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ACEware Systems Newsletter

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May 2022 | Issue #115

Current Releases:  SM 8.0.111 (5/2) | AW  3.5.068 (03/08)

Solutions to Common Registration Problems - 5/19, 2p CDT

Update Webinar - 7/13, 2p CDT

Master of Managing Reports - 9/26-29 - 12-2 p CDT

Does Blackboard Have You Feeling Blue?


We have several courses where learners need to register for a course in Student Manager (with one set of credentials), then wait for the university’s IT team to create a different set of credentials for Blackboard. The IT team was using part of the user’s ACEware data for the new username and password, which made perfect sense to them, but not much to our users (i.e., Your username is the first part of your email, everything before the @ sign and then the first two initials of your last name and first name with your zip code, followed by .coned). You can imagine why this was challenging to figure out and even try to explain to users.

While we knew we couldn’t make people more patient (WAIT was a key word), we also knew that the separate username and credentials were confusing even if they could figure out what they were. We tried several solutions with our confirmations that included screenshots of what their username would be using a hypothetical learner name and how to login, but none worked well.

The problem was frustrating for both our learners and our main IT department that managed Blackboard for more than 20,000 for-credit learners as well. Their phone number was listed on the Blackboard site and they reached out asking us to fix their problem of getting many calls from frustrated noncredit learners daily.

ACEware programmers to the rescue! We reached out and asked for help creating a custom confirmation that pulled the user's actual new username and password, using ACEware data and send the users their exact new login credentials once they’ve registered for a course using Blackboard.

Once we tested it on a few registrations, we got even more proactive and found there were many learners who had registered but not completed the course, so we reached out to them and sent them their credentials as well. We’ve flagged the Blackboard enrollment notifications and send the Blackboard Email Confirmation every time we see an enrollment in one of the courses.

Our calls have nearly stopped, it’s shocking, and the IT department thinks we’re brilliant. Or at least not such a pain. In a time when we’re incredibly short-staffed and our learners have many more options to choose from, it’s truly been a game changer. Thank you to the ACEware team!

Contributed by Melissa Peraino, Center for Adult and Continuing Studies, Grand Valley State University

Note: Contact Melissa if you have questions or want to brainstorm!

Last Chance to Join Us for Conference!

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We are so excited to spend time with you at conference next month! It's going to be a great week of learning and sharing!

Conference goody boxes will be shipped next week. You have probably heard from Susan by now confirming where the box should be sent.

If you haven't registered, there is still time (but not much)! Join the learning and the fun! In 2022 we have:

Breakout sessions - Choices, choices, I know. The good news is that we will record all the sessions and make the recording available.

  • Did You Know ACEweb could. . .
  • Using Coupons
  • AW Pending and Revoked Payments
  • Proxy Registration Options
  • Instructor Access
  • Staff Web Access Updates
  • New Cancel Registration Routines
  • Data Clean Up
  • Document Uploads
  • ACEweb Templates
  • Reporting Tips and Tricks
  • What's New in Student Manager and ACEweb
  • Preview of the ACEware Cloud Environment

Small Group Meet-ups - Time to meet with colleagues with similar program types to share experiences and ideas.

Discussion Boards - Start your own or join an existing topic of discussion.

Seats remain in Student Manager Quick Start (for those brand new to ACEware) and Keeper of the Flame preconference sessions.

It is going to be a great week! See you there!

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire

ACEware Cloud Environment - Shopping Cart

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Since last month, we have been working on the magic of the course scheduler and building an easy-to-use shopping experience for you and your customers! Staff or students are able to:

  • Enroll one individual (or many) for one (or many courses).
  • Display course details on the cart.
  • Clearly track who is being enrolled.
  • Monitor cart totals with ease.
  • Clear an entire cart or remove individual item(s).

Custom site branding- check

Multiple profile management - check

User permissions - check

Course set up wizard - check

Easy image uploading - check

Intuitive shopping - check

Come see ACEware's Cloud Environment during conference. Register today!

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire

Tech Tip of the Month: Deactivate Old Courses


Stop what you’re doing and go click on the Lookup Active Courses button on your center screen quick launch menu in Student Manager or from Module >> Courses >> Find Active Course. Do you see begin dates that have already passed? Old memberships that expired long ago? Course codes from terms of yore? If so, it’s time to deactivate your old courses!

It sounds redundant, but it’s worth repeating (see what I did there?): The simplest reason for deactivating courses is to keep them from appearing when you (a) Click the Lookup Active Courses button, and (b) Select from the available list of courses when enrolling a student by clicking the Add Registration button from their name record or the Add button on their green registration screen. But why is it so important to just keep old courses from appearing? That’s simple, too: So that you don’t accidentally enroll a student in an old course. Trust me, it happens. I’ve done this too many times. Another good reason to deactivate your courses is that the less courses that display in the search screen, the less time you have to wait for the screen will load. And who doesn’t want to spend less time waiting?

Deactivating courses is a simple process: Module >> Courses >> Mass Change/Update/Delete Archive (or Alt+1). Once the screen loads, select Inactive from the Change active status to dropdown, and then enter your criteria in the bottom half of the screen. You can deactivate by begin date, end date, course code, or if you want to get really fancy, by custom condition. Be sure to Preview your courses for deactivating in case there are any that you want to deselect anything that might happen to match the criteria, and when you’re done, just click OK! (More detailed information can be found here, in our online help guide.)

And don’t worry, inactive courses aren’t removed from your live database—that’s what the archiving tool is for. You’ll still be able to look up inactive courses by using the yellow binoculars button on the toolbar quick launch at the top of your screen, going to Module >> Courses >> Find Course, or using the Alt+J shortcut key combination.

So then, go forth and deactivate your old courses!

Contributed by Lindsey Lieberman

Report of the Month: OK and Cancel on Report Options


So, not really a report of the month, but a gaff in the reporting area is being corrected next month and I wanted to make sure as many people knew about this now so that you weren't caught unaware. Though, I'm sure it'll take some time to get used to anyway as it has already tripped me up in my testing!

For years (like nearly 35), the OK button was on the right side and the Cancel was on the left. BUT, only on the report options screens. Everywhere else, the OK button was to the left of the Cancel (if there is a left-right relationship as some screens have one on top of the other). This gaff is finally getting corrected in next month's Student Manager release (build 8.0.112 scheduled for June 6th).

Chuck is the one that noticed this and says that you can curse him all you want. Your muscle memory will need to be retrained and he is sorry for that. However, new users to the software will find that consistency is paramount to this. We can't let the mistakes of the past continue to plague us. We must move forward! Okay?!?!

Contributed by Matthew Olson

To your continued success,

- Chuck, Sharon, Cheryl, Jason, Joe, Lindsey, Matthew, Stein, and Susan

 ACEware Systems

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We appreciate hearing from you! If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about this newsletter, please contact sharon@aceware.com.