Note: This document references views and actions that are only available to Echo Administrators
Below are guidelines and suggestions for closing out the current term (semester, trimester, year, etc.) and getting ready for the new term. To insure a smooth transition, it's important that these steps are followed. Please contact Echo Support if you have any questions about the following instructions.
Use these handy documents to make sure you don't forget anything.
Echo will do some things automatically at the end of the term. Here’s what to expect:
For students, course cards will be dropped from their Echo Home page 14 days after their enrollment expires.
If the student enrollment dates were set to end on the last day of the term, the course card will continue to be displayed on their Home page for two weeks. After that, the course will no longer be displayed on their Home page. Prior courses can be access through the student's gradebook tool. If the course is removed too soon or is displayed too long, adjust the user's enrollment in the course.
For teachers, course cards (base and derivatives) will be dropped from their Echo Home page 14 days after the their enrollment expires.
If the teacher enrollment dates were set to end on the last day of the term, the course card will continue to be displayed on their workspace for 14 days. After 14 days, the course will disappear from their workspace. Teachers can access prior courses using using the "manage courses" menu in the upper menu bar. If the course is removed too soon or is displayed too long, adjust the user's enrollment in the course. Teachers can also hide unneeded courses at anytime using the "manage courses" menu.
Courses will be classified as “Inactive”.
For Echo Administrators, courses with an end date before today’s date will not be displayed in the Courses tool of the Admin app. To see past courses, uncheck the “show active courses only” option on the Courses tool. Because user access to courses is determined by the enrollment start and end dates (and not the course start and end dates), teachers and students can continue to access and interact with inactive courses. If the courses status doesn’t change to inactive,adjust the end date of the course to remove them from the active course list.
Closing Out This School Year
End of Year Communications with Staff - At the end of the year, it's probably better to over communicate than under communicate with your staff. You should let them know when final grades are due in Echo and how to get their courses set up for the next term or year.
Use these end of year Tips and Checklist for teachers to get started.
- Export Final Grades - Let your teacher know the date and time you will be exporting grades so that you have a complete record of student performance. You may also want them to export the grades for their individual courses as a back up record.
- Move Graduated Students - If your students are moving to another school in your district that uses Echo, you can move their existing account rather than recreating it (ie: middle school students moving to the high school). Move the existing accounts so that their grades and observers stay with them. Here is how.
- Clean Up Your Echo Accounts - Your contract with NTN includes a maximum number of “active” Echo accounts. To make sure you don’t go over that number (or get a surprise charge at the end of the year), make sure you keep your account list clean. This includes marking student accounts as inactive (which keeps grade data) and deleting unneeded accounts. Here is how.
- Clean Up Old Courses - Ask your staff to flag their unused or test courses with DELETE ME in the title. Then simply go through all course in the Course Tool and delete them.
- Update Course Terms and End Dates - Because your teachers likely created their own courses (and because they are a creative bunch), we can assume that you have an eclectic mix of term names and end dates for your course. Use the “bulk update” feature to establish consistency across your domain. Here is how.
- Course Templates: If you are using course templates to make setting up a new course easier, be sure to update them for the new term.
Preparing for Next School Year
- Add New Grading Periods - Now is a great time to review and configure your Domain’s School Year and Grading Periods. Here is how.
- Check Advanced Features Settings - With Echo’s Advanced Feature Sets, you can customize Echo to meet your teachers where they are and can grow with them. From a very simple and traditional LMS to a robust platform. Check out this document to start that conversation with your staff, on which settings are right for you.
- Import New Students - When you get your new student list, there is a way to import student and parent accounts quickly to the system. Here is how.
- Import New Parents - Have you added parents and connected them to their students yet? If not, you can connect parents as observers to one, two or dozens of student accounts. This gives them one place to check on their student’s performance in school. Here is how.
- Copying Base Courses - In most cases, it’s best practice to instruct your teachers to create a copy of their base course rather than simply creating derivatives of your current courses. This will prevent changes in the base from affecting past courses Proactively instruct your teachers to copy their base course and create new derivatives before it becomes a problem. Here is how.
Important information for schools who use a synced option
Domains that are syncing with an SIS using an external integration tool such as DataSense have additional considerations when transitioning to a new term.
Turn Off Auto Scoring of Late Work in Base
For the new term, the sync is going to create new sections/derivatives from your current base. These courses will inherit the due dates from the current base and enroll the students. Because all of the due dates are in the past, if the "Automatically assign zero scores to past-due activities" is enabled, student's will start the course with a bunch of zeros. This course setting can be turned back on in the derivatives after the due dates have been adjusted in the base. (see image below)
Finalize Existing Course Grades
Because the Datasense sync reuses the teacher base course, it is important to “finalize” the grades in your existing course BEFORE making any changes to the base for the new term. Changing the base may alter student grades if they have not been finalized. Be sure all student grades are complete before finalizing them as this process will mark the student enrollment complete and remove them from the course roster.
Configure Course Grading Periods
If grading periods are to be used, configure them in the base course (not the derivative) to reflect the new term.
If needed, use the Activities tab in the course editor to update the grading periods of the course activities.
- Advanced options: For Datasense managed courses, leave this option off in the base.
This FAQ page is compiled from the questions coming into our Echo Help Center around ending one semester and beginning a new one.
Echo is constantly being improved based on the feedback from users and we strive to keep our documentation up to date. If this document doesn’t match what you are seeing in Echo, please let us know.