The administration module
There are nine main options, which will be described in detail in this section. There are also the two manuals which can be viewed as web pages.
Figure 4 – The Administration Module’s main menu
This option is used to enter names of individuals into the database (figure 5).
Figure 5 – Registering a new person in the database
In figure 5 above the administrator needs to know the new user's full name, date of birth and gender.
When a pre-registered user wishes to take the LADS Plus assessments he or she must use the 'Already registered' option of the LADS Plus Test Module, choosing his/her name from a drop-down list and then entering their date of birth (or a password) in order to proceed to the Test Menu.
Import from file
This option allows the administrator to import the details of multiple users easily. The file containing the details should be in a special comma-separated format. See Appendix 1 at the end of this guide for details of this format.
Figure 6 – importing new users into LADS Plus
To import a cohort of users into LADS Plus, choose Preview file to use the file browser to locate the text file containing the new user details. Upon selecting the file to import the spreadsheet on the import screen will be filled with the details to be imported (see the example in figure 7 which demonstrates the sample import file shown in Appendix 1).
Note that new users are allocated a unique User ID which is created automatically by the program when the file is imported. This ID is used by the database engine and can be used by an administrator to uniquely identify each user, even if there are two or more users with the same name. Carefully check the content of the spreadsheet on screen (figure 7) before importing the new users to avoid problems later. Use the Print out option to view a hard copy of the details to be imported. If all the fields are satisfactory, click on Import individuals to proceed with the import process.
Figure 7 – previewing information about new users to be imported
From time to time it may be desirable to remove cohorts of past users from the database. This can be done quickly and easily on the 'Delete individuals' page.
Figure 8 – Deleting individuals from the database
Choose ‘Select all’ to select everyone in the database. To select specific individuals click on each name whilst pressing the Ctrl key on the keyboard. All individuals who will be erased from the database will be highlighted in blue. Select 'Delete individuals’ when you are sure you have selected the right ones. Select ‘Clear all’ to un-highlight everyone.
To delete all individuals in a group, choose the group and then select ‘Delete all from Group’. To delete groups you don't need to highlight all of the names in the list.
Please exercise caution when deleting people from the database as mistakes may be difficult or even impossible to rectify. Always make archives before you delete individuals as you may not be able to arrange to test them again!
Figure 9 – Archiving menu
The archiving feature has five options described below.
(1) Save (archive) the current database
This option saves a copy of the current working database.
(2) Load a previous archive (destructively)
This option will overwrite the current working database with a previous archive. It is done destructively, which means that all information in the working database will be lost when the archive has been loaded. Therefore use this option with caution, or save a new archive before you load another.
(3) Start a clean database
This option loads a blank database, therefore it is a destructive operation as you will lose any pupil information in the current working database. A typical use of this option is to import a new intake of students.
(4) View an archived database
This feature allows archives to be viewed WITHOUT OVERWRITING THE CURRENT DATABASE. This ensures that there is no accidental loss of valuable student data. After an archive has been loaded in Viewing Mode, the actual data in that archive can be viewed but not changed in any way. When Administration and Reports module is attached to an archive being viewed, the wording 'Database for Viewing only' appears prominently on the Main Menu screen (Figure 4).
(5) Finish viewing
This unlinks LADS Plus from the archive being viewed and links up again to the current database so that normal administration operations such as deleting or editing records are again possible.
The way in which LADS Plus generates its reports and how to print them are topics covered in detail in the separate LADS Plus Administrator’s Manual.
This facility, new to LADS Plus Version 5.1, allows the administrator to view the scores of all individuals who have completed the LADS Plus test. The records shown in the spreadsheet table (see figure 7) can be sorted (ordered) by clicking on the grey header bar of each column. In the example shown (Figure 10) the table has been sorted by 'Risk'.
It is also possible to view the dates of birth of all registered individuals, the date upon which they did their LADS Plus assessment and whether all the five tasks have been completed or not. The spreadsheet table can be printed out by clicking on the 'Print' icon button.
Figure 10 – Scores summary and testing progress screen
Figure 11 – Fine tuning – editing details or allowing retesting
This option on the Administration and Reports menu offers two distinct editing facilities:
(a) To edit an individual's personal information and
(b) to permit an individual to retake any individual tests.
Editing personal details
Figure 11 shows a typical screen where an individual's personal details are shown (top) and the LADS Plus tests she has completed are shown in the central panel. If you click on the upper 'Edit details' option, name, date of birth and gender can be altered if any of these fields were originally entered inaccurately.
Permitting selective retesting
The test modules completed by each individual are shown in the central panel (figure 11). Tests completed are shown as red balls. By clicking the 'Edit details' option the red balls may be changed to the green 'Retest' ones by simply clicking on them. This will allow individuals to retake a test if the administrator has determined that there is a compelling reason to do so. Please note that it is not good practice to retake a test purely because the user felt that he or she could achieve a higher score if the test were retaken. Please consult the LADS Plus Administrator's Manual for further advice on retesting.
Before retesting it is advisable to print out the individual‟s report. The original score can then be compared with the score achieved after the retest.
When an individual's details or retest settings have been edited, changes are only submitted to the central database when the appropriate 'Save changes' option is clicked upon. The ‘Undo changes’ option is available in case fields have been changed erroneously.
Figure 12 – Settings page
The Settings page has two settings that can be changed by the administrator:
1. Change the password *
This is the administrator's password to get you into the program.
2. Individual may print own report.
This option will allow each student to both view and print out his/her LADS Plus report immediately after completing the test suite. Normally this facility is set to off or disabled, in which case a red cross appears next to the menu item.
Note: It is up to the administrator to decide whether this option should be turned on or not as there may be ethical issues regarding students being able to view their own reports without prior counselling.
* The default password is lucid (the password is case-sensitive, so if your keyboard's Caps Lock key is on, the password will be rejected).
Please write down your new password before you change it.
All individuals who are pre-registered into LADS Plus need security settings such as a password or whether their name will be shown to all users when the LADS Plus test is launched. In addition, individuals can be allocated to Groups, which can facilitate the administration of LADS Plus users.
Figure 13 – Security Menu Screen
It is necessary to be aware of the security settings used in LADS Plus, which are described below.
Every individual is allocated to a notional group which, by default, is called Universal. This group cannot de deleted. All users who are not pre-registered (i.e, those who self-register and then take the test) are automatically allocated to Universal.
When importing new individuals using a batch file (see the chapter Import from file) you can allocate them to Groups even if those groups have not yet been created within the database.
See also Appendix 1 which explains in detail how to import users into new or existing Groups. If you wish to move users from Universal into a new group you can do so easily (see below).
Adding a new group
Simply enter the name of the new group in the appropriately named text box shown in figure 13 and then click the Add button.
To place a pupil into the new group look at the panel entitled “Edit an individual pupil’s details”. Select the individual using the upper drop-down list. Then select the name of the group into which you wish to place the pupil using the second drop-down list. Click on Update to effect the change.
Allocating a password
Each pupil may either be allocated a password by the administrator or may use their date of birth as an alternative. It is up to the administrator to choose which of these two security modes to use. It is possible to use either one or the other for different individuals. Again, in the panel entitled “Edit an individual pupil’s details” look for the text box entitled Password and enter the password you want. Then click on Update.
Using the date of birth instead of a password
In this case simply click on the 'radio' button in the sub-panel entitled “Use D.O.B. as password”. Then click on Update.
Removing the pupil’s name from the list shown on the Test Module
You may not want all individuals in the database to have their names appear in the Login list at the start of the Test Module. In the sub-panel entitled “Show in login list” select either Yes or No to make this choice.
Can any of the above settings be applied globally?
Yes. You will notice further down the Security Menu there is a panel entitled “Edit settings for Group/Class”. Here you should choose the Group to which a setting should be applied using the drop-down list. Then click on the appropriate radio button on “Show in login list” or “D.O.B. as password”. Finally click on the adjacent button called Update.
Note that for security reasons you cannot allocate a generic group password.
Select the printer icon to print out the grid or spreadsheet which forms the main part of the Security screen.