Release notes 8.0

Release Date: 
Thursday, 22 October 2015

The 8.0 onCourse release is a public release of onCourse for self hosted and managed users. These release notes contains the detail of all features, improvements and fixes made between version 7.1 and 8.0.

If your onCourse instance is hosted in the cloud, you are on our early release program and have already received these improvements via:

  • onCourse 7.2 (22/5/15)
  • onCourse 7.4 (15/6/15)
  • onCourse 7.6 (19/7/15)
  • onCourse 7.8 (12/8/2015)
  • onCourse 7.10 (8/9/15)

Click to jump to the summary of the improvements between onCourse version 7.10 and 8.0

Important: Java 8 is now a minimum requirement to run onCourse. If your organisation is not able to upgrade to Java 8, please contact us before performing this upgrade.

Major Features

Payment plans

A new concept for enrolment fee payments has been developed to allow for online enrolments by paying a deposit, and regular payments thereafter.

Payment plans consist of scripts which can be applied to classes en masse, and plans in individual classes with payment dates and amounts which can be modified as required.

The student fee window in the class has changed to allow for more options in creating and setting a class fee with a deposit and then additional amounts payable in relation to the class start date.

During enrolment, the default option of payment of a payment plan class is for the deposit component only, but additional amounts up to the full class fee can be taken at this time.

Any discount that applies to an enrolment will be deducted from the final payment amount.

The invoice window layout has also had significant change to clean up the view and accommodate the payment plan schedule. Within the payment plan invoice, payable amounts and due dates can be adjusted, added or removed, for the individual student. Any invoice can be manually turned into a payment plan invoice if the balance was not paid in full on enrolment.

The printed invoice template has also been updated to include the payment plan schedule of dates and amounts payable, as have the email templates.

When a student has an invoice with payment plan amounts due in the future, and they enrol in another course, the future payable components will not be added to their amount payable in Quick Enrol. Only overdue payment amounts will be automatically added.

A new access right has been created for payment plans. Ensure you update your access roles to allow the appropriate permissions for your staff to create and edit payment plans within both classes and invoices.

A new chapter of user documentation has been written for Invoices and Payment Plans

Adding a payment plan to the class

3rd Party Integration preferences

A new window to create integration preferences has been added to onCourse for the following popular commercial tools:

Moodle – A free, open-source PHP web application for producing modular internet-based courses that support a modern social constructionist pedagogy
Mailchimp – Online email marketing solution to manage contacts, send emails and track results
SurveyMonkey – Create and publish online surveys in minutes, and view the results graphically in real time. SurveyMonkey provides free online questionnaire and survey software
SurveyGizmo – An exceptionally powerful survey tool designed to make even the most advanced survey projects fun, easy and affordable

These integrations allow you to create your own links to external services and products you have purchased, and define with a corresponding script how onCourse utilises these services. For more information, read the new onCourse integrations chapter of the user handbook

onCourse integrations view

Custom field drop down boxes for onCourse and the web

Custom fields for contact records can now be made into drop down selections of choices for use inside both the onCourse application and on your onCourse enrolment website. This feature allows you to define a list of choices inside the custom field settings, separating each item with a ; e.g. Radio; TV; Internet; *

If you include an asterisk (*) in the list as per the example above, then your users will also have the option to type in free text as a response. You can also log into your onCourse CMS to make these custom fields, show or be a mandatory question as part of the online enrolment, waitlist or mailing list process.

Retaining outcomes on enrolment cancellation

Previously, when cancelling an enrolment in onCourse, all the outcomes associated with the enrolment were deleted as part of the cancellation process (unless those outcomes had been used to create a Statement of Attainment or Qualification record in onCourse, in which case they were kept). This meant that for funded courses, withdrawn students needed to be kept as active enrolments in the class to be reported.

Now when you cancel an enrolment, by default all outcomes with a status set will be retained. This allows you to cancel the enrolment for a funded student, making the place in the class available for another, while retaining their outcomes for reporting.

During the the enrolment cancellation a checkbox is ticked by default that says ‘Delete outcomes linked to this enrolment with status “not set”’. If you have not given any outcomes a status yet, this may mean all the outcomes attached to the enrolment. This will be desirable for most types of enrolments, where you do not want to report the student as having enrolled in this program at all for AVETMISS purposes.

If the student needs to be reported as a withdrawn student for AVETMISS purposes, you have two options. Either set the value of the outcomes before the cancellation process, and they will be retained by default. Alternatively, you can untick the option ‘Delete outcomes linked to this enrolment with status “not set”’ so all outcomes, both set and not set, will be retained. To avoid AVETMISS errors, you will need to make sure that any unset outcomes that are retained are given a valid outcomes status, such as 60 – Withdrawn after processing the cancellation.

There is no change to the cancellation process when cancelling a class. All outcomes will always be deleted, unless they have been used to to create a Statement of Attainment or Qualification record in onCourse before you cancel the class.

Addition of ‘Certificate Awarded’ and ‘Certificate Issued’ fields

By default, the date the certificate was created on is added to the ‘Certificate Awarded’ and the date the certificate was printed is added to the ‘Certificate issued’ field. For both these new fields, you can manually edit the date to any date you want.

The default onCourse Statement of Attainment, Qualification and Transcript certificates now show these fields instead of the ‘Created on’ and ‘Printed on’ fields. If you have a custom certificate template and need assistance in updating it, please contact us

Addition of Skills Sets to the Qualification table

You can now create courses in onCourse linked to Skill Sets rather than full Qualifications. This data is updated weekly from training.gov.au. The wording in various parts of the user interface has been changed to reference Qualification or Skill sets. From a course set up and AVETMISS reporting perspective, a skill set is treated similarly to a qualification. It is only during the certificate issuing process that a special type of Statement of Attainment will be issued, rather than an actual AQF Qualification.

Documentation links added to all onCourse edit window views

In the bottom left hand corner of each window you will now see a question mark icon. Clicking on this icon will take you directly to the page of the onCourse user documentation that explains how to use that part of onCourse. The link to the top level of the documentation is still available in the Help menu.

User defined payment types

onCourse now allows you to add your own type of payment methods, for example, VET FEE HELP, B-Pay or PayPal. You can also edit any existing payment type that is included in onCourse, or remove a payment type that you don’t allow at your organisation e.g. cheque, provided you have never taken any payments by that method.

Banking window restructure

The new banking window allows you to see all payment in and out transactions grouped together on their banking date, including those banked automatically such as credit card and EFTPOS. This will assist with reconciliation process, as well as allow you to easily locate and edit the banking dates of transactions such as EFT/direct deposit. To access this window from the top menu by clicking on Financial -> Banking. You can manually bank money from this window by clicking on the ‘+’ icon inside the banking list view. Alternatively, the ‘Deposit banking’ window can still be accessed in the ‘Accounts’ tab of the dashboard.

Transfer enrolment wizard

A transfer enrolment process has been added to the enrolment window cog wheel function. This is similar to the ‘cancel enrolment’ process with the addition of opening Quick Enrol at the end of the process, pre loaded with the student, payer and course details, allowing you to make a speedy transfer of the student to another class.

Re-style of all reports

All standard reports have been reformatted for a more consistent look and feel, and to simplify the templates for custom changes.

Rebuild of all onCourse exports

All export CSV, XML and other custom templates have been migrated to Groovy. This significantly reduces the load on your server when running large data sets for export, and allows for much simpler custom export editing.

New preferences windows

All onCourse preferences settings have been moved into a single window with a more intuitive layout. Under File > Preferences > General… you’ll find all the general preferences previously available (College, Licences, Messaging, Class Defaults, LDAP, Maintenance & AVETMISS).

Financial general preferences has been merged into this window and a new preference has been created for adding Holidays (unavailabilities) for your whole of business timetable and scheduling availability.

Minor Features

AVETMISS features and improvements

  • A new field has been added to the AVETMISS preferences panel for QLD reporting RTOs to record their QLD RTO ID. For AVETMISS exporting purposes, when choosing the export flavour QLD, this value will export, instead of the standard national Identifier. It is important you retain your national RTO ID in the ‘Identifier’ field to allow for the USI SOAP Validation process to work (#25047)
  • Improvement to the AVETMISS export rules for all states to set the At School Flag to N when Labour Force Status Identifier equal to 01 (#24977)
  • Fix for the Victorian AVETMISS export: where course commencement date is earlier than the enrolment date then export the course commencement date in the enrolment date field (#24633)
  • Unicode characters are automatically replaced with ASCII characters in AVETMISS export files during the export process e.g. Zoë will be converted to Zoe for AVETMISS, but the student’s preferred spelling will be stored in onCourse and can be printed on their certificate (#24397)
  • Added additional validation to the AVETMISS export process to prevent outcomes with start and end dates different to their class dates from exporting if their date range doesn’t match those set in the export runner (#25004)
  • Exclude any outcomes with Outcome Status – National ‘Did not start – 66’ from AVETMISS exporting except in NSW Department of Education and NSW Smart and Skilled export flavours (#25549)

Find related and search features

  • ‘empty’ and ‘is not empty’ search options have been added to all onCourse advanced search fields, allowing you to search for example for students who have a USI, rather than a specific USI (#24874)
  • Search option ‘created by’ added to applications advanced search options (#23985)
  • Added the VET FEE Help Census date field to the class advanced search options (#24667)
  • Add ‘debtors account code’ to advanced search options for invoice window (#25114)
  • Payroll number has been added to the contact advanced search options (#21464)
  • Add to invoice advanced search options the invoice line description (#21185)
  • Add find related invoices from products window cog wheel (#24215)
  • Add find related payslips from classes window cog wheel (#24508)
  • Find related courses has been added to the class cogwheel options (#25321)
  • Find related contacts, invoices, membership product and enrolments has been added to the memberships window (#25247)

Finance features

  • Overdue column has been added to the invoice list view window to show the amount of the invoice that is currently overdue for payment. This is of particular use to invoices under payment plan agreements. (#24307)
  • The default sort order of the invoice window is ascending date order, so the newest invoices show at the top of the list (#17724)
  • A ‘Duplicate invoice’ option has been added to the invoice cog wheel. This allows you to quickly re-create invoices from a previous invoice template, but change contact, change the value or add a negative symbol for a credit note (#17723)
  • Payment out credit card reversal options only show payments that are valid to reverse (#13396)

User and login features

  • Add ‘last login’ date to users list view, to assist with finding users who no longer log in to onCourse regularly (#24475)
  • Prevent users from logging in with the same user name credentials concurrently. Second login attempt will allow the user to kick out the first user (#24500)
  • Auto log out settings in the general preferences are now mandatory. Maximum time that can be set is 6 hours. (#24256)
  • Two factor authentication will be enabled for your users during their next log in if you select the option in their access role to ‘require two factor authentication’. If the user cancels this window, it will be shown to them again on every log in until it is enabled. (#23898)
  • New access control permission has been added to for editing and deleting record note items (#24277)
  • Show/Hide filter preferences persists when you close and reopen the window (#23042)
  • For new users, all windows open by default to 65% of their screen size, until they adjust their own layout and preference settings (#25704)

Discount and voucher features

  • Change the discount default option to ‘classes tagged with’ to avoid users accidentally selecting all classes (#24319)
  • Improve voucher redemption process in Quick Enrol to show the voucher redemption balance available and to edit the value being redeemed as part of this purchase (#24130)
  • Allow promotional discounts and other discounts set to apply to all new classes as default, to apply to private classes being created in Quick Enrol (#24721)
  • Allow voucher payment in Quick Enrol to apply to payer’s previous unpaid invoices (#24732)

Course, class and enrolment features

  • If you use the cogwheel to ‘Show courses on web site’ in the course list’, and the course status was set to ‘disabled’, the status will now be changed to ‘enabled and visible online’ (#25359)
  • Checkbox added to class duplication to retain or discard payable time (#24323)
  • Enrolments are now taggable. This allows you to create new tag groups to assign to the enrolment level, such as a funding type, so you can easily locate a group of enrolments for AVETMISS exporting (#24258)
  • Enrolments now have notes. This allows you to record ad hoc notes against a particular enrolment that will be automatically time and date stamped with the user name of the person making the note (#24258)
  • New checkbox added to class and enrolment cancellation to send credit note email. This option is checked by default. (#24053)
  • Added a checkbox to the class cancellation process to automatically create credit note reversals of any manual invoices joined to the class (#24785)
  • Membership expiry date is now editable during the Quick Enrol sales process for the membership. This allows you to override the automatically set date (based on the membership type preferences) to another date of your choice. (#24089)
  • The class cancellation process has been optimised to make it run faster (#21186)
  • The class duplication process has been moved to the server to make it run faster (#24958)
  • Suppress the send credit note email option and send cancellation message option when using the enrolment transfer wizard (#25398)
  • Pre-populate Quick Enrol with the course from the transferred enrolment, along with the payer and student details (#25398)

Sales features

  • People > Purchased memberships list view has had additional columns and core filters added to the window to make it more readable and sortable (#25246)
  • A new edit purchased membership view has been added to the Purchased Memberships and Sales windows. When you double click on a membership that has been purchased you can change the expiry date and view the enrolments it has been used for (#25249)
  • Date purchased column added to Sales window (#25787)
  • ‘Delivered’ status and cog wheel function to set status to delivered added to product sales and products filter in Sales window (#25788)

Other features

  • A new messages list view has been added to the ‘People’ menu option, showing all messages sent from onCourse. This is the same information that is available in the contact message window, and includes all messages sent automatically via script triggers (#24912)
  • All icons and images inside the onCourse application have been updated or otherwise adjusted to provide better visual support for retina displays (#23708)
  • Qualification name added to the certificate list display in the contact window (#17391)
  • Add onCourse student number to user choice of retention/replacement options in the contact merge feature (#22694)

Reports

  • A new report has been added to the discount window called ‘Discount take up summary’. This report shows during the date range specified, and for each discount chosen, how many enrolments for each class have used that particular discount. This report is for marketing purposes, so show you the take-up success of a particular discount during a campaign date range. (#24468)
  • A new report has been added to show the detail of the enrolments which have taken up a discount offer, called Discounts Take Up. This report can be printed from the discount window, and groups by each discount type each class and its enrolments from the date range entered in the report runner. (#22885)
  • The standard Statement of Attainment, Qualification and Transcript reports were updated to include the student middle name field. If we have created a custom certificate report for you, this change was also made to your custom report. If you have created your own custom report and need assistance in updating it, please contact us (#24195)
  • A new report was added to show the projected pre-paid fee liabilty to income journals for each of the next 7 months from the date the report is run, for each class. This report can be found in the classes menu and is called ‘Income journal projection’ (#24109)
  • A fix was implemented for the trial balance report. Any accounts of type expense were displayed on the credit side, and they have now been correctly moved to the debit side (#24943)
  • Update all class roll reports that include the tutor names to use a consistent layout so tutor names display correctly. Custom rolls have also been updated and will be distributed directly (#25042)
  • Custom fields in reports can now be easily accessed using syntax like this: $F{contact}.passportNumber or if the field name contains spaces like this $F{contact}.customFieldValue(“how did you hear”).
  • The statement report now shows and opening and closing balance for the report time period selected (#22853)
  • A new Certificate template has been added for Skills Sets. Read the Certificate issuing section in the user guide for more examples of how to create, customise and issue Skill Set Statements of Attainment (#24920)
  • Class details report sorts in chronological order by default (#25624)

Scripts and templates

When a change has been made to a script or template, onCourse will not automatically overwrite your files as you may have added your own customisations. You can choose to update your templates and scripts manually by accessing the latest versions on Git Hub.

  • Improvements have been made to the script edit view to allow you to check if you have the latest copy of the script and upgrade it with a single click (#24611)
  • A description has been added to each script to explain what it does
  • A link has been added to a CRON helper tool to enable you to change the script schedule to your choice of date(s)
  • A new script (send enrolment notice for tutors) and accompanying email template (enrolment notification) has been developed to send automatic notifications of enrolment to a defined tutor contact for all classes tagged with ‘notify manager’. You can create a tutor role called ‘course manager’ and the tutor assigned to the class with this role will receive the notification. This script is disabled by default.
  • An optional notification section for the USI reminder script has been added, to alert a manager to the number of students emailed each week. You can auto update your script using the button inside onCourse, or manually by adding to the end:
smtp {
        from preference.email.admin
        subject 'USI reminder email notification'
        to preference.email.admin
        content "A USI reminder was sent to ${enrolmentsWithoutUsi.size()} students enrolled in 
VET classes who have not supplied their USI."
}

You can manually change your script from preference.email.admin to the actual email address of your choice. (#24396) (#21733)

  • Add capacity to define the name of the export file inside a script (#25654) & (#25914)
  • A new event type ‘enrolment successful’ has been added to the onCourse scripting engine and can be used to trigger custom scripts (#25199)
  • All new exports can now be called from, scheduled and emailed from within a script (#25470)
  • Wording in the default Voucher purchase plain text and HTML template was made consistent, with the word ‘quick’ removed from the HTML voucher template. You can update the wording of your HTML template to the latest version available here.
  • Labels for tax amounts updated in the plain text Tax Invoice. Total is now shown inclusive of tax, and tax is itemized separately. You can update the wording of your plain text template to the latest version available here.
  • Payment plan payment dates and amounts payable have also been added to the Tax Invoice plain text and HTML templates. The link for the item above is directly to the plain text template which includes these changes. You can update the wording of your HTML text template to the latest version available here.
  • An optional clause can be added to the student and tutor reminder scripts to only send to classes that have met their minimum enrolment requirements – if ( courseClass.successAndQueuedEnrolments.size() >= courseClass.minimumPlaces ) {. Follow the links to update the script for the Student Class Commencement Notice and the script for the Tutor Class Commencement Notice

Fixes and other improvements

Search and find related fixes

  • For find related ‘contacts purchased’ from product find contacts with successful purchases, and exclude contacts with failed purchase attempts (#24211)
  • For the advanced search option in contacts ‘number of enrolments’ only count active enrolments, and exclude failed, cancelled or credited enrolments (#24504)
  • Fix to advanced search results when you are searching for date type data ‘on’ a specific date. Previously a from and to date range was required to return valid results (#25094)
  • Improvements were made to the ‘find related’ options for vouchers so that find related invoice finds invoices created on voucher purchase (including $0 invoices) and any invoices created on voucher redemption, and find related enrolment finds any enrolment purchases where the voucher was used as a payment method (#25237)
  • A range of advanced search fixes to remove any instances of case sensitivity (#25674)

Course, class and enrolment fixes

  • Quick Enrol window layout was adjusted so relationships window was better accessible as it was sometimes drawn off screen (#22983)
  • Ensure outcomes tab correctly updates UOC when the course code is changed to another course after class creation. The course code can not be changed for a class once the class has enrolments (#23570)
  • Quick Enrol will now select the class starting next by default (#24749)

Finance fixes

  • Display payment out amounts in banking with a negative symbol in front of the the amount (#24015)
  • Improvement to the labeling and identification of failed payment attempts on the invoice payment summary (#24781)
  • Allow copy and paste in search fields (#25029)
  • Fix to the layout of the payment in and payment out window defaults so fields are not truncated from view (#25036)
  • Apply rounding options to final price instead of just discount value . This will correct some 1c rounding issues that may show on purchases which have GST applied. (#25094, #25059 & #24133)
  • Fix to the payment out post processing process to ensure the refund advice email is sent where enabled by the corresponding script (#10073)
  • Fix to the voucher expiry job to ensure that vouchers where the purchase price has been modified expire correctly. Old records that did not correctly expire will be corrected as part of the upgrade process (#25102)
  • Allow banking of inactive payment method types (#25587)
  • When creating a new manual tutor payslip, only allow clairvoyant lookup of contacts marked as tutors (#25489)
  • Invoice manual payment plan view row height increased to make values readable during edit (#25512)
  • CONTRA payments now display on the contact financial record summary to calculate the correct totals when a payment is reversed (#25526)
  • Time limitations on credit card payments out have been removed (#13396)

VET and certification fixes

  • Improvement to the certification creation logic from the class cog wheel. In summary: When a course is ‘sufficient for qualification’ a qualification is created for student where all outcomes have been successfully achieved, a Statement of Attainment when some of outcomes are successful and some unsuccessful, and no certificate is created when all outcomes are unsuccessful. When a course is NOT ‘sufficient for qualification’, a Statement of Attainment is created when at least one outcome was successful, and no certificate is created when all outcomes are unsuccessful. (#24223) *Allow private classes and traineeships to be marked as self paced on creation (#25008)

General fixes

  • Significant performance improvements were made to the loading of list windows in onCourse so they will open noticeably faster (#24489)
  • Emails that are unable to be sent due to mail configuration errors will stay in the mail queue rather than be marked as failed on the sending attempt (#24149)
  • Fix to user account permission ‘override tutor payrate’ to allow this to be enabled and disabled for different user roles (#24509)
  • Students TFNs were being cleared from their record when it was opened in Quick Enrol. This has has been fixed. (#25116)
  • Any ‘Special Needs’ notations made on the Documents tab are not being retained after saving and closing. This has has been fixed. (#25178)
  • Students that have no active enrolments are not displayed under ‘students currently enrolled’ filter (#19074)
  • Fix to discount window where save process could fail if classes are added before a discount name (#25269)
  • Fix to allow two tutor records to be merged successfully (#25298)
  • Improvements made to the payment replication process between onCourse and the web to reduce the occurrence records stuck in ‘in transaction’ state (#24905)
  • When cycling through enrolment records using the ‘next’ and ‘previous’ option, the VET Fee Help fee charged value updates to show the current record value as expected (#25343)
  • VET Fee Help charged value automatically calculates to be inclusive of any discounts or tax applied to the enrolment fee (#25513)
  • Improvement to the Class Budgets CSV export to make the values exported consistent with the values displayed in the class budget view (#25384)
  • Fix to the cancel voucher UI to allow a cancellation fee to be charged (#25790)
  • The “timetables” view has been removed from onCourse. This view was not well optimised for speed and the way it displayed all sessions from all classes in one big view wasn’t terribly useful. The poor performance of this view was giving new users a bad impression, where there are better ways to show a timetable from site, room, class, course, student or tutor views. We’ll restore this view once we have a more useful interface designed.

Improvements and fixes added since 7.10 release

  • Fix to ‘Course details report’ to correctly display nominal hours and reportable hours (#26106)
  • Fix to MYOB summary export process which was not completing since 7.10 (#26031)
  • Load of preference window speed has been improved (#26076)
  • Change to end date of the discount period to mean 11.59pm on the nominated date. Previously is meant 12.00am on the date (#26050)
  • Deposit banking only shows payment out records that were successfully processed. Failed transactions are suppressed from this list (#26037)
  • $0 transactions are now suppressed from the student statement report (#25811)
  • onCourse users can not create export templates that begin with the key code ‘ish’. This is a reserved code to indicate that that the template was packaged with the onCourse product and is under version control. Users can create their own key codes containing their organisation name. (#26287)