The Start-Up Menu
When you launch LASS from its desktop icon or from the Programs menu, the Password Screen will appear (figure 2). Your password should be entered; the default password is lucid – to find out how to change this password click here.
Figure 2 – LASS Password Screen
After entering the password the Start-up Menu is shown. There are two main options accessible from this menu: Administration and Reports and Assessments.
Figure 3 – The Start-up Menu
The Administration Module and Reports Module
Figure 4 – The Administration Module’s main menu
The nine main options on the Main Menu will be described in detail in the pages which follow.
Click on the anchors above to go to an option directly.
This option is used to enter names of individuals into the database (figure 5).
Figure 5 – Registering a new person in the database
The administrator needs to know the new user's correct date of birth; this is necessary because the student's age determines which of three genres of tests will be administered.
The date of birth can also be used as a security measure instead of a password. Students can be either entered individually (as in Figure 5) or in batches via a specially formatted text file (see next section).
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, which is described in detail in Appendix 1 at the end of this guide.
Figure 6 – importing new users into LASS
To import a cohort of new students, choose Preview file to use the file browser to locate the text file containing their details.
An example file called junior_import.txt or secondary_import.txt can be found in the Archives folder of the application path. Upon selecting the file, the spreadsheet shown on the import screen will be populated with its contents (see figure 7). At the time of import, each student is allocated a unique User ID by the software; this is used in various database tables to locate students' information. The User ID can also be used by the administrator or teacher as an identifier for reports if two students share the same name.
If there are errors in the formatting of the text file (e.g. if there are blanks in any columns or items are in the wrong column) it is important to fix these problems by looking at the import file again and NOT to proceed with importing the new users.
Use the Print out option to view a hard copy of the details to be imported. If you are happy that all the fields are correct then click on Import individuals to implement the import process. After importing students please go directly to the Security menu to view the Login or Group settings for each new student.
Figure 7 – previewing information about new students to be imported
From time to time it may be desirable to erase cohorts of previously assessed students from the Lucid Database. This can be done using the Delete individuals option provided on the Administration Module's main menu, an example of this is shown in figure 8.
Deleting all students in a group
Select a group from the drop-down list in the Group deletion panel. Then choose Delete all from Group to delete all of the students shown in the list.
Individual students can be deleted via the Selection panel in the top right part of the screen. Select the All button to select everyone in the Group. 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 to delete those highlighted individuals.
Please exercise the greatest care when choosing to delete students from the database as mistakes may be difficult or impossible to rectify.
Figure 8 – Deleting LASS users from the database
The archiving feature has five options described below.
(1) Save (archive) the current database
This option saves all students along with their results.
(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 an archive has been loaded. Therefore use this option with caution, or save an 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.
(5) Finish viewing
This option unlinks Lucid Rapid 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 possible. When Administration and Reports module has an archive being viewed, this is indicated by the wording 'Viewing Mode' appearing on the Main Menu screen.
Figure 9 – Archiving Menu
There are two guides accessible from the Main Menu, the Software Guide (which you are reading now) and the Teacher’s Manual.
The latter is the guide designed for Sencos, teachers or other professionals and gives guidance on interpretation of results and teaching strategies.
Each guide is launched into your Web Browser from which it can be printed out if required.
Both guides are also available as Adobe Acrobat ® PDF files and can be found on the LASS CD.
The Reports Generator offers the administrator or Senco several ways to show results of assessments and various ways to print them out.
Figure 10 – Reports Menu
The Reports Generator (figure 10) is described in detail in the LASS Teacher’s Manual.
The graphical profile fills the main part of the screen. By default the chart will have a background with monochrome bands as in figure 10. The green bars are also solid and centile (percentile) scores are shown. By clicking on the three icons within the Chart features panel, the background can be turned to white, the bars hashed to make them look lighter and Z Scores (otherwise known as standard deviation units) can be displayed instead of centiles. All these settings will appear in the Report previews as well.
Report previews (Printing out)
There are facilities to print out either individual reports (click on Single and see example in figure 11) or pages containing up to 8 small representations of reports for multiple students (click on Batches and see example in figure 12)
Figure 11 – Print Preview page
The Print Preview Page is displayed when the user clicks on the Single button on the Reports page. The preview shows exactly what the report will look like when it is printed out. The report can be enlarged with the Zoom facility. In addition, five tick boxes can be checked to show (or hide) various parts of the report, namely the Guidance for Interpretation summary; the administrator's comment paragraph (optional); a border around the report; mnemonics to show the familiar names of the tests below their scientific names and finally an option to show the dates upon which the tests were undertaken. The report can also be copied to the Windows clipboard (Copy) so that the report can then pasted into any suitable word processor or other application.
Figure 12 – Batch Print Preview page
To create a report which may contain multiple pages, select the students whose graphical profiles you wish to include by highlighting them on the Batch list panel (figure 12). Then click on Create batch printout to complete the process. There is a facility to show either the students' names or their LASS Ids instead.
In the example shown in figure 12 the page shows eight miniature graphical reports (also called thumbnails).
Students who have not completed any of their three tests will not be shown on the Batch Print Preview page.
Click on the chart icon to display the graphical profile again.
Click on this button to see a detailed table of raw scores and other information for any individual. An example is shown in figure 13.
This can be printed out by selecting the Print out icon on the Report page (figure 10).
Figure 13 – Summary table for a student
Adding a comment to a report
The Administrator or SENCO can type in one or two paragraphs of comments concerning an individual who has been assessed, which will then be displayed and printed out in the lower part of the report (individual reports only).
This is a useful feature which allows detailed raw data and scores for all registered students to be exported to a comma separated file (.csv). This file can then be imported into a spreadsheet application such as Microsoft ® Excel ® for further analysis.
A typical line of data would contain the fields represented by the headings below:
Name, ID, DOB, Test, Score, Centile, Z Score, ZScore difference, Discrepancy, Test date, Age at test, Age equivalent range
This facility allows the administrator to see which student have completed their assessment tasks. The contents of the grid can be sent to the printer by selecting the Print out icon.
Figure 14 – Testing progress screen
This option on the Main Menu offers two different editing facilities:
(a) To edit student's personal information and (b) to allow a student to retake assessments.
Figure 15 shows a typical screen where the student's details are shown (top) and the LASS assessments or tests he has completed are shown in the central panel.
By clicking on the upper 'Edit details' button the student's name, date of birth and gender can be altered. As a cautionary note, if a student's date of birth was originally entered inaccurately and the student subsequently sat an assessment, the report for that student may show an inaccurate graphical bar and inaccurate centile scores. If the inaccuracy of the date of birth has resulted in the student's year band changing (e.g. from age 11 years to 12 years) it may be worth retesting the student on that assessment module having entered the correct date of birth. In this way the correct norms bands will be used by the Reports module with that student's results.
The assessment modules completed by each student are shown in the central panel. Assessments or tests completed are shown as red discs. By clicking the 'Edit details' button to the right of the panel the red discs may be changed to the green 'Retest' ones by clicking on them. Changes made are saved to the database when the appropriate 'Save changes' button is clicked upon. Caution! Before using the retesting feature on this screen, it is strongly advised that any reports for the student are printed out, as retesting will result in the loss of the previous results for that test.
Figure 15 – Fine Tuning screen
There are just a couple of things you can do on this page.
Here the administrator can change the admin password. If you change your password please write the new one down before you effect this change in the software.
The default password is always: lucid
View software licence
Your software licence details may be viewed. This can allow planning for future renewal of the software licence if necessary.
Figure 16 – Settings Menu
After new students have been registered within LASS (either individually or by using an import file) it is useful to check or modify security details for each student. This can be done on the Security Menu (figure 17). Even if this is not done, default settings will be allocated automatically by the program when new students are added.
Figure 17 – Security menu
It is important to be aware of the security settings used in LASS, so these are described in the paragraphs which follow.
Every student is allocated to a notional group which, by default, is called Universal (this group cannot be deleted). If you don't want to allocate individuals to new groups then simply leave them in the Universal group to which they are initially allocated.
If you wish to place cohorts of students into different groups then you can create your own groups and name them as, say, All Year 4 or All Year 5.
Change the name of a Group/Class
You cannot change the name of the default group 'Universal', though any other existing group names can be freely changed.
Add a new Group/Class
Simply enter the name of the new group in the appropriately titled text box shown in figure 17 and then click on the Add button.
To place a new student into the new group look at the panel entitled “Edit an individual student’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 student using the second drop-down list. Finally select Update in this panel.
Disband a group
This will remove a student from his/her current group and reallocate him/her into the Universal group. This process will also remove the name of the disbanded group from the database.
Removing the student’s name from the (login) list shown on the Test Module
You may not want all of the students registered in Lucid Rapid to have their names appear in the Login list which is the gateway to the Test Module. In the sub-panel entitled “Show in Login list” select either Yes or No to make this choice.
Can the login list setting be applied globally?
Yes. You will notice towards the bottom of 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”. Finally click on the adjacent button called Update.
This feature allows entire groups to be hidden from the drop-down (login) list at the start of the Test Module.