the page, and we have more grading enhancements on the way.

Faster video experience: We’ve revamped how videos are presented to students in our video-enabled courses. Students are presented with a new, faster video player that allows quick back / forward controls, and playback speed adjustments.

Design overhaul for teachers and students.

Brand new design. We’ve refined the design for the teacher and student interfaces based on feedback from teachers.

This includes a new outline view, a new course viewer, new ways to switch classes (try pressing the slash key!), and a clearer navigation structure for quick access to our top features.

Check out the list below for all the other goodies this new design includes!

Other features:

  • Refined design.
  • New navigation structure. The class selector has been made globally available, and is accessible by either clicking on it or pressing the slash key. All class pages are now accessible globally from the left sidebar.
  • Full-width layout, small screen users celebrate! You can now collapse the entire left-side navigation to allow even more screen space to see what matters most.
  • The course viewer is now a modal instead of a separate page. No longer do you lose your current context whenever viewing content. Just close the modal and you’re right back where you came from!
  • The student view now shows recently-completed items, as well as required items. This gives students an idea of where they’ve been, and where they need to go next.
  • Tasks have been moved to the top-right corner of the screen. They’re always accessible by tapping the notification icon. If you have any pending tasks, a badge will appear on top of the button telling you as much.
  • We added a search box to the schedule view and structure views. Type in some keywords for the content you’re looking for, and the results will appear front-and-center!

Other fixes:

  • Standards are now in a separate tab from Teacher Information. We found they were too distracting and pushed any important information farther down the page. Because of this, we’ve moved them to their own “Standards” tab.

New reporting interface

New reporting interface. We released a new reporting interface, re-engineered from the ground up to make sure we’re presenting the most relevant information to teachers.

The old student reporting interface is still available underneath the “Grades & Group Performance” tab when viewing information about a student.

Other features:

  • New reporting interface
  • We added our new promotional video to the homepage. Check it out by going to businessu.org and clicking “Watch our Video” next to the free trial button.

Other fixes:

  • Time on Task now shows a minimum of 1 minute per student, as long as they have viewed content at least once.
  • The archived students screen was throwing errors.
  • We improved grade calculations to make them respect the rubric types and weightings more accurately.
  • Hidden segments are no longer displayed when placing content.
  • Internal error reporting has been improved so it is more accurate, allowing us to find and resolve issues faster.
  • Content visited never goes above 100%
  • Course navigation no longer links students to disabled segments.
  • On group (individual submission) assignments, students are now displayed individually inside the interface instead of with their group.
  • Fixed a few issues that would cause the interface to crash if an assignment has no questions.

2019

Classroom announcements and custom course improvements.

Classroom announcements. Teachers can now create announcements to share with students in their classes using our robust editing interface.

More flexibility when moving content. Teachers are now able to move content into different groups instead of being restricted to re-organizing inside their original groups.

Better support for build-your-own-course. We implemented better support for teachers creating their own courses from scratch. We’ll continue to make improvements to this interface.

Other features:

  • Class-wide announcements.
  • More flexibility when moving content.
  • Better support for build-your-own-course.
  • Allow students to submit an assignment late, and report it to the teacher.
  • We now have some videos embedded inside the support portal.

Other fixes:

  • The assignment progress bar was sometimes going over 100%.
  • Video embeds (like YouTube or Vimeo) inside the content editor were not working.
  • Fixes to the quiz vault interface where data was not updating properly when changing presets.
  • We now redirect to 404 on the dashboard whenever a class cannot be found.
  • The manage class link on your dashboard is now more obvious.
  • We removed course descriptions from the course viewer. They were taking up too much screen space.
  • Whenever clicking on a segment from the “Edit Course Structure” view, you will now be scrolled to that segment instead of the end of the class.

Redesigned student dashboard and removed active days.

We removed active days. The “active day” feature and the “enabled or disabled” features were too similar and accomplished relatively the same purpose, so we’ve simplified the system where each piece of content is now either on or off.

We have re-done the student dashboard. Now, students will see their classes listed across the top of the screen. Inside each class, they have access to their “To-Dos,” view the course, and use the new grades tab.

All segments are disabled by default. Instead of showing students all content up-front, we now let the teacher decide what content to show the students at all times. Whenever you start a class, the content for the first day will be enabled, but nothing else. This allows you to show more content to your students as you move throughout the semester.

Other features:

  • Added an editor to the student view on assignments, allowing teachers to override the instructions given to students. This would be useful if, for example, you have an additional worksheet you would like the students to download to their computers before working on the assignment.
  • The detail underneath segments in your schedule view now displays more relevant standards-related information in a clearer format.
  • Teachers are now warned if they try to disable a segment with submissions by students. This means if a student starts an assignment and you try to disable the segment, you will be shown a warning. If you continue to disable the segment, the grade will be hidden, but not deleted. Once you enable the segment again, the students answers will appear again.
  • Students are now allowed to submit assignments late, and any late submissions are displayed with a warning to teachers when grading, and students when viewing their grades.
  • We added an “Export All Class Grades” feature that exports a comprehensive summary of all student grades, for all assignments, in the current class.

Other fixes:

  • The class rubric now automatically re-generates itself once you’ve placed content that introduces a new rubric type.
  • Assignment submission is now more stable, and less prone to submissions missing some student answers.
  • The left-side menu for teachers and students is now pinned to the top of the page when you scroll down.
  • The secondary text color is now a shade darker so it can be more visible.
  • The “Edit Course Structure” screen opacity issue has been fixed, so now segments don’t fade completely away whenever their parents are disabled.
  • Students no longer see days in their schedule view with no content underneath. The days are completely hidden instead.
  • Teachers should no longer see duplicate assignments created, or a lot of assignments created, whenever using the system.
  • We removed the ability for teachers to specify “travel backward” and “travel forward” days. Instead of specifying those, just enable and disable the segments you want your students to be able to see.

Content Manager

Content Manager. The content manager allows you to include content from other courses included in your license into your current class, and allows you to create your own sections (something the students read) and assignments (something the students do). For more information on how to use the content manager, view our support article here.

Student progress indicators for teachers. Inside your schedule view, you can now see a circular progress bar that indicates how many of your students have looked at the content. With this feature, you can get a quick glimpse into the coverage of any piece of content.

Other features:

  • Responsive functionality tweaks for teachers and students. Most views on the site can now be viewed on a mobile device. We always recommend viewing content on a desktop computer for the best experience, however.
  • Added a grade report to the assignment viewer page inside the course viewer.
  • Most places where students are listed now list students sorted alphabetically by last name, to keep things consistent.
  • Group members are now displayed in the grading modal when grading group assignments.

Other fixes:

  • The current month is now appended to class names whenever archiving them as well.
  • Automatically create class assignments if they don’t exist, meaning you are no longer required to set the active day before students can start working on an assignment.
  • Harden the submission saving / submit process against clicking the submit and save buttons multiple times. This fixes some students seeing incorrect answers when an assignment is graded.
  • The Set Active Day button has been renamed to “Activate Content” in order to make its purpose clearer.
  • On the teacher schedule view, past days are now highlighted in green to indicate they have already been “covered.”
  • The Syllabus tab no longer displays on a class if there is no Syllabus to display.
  • Hardened the assignment countdown timer to prevent accidentally submitting assignments when the student did not intend to.
  • Updated the student schedule view to include days instead of “Completed” / “Not Completed” as that verbiage would confuse students into thinking they had already completed work for that day.
  • Added a “Complete” message to complete assignments inside the student’s schedule view to make it more obvious which ones they had already completed.
  • There were occasional issues when importing students using an Excel file. Those should be resolved now.
  • The course viewer now navigates to the first piece of relevant content rather than leaving you stranded at the very beginning of the course.

Quiz Vault

Quiz Vault. The Quiz Vault allows you to automatically generate your own custom assignments where specified in the course. You can choose from all questions given to students throughout the semester, and filter based on whether they were covered, or are recommended.

Assignment randomization for students. Under your assignment settings, you’ll notice a new ” Randomize” checkbox. If you select that, the assignment’s questions will be given in random order to all of your students. One more tool to create a unique experience for each student and to combat cheating!

Other features:

  • Add navigation from the edit course structure view back to the schedule view.
  • Add a grades shortcut to the top of the student interface.
  • Alphabetically label multiple choice answers.
  • Added a new support portal.
  • Allow teachers to lock and unlock assignments.

Other fixes:

  • Question numbers are now displayed in reports.
  • Edit Course has been renamed to “Edit Course Structure”
  • We no longer automatically update configured rubric percentages. We just validate that they add up to 100%
  • Objectives are now alphabetically-numbered, to align closer with MBA Research content
  • Assignment answers are now only displayed in the teacher view to teachers, not in the student view.
  • Creating and archiving classes no longer requires a page refresh in some cases.
  • Assignment groups configuration no longer displays if the assignment is set as an individual assignment.
  • Fullscreen buttons are no longer displayed for assignments. They would only fullscreen the content, not the assignment, which was confusing.
  • The groups confirmation dialog now only appears when setting an active day with a groups-based assignment on that day.

Assignment answers are saved offline.

Assignment answers are saved offline. We know internet connections can be a little hit-or-miss sometimes. Now, students can rest easy knowing that if they’re having connection issues, their answers will still be saved locally on their machine. Once their internet has come back, they can submit their assignment normally.

Report Exports. We added an export button to all reports. If you want to export data to generate your own graphs or import that data into another system, you can now click the export button on every report to receive a CSV copy of it.

Other features:

  • Improve the performance of the course structure editor for teachers.
  • Automatically submit an assignment if the student has run out of time.
  • Display student actions farther in the past (“Catch-up” displayed on the student dashboard).
  • Preserve the maximum point value entered for an assignment on new questions when grading in the teacher interface.
  • Don’t mark students as idle when they are watching videos.
  • Show assignment answers in the teacher view.
  • Allow access to archived classes.

Other fixes:

  • Faster WebSocket connections now fall back to traditional HTTP if there is not a stable internet connection.
  • Make sure students are not allowed to browse content until teachers have set an active day.
  • Improve the performance of reporting on segment parents.
  • The teacher day view now takes into account disabled days and re-shuffles the days accordingly.
  • Update student class tasks to use the full assignment name instead of the shortened segment name.

Assignment time limits and performance improvements.

We’re releasing a speedier interface with this update. We changed some technologies we use under the hood in order to improve our API response time and speed up the communication between our API and your web browser,

Assignment time limits. You can now set a maximum amount of time your students can take to complete an assignment. Once they run out of time, their answers will be submitted and they won’t be able to edit them anymore. Of course, they can retry the assignment if you have multiple attempts enabled.

Other features:

  • Add a checkmark when an assignment is completed on the schedule view for students.
  • Add student group leadership reporting.
  • Add support for resetting a student’s submission.
  • Report in the activity feed when a student submits an assignment.
  • Interactions now pause after inactivity or if the browser window is not focused. This means your students cannot start reading an assignment and then open another tab with the clock still running. The “time on task” report will be more accurate with this change.

Other fixes:

  • Links inside PDF content are now clickable and the text is no longer misaligned in some cases.
  • When viewing standards covered for an assignment, we only show standards covered when they actually have values.
  • The warning message shown when editing groups when students have already started work makes more sense now.
  • The full due date for assignments is now displayed to students alongside the relative date.
  • Removed “week X, day X” from the schedule view for students. Only the teacher needs to know where in the “content days” they are.

Multiple attempts on assignments.

The course viewer sidebar now shows content broken down by day. You can still access the tree view by using the view selector at the top right of the panel. It also scrolls infinitely, so you’ll have access to all available content in one screen, without any loading times.

We now support multiple attempts on assignments. You can specify the maximum number of attempts in the same place you choose the due date. By default, all assignments are limited to 1 attempt. Multiple attempts only applies on assignments that can be auto-graded (so they are only multiple choice). When a student submits an assignment, they are presented with their grade and given an opportunity to try again if they have not exceeded the maximum number of attempts already.

Other features:

  • On the schedule page, the list of groups for each segment is now collapsed by default, and expands once you hover over it for at least half a second.
  • The rubric type for an assignment is now displayed in the assignment settings popover.
  • You can view the standards covered by each assignment inside the assignment settings popover.
  • Rubric sub-groups are now supported. Each assignment is categorized inside a broader group, and a specific group. Weights can be set for broad and specific groups individually. Check out your class settings page to configure these new rubric types.

Other fixes:

  • The grading interface now respects assignments that are excluded from the gradebook.
  • When deleting a class, you can now create a new class with the same name.
  • “Assignment due today” tasks have been removed for teachers.