A round-up of some upcoming changes to the Buzz platform.
Recently released: Option to ignore gating settings for observers
Changes to Remediation assessments
Announced: July 15, 2021
Planned release: August 12, 2021
Planned change: We will enhance Remediation assessments to automatically grant a student a retry on any gradable activities that are aligned to objectives that the student failed to show mastery of in the Remediation assessment.
Reason for this change: To better personalize learning and help the student gain proficiency in the learning objective.
Blocking messages to unverified accounts
Announced: February 23, 2021 (originally posted only to authorized support contacts) and February 25, 2021
Updated: July 15, 2021
Planned release: August 19, 2021
Planned change: Buzz will begin blocking messages for unverified emails and phone numbers using the following schedule:
- August 19, 2021: After this date, if a message is sent from Buzz to an unverified account, the user will be given two weeks to verify their information before Buzz begins blocking messages. During this grace period, the banner will remain visible, and users will receive an automated message from Buzz prompting them to verify their information along with the first message they receive during this time.
This change impacts: All Buzz users who have not verified their email and/or phone numbers.
Reason for this change: Improve security for users.
Current status: Users can now verify their email addresses and phone numbers in the User menu > Settings controls. Where possible, system administrators should encourage users to verify their information. As of July 15, 2021, a banner automatically appears above the Buzz toolbar prompting users to verify their information (prior to this date, you could request the banner be disabled). They can click Settings there to jump to user settings, or open their User menu and select Settings.
Option to ignore gating settings for observers
Planned change: A new Domain setting that allows the removal of various gating restrictions for observers. For example, the setting can be used to allow an observer to view an activity that is blocked from the observed students because they haven't completed a previous activity.
Reason for this change: This allows an observer to provide better support to their student.
Updating rubrics to display point value instead of point range
Change: Instead of displaying a points range in Buzz's rubric headers, Buzz now displays the exact point value that will be granted if the level is selected.
Reason for this change: To make the rubric easier to use, more intuitive, and consistent with other grading tools.
Enabling SpeechStream in assessments
Teachers and other content authors can enable this option for an assessment wherever SpeechStream is enabled for the domain.
Reason for this change: To further enhance Buzz's accessibility and general usability.
Enhancing the security of Google Drive integration
Announced: June 15, 2021
Released: June 17, 2021
Change: We are enhancing the security of Buzz's default Google Drive file picker. After this update, users who have already granted access allowing Buzz to embed files may be asked to grant this access again.
This change impacts: All Buzz users in domains with Google Drive integration.
Reason for this change: Improve security for users.
Changed ‘Mail From:’
Released change: The Mail From: domain has been changed from amazonses.com to buzz-mail.agilix.com. When messages are sent from Buzz, there is a Mail From field and a From field. Mail From has been changed; From continues to be firstname.lastname@example.org.
This change impacts: Buzz users hosted by Agilix at subdomain.agilixbuzz.com or custom URL with an API address of api.agilixbuzz.com. The Mail From: appears in the email header and is not normally visible to the students or teachers.
Reason for change: For some school email systems, they only allow certain ‘Mail From:’ domains to message their students and teachers. Previously, they couldn’t allow emails from the amazonses.com domain as that is also used by thousands of other websites. Having a ‘Mail From:’ domain that is owned by Agilix will allow these schools to allow a domain that is specifically used for Buzz communication.
Next steps: If your email system restricts the domains that are allowed to message your students and teachers using the Mail From: field, you should include both amazonses.com and buzz-mail.agilix.com as authorized senders. After we make the change on April 29, you can remove amazonses.com domain from your security rules.
Changed how updated password security works
Released change: When a user's password is changed, any current sessions where that user is authenticated using the previous password now becomes inactive, and the user will have to login again with the new password.
- If a user changes their own password and is using one browser, they will continue to be able to use Buzz without having to sign in again as long as it is the same browser session.
- If a user changes their own password and is using multiple browsers, they will continue to be able to use Buzz without having to sign in again with the same browser session. However, they will have to sign in with the new password in the other browser(s).
- If an admin changes a user's password while the user is using Buzz, the user will have to sign in again with the new password.
Reason for change: We are making this change to enhance security around the user's sessions.
Messaging updates in Buzz: New and updated Domain feature switches
In this release, we made the following updates to Domain feature switches:
- Added Enable user notifications. When disabled, the Notification preferences card is hidden in User settings and no notifications are sent to users (including the banner asking users to verify email addresses and phone numbers).
- Updated the Enable email switch, so that, when disabled, Buzz no longer allows users to receive messages sent by another user from Buzz.
Increased security for Buzz
Starting on February 18, 2021 (previously January 14), the Buzz LMS discontinued support of being embedded within another website (specifically, websites that loaded Buzz in an iframe). This change will improve the security of Buzz and prevent some malicious attempts to hijack a users account.
New "Congratulations!" prompts for continuous courses
This is intended to help students recognize when they are caught up on a course, so they can assess their best next steps.