Thursday, 31 December 2015

Service Disruption: Smart Share with Read-Only Files

Recently, we have noticed that Smart Share sometimes fails to give students read-only access to a file when a user tries to share a file that way. In such cases, students simply don't receive access to the file in question.

We believe that these failures stem from a bug in one of Google's services, so we're working on a solution with Google's engineering team. Meanwhile, we've set up systems to help prevent the bug from interfering with Smart Share. We'll post an update as soon as we believe that the issue has been resolved.

If you have any questions, concerns, or errors that you'd like to investigate, please don't hesitate to let us know. For now, though, have a very happy new year!

Best regards,
Hapara Support

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Workspace Release Notes - December 15, 2015

Bug Fixes
Some public workspaces were not showing the pictures that you would see in the Workspace if you were a teacher of that Workspace. This has been fixed.

Highlights Release Notes - December 16,2015


Improve Current Screen "Save"

From the Highlights Current Screen page, the teacher can click on an image to enlarge it. The enlarged image now shows the student name, date/time the image was taken and the URL the student was browsing. The teacher can save the image to a file and the saved image also includes these details.

User documentation links

Highlights now contains links to several articles that explain individual Highlights features and events in detail.

Student Groups and Sorting

The Browser Tabs and Current Screen tabs now use the same student groups and sorting order always - improving the usability of the product.

Show active tab in bold

In the Browser Tabs view, the tab that the student is looking at is now bolded (as it was in Interact).

Improve blank student panel process

Highlights provides teacher and student tools to help diagnose blank student panels. The blank student panel link "Flag issue" has been re-labelled "Investigate" and the associated pop-up window has been improved to help teachers and students resolve more causes more quickly. Further detail on the pop-up window is available here.

Bug Fixes

Close Tabs restores student tabs

When the teacher used the "Close Tabs" button to close a focused browsing session, Highlights was not obeying the "Restore tab settings" value the teacher set when they started the focused browsing session. Highlights now honors the setting.

Security Error switching classes from the Current Screen Tab

A security issue meant that sometimes teacher on the Highlights "Current Screens" screen uses the class pull-down menu to switch to another class, and gets a "access denied" message. This has been fixed.

Current Screens not updating to when student closes tab

The Current Screen now updates when a student closes a tab

Unresponsive Device messages with multiple Teachers

When two teachers were watching the same class, and an unresponsive device came back on line, only one teacher's view was updated to say the device is on line. This issue has been resolved.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Highlights Release Notes - December 09, 2015


Highlights supports school-specific Administrators for multi-school customers

Highlights now supports school-specific Administrators for multi-school customers. So Highlights now mirrors the existing Teacher Dashboard security rules for Administrators.

Highlights supports single-school extended teacher access

Highlights now obeys (in single school domains) an existing preference that gives teachers access to classes other than the ones they teach. So Highlights now mirrors the existing Teacher Dashboard security rules.

Removed the option to apply Highlights to a list of classes

The TDAdmin Highlights page allowed Administrators to restrict the Highlights to a specified list of classes. This was intended for use with new customers to allow a gradual rollout. It was mis-interpreted by existing Interact sites as a way, during a transition period, to turn Highlights on for a specified list of classes while retaining Interact for the bulk of classes. When used in this way, Dashboard and Highlights did not act as expected.

On reflection, this feature has limited usefulness. So the ability for Administrators to restrict Highlights availability to a specified list of classes has been removed. This simplifies the set-up process and avoids confusion

Workspace Release Notes - December 09, 2015

Bug Fixes & other changes

  • Fixed an issue where teachers couldn't copy a publicly shared Workspace if sharing was not enabled for their school/domain. You can now copy public Workspaces regardless of your own sharing settings.
  • Fixed an issue with sharing and un-sharing documents on a public Workspace.
  • Removed an error message that said “Return evidence action is not available.” if a teacher tried to return evidence that had already been returned by another teacher.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Highlights Release Notes - November 30, 2015


Highlights supports school-specific Administrators for multi-school customers

Highlights now supports school-specific Administrators for multi-school customers. So Highlights now mirrors the existing Teacher Dashboard security rules for Administrators.

Highlights supports single-school extended teacher access

Highlights now obeys (in single school domains) an existing preference that gives teachers access to classes other than the ones they teach. So Highlights now mirrors the existing Teacher Dashboard security rules.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Highlights Release Notes - November 16, 2015

Bug Fixes

Student Logged into Multiple Devices Icon
Improved the icon for the students logged into multiple devices

Student Status not updating intermittently
Fixed a bug to improve the student statuses from the Front end

Viewing the Current Screen from Snaps tab now opens a new tab
When a teacher is using Snaps and selects a recently taken snapshot, a new tab now opens to display the image.

Non-Students Accounts are now ignored
Non-Hapara users are now ignored and so no longer count towards the "multiple students" icon, on the user interface.

Sundry small improvements to the user interface, reliability and performance of Highlights.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Workspace Release Notes - November 19, 2015

What's New in Workspace

  • Cards and panels in Workspace have been updated to a clean, more modern style that moves towards greater consistency across Hapara tools.

Old style:
Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.02.33 AM.png

New style:
Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.02.18 AM.png

  • The started work count on the homepage has been resetting to 0 when work is submitted or returned instead of always displaying how many have started, irrelevant of whether they’ve submitted work or had work returned. This has been changed for accuracy.
  • Returned work was showing as read-only for some learners. This has been fixed.
  • When transferring documents (on submit/return), Google returns an “ok” message. Sometimes this “ok” message is not accurate and the document has not been transferred. We’ve now added a step that checks this to minimise teachers and learners needing to request permission to view documents they should be able to view.
  • Improved the way document previews are generated to make this more robust.
  • Fixed an issue where thumbnail previews were not being generated for submitted work where the document was a group document rather than individual.
  • Fixed a tiny glitch that showed a dot on the top left corner of each Workspace on the homepage.
  • Improvements have been made to how Workspace looks on an iPad for learners.
  • If a teacher was also listed as a learner in a data load then Workspace would show the learner view only. This has been updated to show the teacher view of Workspace in this case instead as it has more functionality.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Dashboard Release Notes - November 17, 2015


Navigate through My Drive with Smart Share’s file picker
Smart Share’s file picker now shows users the structure of their files and folders in My Drive. That includes all files and folders added to My Drive using the “Add to My Drive” option. As a result, users can now browse through their folders with ease to find exactly what they want to share with students.

Upload and share files directly from your computer
Smart Share’s file picker also now has an Upload tab, which lets users upload and share files directly from their computers. Never again will users have to upload files to Drive and then find them in Smart Share. Files uploaded using this option will be saved to My Drive.

Workspace Release Notes - November 13, 2015

What's New in Workspace

  • Fixed a bug that was showing learners a request permission to access page when they clicked on a document that they should have access to.
  • Fixed an intermittent bug that happened for some customers using Chrome on Windows when logging in.
  • Fixed an issue where thumbnail images weren't showing when adding a link to a card.
  • Blank Names were showing in class lists if we do not know the name of the learner. This has been updated to show the learner email address instead in these cases.
  • If a learner came to Workspace but denied authorisation they would see a cat picture and not be able to try again. Now we take them back to the authorisation page.
  • Fixed a bug where renaming a Workspace was causing the name in Google Drive to be renamed repeatedly.
  • Teachers can now mouse-over a document in a Workspace and get a preview in the same way that Dashboard shows.
  • Added an additional check to the Diagnostics Page to validate if all authorisation works.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Workspace Release Notes - November 10, 2015

What's New in Workspace

  • The submitted work list has been put into alphabetical order to make it easier to see whose work is missing.
  • There was a bug that was stopping Administrators from being able to reorder cards in columns. This has been fixed.
  • Workspace was displaying with giant text when viewed on Safari on an iPad which made it almost impossible to work with. This has been fixed.
  • Improved the speed at which the Activity Summary page panels load by returning only the information needed by those panels. Fast = Good!
  • When all learners have started work, the “X/XX Started” count shown on the Workspace homepage now changes to read "All learners started".
  • The overdue evidence panel on the Activity Summary page was not displaying overdue evidence if it was a group activity rather than an individual activity. This has been fixed.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Release Notes - November 2, 2015

Bug Fixes



Data loader warns when ignoring columns
If the data loader finds a column header it does not recognize in a spreadsheet, it displays a warning message. This brings misspelled column headers to users' attention (rather than being silently ignored).

Parent Portal login is now case insensitive
Because Parent Portal’s login page treated upper and lower case letters differently, parents sometimes had trouble logging into Parent Portal. That login page is no longer case sensitive.

Gmail tab makeover
We’ve been working on a package of speed, functionality, and look improvements. These improvements will be available in the Gmail tab first, and in Dashboard & Sharing modules in coming weeks.

For large classes, the Gmail tab loads in under half the time it took before. For example, showing 10 emails for 120 students previously took 120 seconds. Now it takes 45 seconds.

Easier filtering:
  • Clicking the magnifying glass icon opens the text filter dialog and it stays open.
  • After entering text, the user can apply the filter by either pressing enter or clicking the magnifying glass.
  • When a filter is set, the text remains in the box and an x appears with tooltip "Reset".
  • On clicking the reset icon, the student panels are unfiltered, the filter text is cleared and the whole text filter panel return to its closed state.
  • If the user clicks anywhere outside the search panel and if they haven't entered any filter text then it's as if the user clicked the reset icon.
  • If the user clicks on the mag glass icon while the text filter box is open but with no filter text specified,then it's as if the user clicked the reset icon.
  • If the user deleted text existing filter text and clicked anywhere outside the search panel then it's as if the user clicked the reset icon.

Gmail student panel icons:
The buttons for editing a student’s groups, emailing a student, and opening a student’s Teacher Notes file have been moved to a menu that is opened by clicking the “…” symbol. This gives us room to do three things:
  1. show what those buttons do,
  2. show longer student names, and
  3. add new features more easily in the future.

Gmail student panel grouping
The student panel’s square corners. This allows more room to display the “student group” colours along the top of the student panel.

Clicking a colored tab in a student’s panel sorts all of the student panels, showing students of the selected color group first.

Clearer, more consistent navigation
The Gmail tab now underlines the selected sub-tab (Inbox, Sent, or Trash). This reflects how “Gmail” is underlined when the Gmail tab is selected.

Better browser support
The Gmail tab has been tested on Chrome version 46.0 and OS X.

The look changes from this:
To this:

TD Admin makeover
We’ve made a number of minor changes to tidy up the TD Admin user interface.  This includes removing some unused settings, changing text of titles and instructions so they are more clear, change to modules tab order and adding a suggestions box.

Archiving improvements
Previously if a school changes a subject folder mid-year, the year-end archiving process would only archive the new subject folder. We now archive both the old and new subject folders.

Data Loader detects suspended teacher
The data loader does not allow classes to be loaded with teachers with suspended accounts. It now displays a clear and informative error message, and skips the class.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

RESOLVED: Interact Service Disruption

7:20am PST: Our engineering team has pushed out a fix for the Interact issue, and service appears to be back to normal. If you are still noticing any issues with Interact or otherwise, please submit a support ticket at, or email, and we will investigate promptly.


7:10am PST: We are currently experiencing a global service disruption for Interact. The engineering team has identified the source of the problem, and they are hard at work building a fix.

We will post another update here when the issue is resolved, or at 8:00am PST, whichever comes first. Our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience.

Best regards,
Hapara Customer Support

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Planned Downtime for Gmail Viewer

Our servers will be required to undergo a reboot in order to install a new security patch. The reboot will only take a few minutes, but users may experience a service interruption for Teacher Dashboard's Gmail viewer on October 28th during the times listed below:
  • 12am and 2am PST
  • 3am and 5am EST
  • 8pm and 10pm NZT
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this security update.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Service Disruption RESOLVED: Workspace Inaccessible

All users should be able to access Workspace once again. If you have further troubles accessing Workspace, though, don't hesitate to let us know.

Service Disruption: Workspace Inaccessible

Workspace appears to be inaccessible for all users at all schools at the moment. We are investigating this as an extremely high-priority issue and will post more updates as we learn more.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Data Loading Service Disruption

RESOLVED 4:30 PDT - The backlog of sync jobs has cleared and data loads should update in Dashboard as normal now. For any users who ran a student load during the disruption and received  a “class does not exist” error, please reload your student file with the “Override load comparison” parameter checked. Should users experience any lingering issues or have any other questions or concerns, please reach out at

ORIGINAL POST 2:57 PDT - A release issued on October 11 has inadvertently prevented our user and group caches from properly updating after a data load. Users of Hapara Dashboard may notice the following symptoms:
  • Classes not being added into Dashboard after a data load
  • Class enrollments in Dashboard not properly syncing with loaded information
  • Student loads displaying a “class does not exist” error, even though the Class load finished successfully

We have rolled back the release and the backlog of refresh queues are now working down. It may take 2-3 hours for the queues to clear. Until then, any changes from the data loader may not display in Dashboard. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and will update to this blog when service has returned to normal.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Email Auditing Deprecation

In Teacher Dashboard Classic, the Email Auditing feature let users forward students’ emails to teachers and administrators for special attention. (If you’re curious, you can learn more about that here.) Due to a lack of interest in the feature compared to many competing priorities, we chose not to put Email Auditing in Teacher Dashboard 2.

In the months since releasing TD2, we have received very few requests for Email Auditing’s return. As a result, we’ve decided to remove the feature indefinitely. If you’re an administrator at a school that used Email Auditing, you may notice that we’ve suspended an account named That account was responsible for forwarding students’ emails, so it no longer needs to be active.

Of course, it’s always possible that we’ll bring back Email Auditing in the future. If you would like to see its return, don’t hesitate to let us know through the “How can we improve this page?” bar at the bottom of every page in Dashboard. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Smartshare Improvements

In response to customer feedback, the Hapara dev team have been working on ways to improve the speed and reliability of Smart Share.

After a period of investigation, we have implemented a number of changes to the way that documents are copied.  Our testing of these changes show a reduced number of errors, which in turn reduces reduces the issues that impact customers.

This reduction includes fewer:
- duplicate documents being created,
- ‘temp’ files being left behind and remaining visible to teachers and learner, and
- Smart Share jobs either taking longer than expected, or resulting in some of the students not receiving their copy of the document.  

Working in partnership with a number of customers, we have trialled the new Smart Share release and have been able to monitor this in production.  We have realized marked improvements.

As a result of these positive results, the new Smart Share version was released to all customers at 2pm NZT Friday 18 Sept / 7pm PDT 17 Sept.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Improvements to Smart Share

Smart Share has shown a decrease in performance.  Customer feedback and testing confirms the following issues due to failed or delayed processes:
  • Standard practice creates a ‘temp’ file and are produced in Hapara Dashboard folders.  However, they should not be visible to the student or teachers.  Currently, an error is occurring during the sharing process where these files have been left behind and causing duplicate files and confusion.
  • Documents are being duplicated during the sharing process.  These duplicates remain in the learner’s folder.
  • As a teacher initiates a Smart Share request, the process starts as expected.  However, the processing may delay or fail which results in the incomplete job and therefore all or some of the students do not receive their copy of the document.  

Our developers have investigated the root cause of these issues as well as options for quick resolution. As a result of this work, key areas for improvement have been identified and are ready for release. These Smart Smart improvements will be rolled out in a phased approach to ensure consistency and speed.

Phase one of the Smart Share release completed Friday, September 11 to a small group of customers. Upon success, Phase two will begin.

The new Smart Share release should be completed by September 18, with a majority of the customers rolled over prior to that date.  We will update our Support Blog regarding the progress and/or any changes.  We thank you for your patience and time in sending us your feedback, and truly apologize for the impact this makes in the classroom.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Workspace Release Notes - September 10, 2015

What's New in Workspace

  • The embargo on submit feature is now working for customers with split-domain, multi-domain and sub-domain setups. Note that this works differently to the way embargo works for customers on a single domain as the teacher will retain ownership of the document and learners will get appropriate access depending on whether it is work that is started or submitted.
  • Learners are now able to change the language Workspace shows in by clicking on “language” in the top navigation below their name. Workspace is currently available in English and French.
  • A recent change allowed teachers to create Workspaces without classes assigned, this adds an “Unassigned” filter to Workspace so that these can be easily accessed.
  • Clicking on the activity summaries on the home page now takes you to the Activity page of a Workspace.
  • Teachers can now select multiple classes when creating a Workspace.
  • Teachers will now see the following message when publishing a Workspace: "This Workspace has been published to <#> learners. Learners can see this Workspace at"

Bug Fixes and Other Changes

  • Fixed an error that has been occurring when trying to drag many learners into a group.
  • Teachers with large classes were having difficulty adding learners to groups because of the way scrolling worked on this page, this should now be resolved.
  • The add co-teacher area was showing with a red border before any co-teacher email address had been added - this will now only show if an invalid email address has been added.
  • Fixed an error opening group evidence documents.
  • Made a change so that group evidence appears in each learner’s Workspace folder rather than only in the folder of the first learner to open the document.
  • Added some spacing to the left-hand column to make this neater

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Release Notes - August 31, 2015

Bug Fixes

Loading spreadsheet with apostrophes in their names
If a spreadsheet name contained an apostrophe, the data loader failed to process it. This has been resolved.

Accessing Dashboard after school IDs are changed
If a domain using School Separation changed school IDs between years, then teachers who taught classes in the previous year could not access Dashboard. This has been resolved.


Improved document filtering
Dashboard’s document filter has received an overhaul:
  • Clicking the magnifying glass opens the filtering panel, and it stays open. It no longer disappears if you move the mouse away from it.
  • After typing in text, you can filter students’ documents by pressing the enter key or by clicking the magnifying glass.
  • Once a filter is applied, your filter text remains in the box, and a "Reset" button appears.
  • Clicking the reset button un-filters students’ documents, clears the filter text, and closes the filtering panel. The same happens if you do any of the following:
    • Click outside of the filtering panel while its text field is empty.
    • Click the magnifying glass while the text field is empty.

Detecting suspended SAO accounts in data loads
If a school’s school.apps.owner account was suspended, data loads would fail and give a cryptic error message. Now, the error message clearly states the cause of the problem.

Friday, 28 August 2015

RESOLVED: PowerSchool Integration

PowerSchool-integrated student extractions are now working again for domains that contain multiple schools. Some schools may have encountered other problems today due to a technical difficulty with Pearson's PowerSchool servers, but Pearson has been working to resolve that issue.

As always, don't hesitate to let us know if you have any other questions or curiosities.

SERVICE DISRUPTION: PowerSchool Integration

At the moment, SIS-integrated student extractions are inoperable for domains consisting of multiple schools and using PowerSchool integration. If a school using PowerSchool integration tries to load students, the data loader will show that no new or changed students could be found.

We believe that we have found the cause of this problem, and we are working to fix it as soon as possible. Until then, our team can help load student data in particularly urgent circumstance. If you would like us to help you load students, simply let us know.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Release Notes - August 17, 2015

Bug Fixes

Improved text search

When a teacher opened Dashboard’s file search tool and moved the mouse towards the "Title search" and "Full text search" options, the tool often closed unexpectedly. We’ve rearranged the search tool so that teachers only have to move the mouse horizontally to change the setting, making the tool much less likely to close unexpected

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Release Notes - August 10, 2015

Bug Fixes

"Error: Bad Request" when opening document
If a user was logged into multiple Google Apps accounts at once, clicking a document in Hapara Dashboard would lead to get a Bad Request error. (“Your client has issued a malformed or illegal request.") This issue has been resolved.

Mysterious student load errors from duplicate classes

If a student spreadsheet or CSV file listed a class twice for a single student, the data loader displayed a mysterious error when the file was loaded. The data loader is now much less mysterious in this regard.