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Features

Private staff / department pages

Some content may be created for public view, or some may be for students or teachers. That’s why each page in Ultranet has its own permission controls, which allows you to set which groups of users have access to view the page, and which groups can edit it. This allows you to set up pages for staff only access.

User messaging

Improved communication is one of the natural spin-offs from harnessing web-based technology to support online learning. The Message Centre available to all users on the Dashboard provides a centralised and tracked area for managing asynchronous communication between students, teachers and parents.
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Email without email

Despite the boom in alternative web-communication solutions, emails are still with us and will stay with us for a while yet. However, they are not always available to users—especially younger students who may not have access to a school-provided or third-party email service.The Message Centre in Ultranet takes care of this by providing an equitable and integrated solution for sending messages and attachments to other users. Conversations are threaded and tracked, and you can send a message to a single recipient or to a group of individuals.

Site-wide integration

The need to communicate with another user could arise at any point within the online learning environment, so it’s important that the functionality is never far away.The Message Centre is always available from users’ Dashboards and uSpace navigation bar. Additionally, areas such as the Tasks module, Class List or User Admin panel have the Message Centre built-in, so communication can be initiated from numerous areas across Ultranet.

Alert options

Message alerts get top level display on the Dashboard, so at a glance you can spot if you have received any new messages since you last checked.For those who like receiving email reminders too, an alert service can be enabled on the Dashboard so that you get notified whenever a message is sent to you in Ultranet.

Abuse reporting

Items in the Message Inbox feature the same “Report Abuse” functionality as featured in uSpace. This means any cases of misuse or cyber-bullying can be reported and traced easily. Individual Message Inboxes can also be disabled, so if a particular student has been misbehaving, you can impose a temporary or permanent block on their access to this feature.

Resource Bookings

Teachers and students use a variety of resources in their daily learning activities, from stationery and data projectors to computer labs or the library. The Bookings module provides schools with an electronic booking sheet to manage school resources and online booking of items.
This teacher add-on is included in all websites.
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All electronically managed

One of the advantages of having an electronic bookings register is that the information it contains can be more easily presented consistently and widely. Being web-based, any user can then log in and check availability of resource items, rather than waiting until they can physically get to a booking sheet to fill in.Unlike a calendar where time delineations for individual events are not relevant, bookings are made in fixed-time ‘blocks’, which means no overlaps or ambiguity in booking duration. The Bookings module makes this clear by graphically representing each block overlaid above a weekly overview. The weeks can be browsed using the familiar Term Navigator as featured in the Calendar module, so bookings correspond more meaningfully with the school calendar terms and holidays.Additionally, because the Bookings module is tied to the user accounts in Ultranet, each booking has a defined ‘owner’ and edit permission. So you won’t have users sneakily going in to replace other people’s bookings with their own, whilst higher level controls are reserved for administrators and moderators only.

Customisable timetables

All bookings need to be tied to a start/end time as a reference, but these are not always fixed. Some items might follow the official school timetable, others might be booked on a half-hourly basis, whilst others might only be block-booked in half-day chunks.To cater for this, the Booking module supports the creation of custom timetable grids for resources. Using this, schools can easily accommodate the various timing variances between the items they have available to be booked, whilst still maintaing a centralised record for these.

Moderation options

Just like pages and news sections, Booking Categories can be set up to organise groups of resources and their availability. Items can be made only accessible and bookable by particular user types, so levels of access can be established.Similarly, moderation can be enabled to cater for particular resources that require approval before being booked. Users can still make a reservation for that item, but the block will remain in a ‘pending’ state until the moderator or administrator in charge accepts the booking.