The Administration Module
There are 10 menu options, which will be described in detail in this section.
Figure 1 – The Administration Module’s main menu
This option is used to enter names of individuals into the database (figure 2).
Figure 2 – Registering a new person in the database
In figure 2 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 pre-registered mode of use of the LADS Plus Test Module and choose his/her surname and enter their date of birth or a password in order to access the Assessment Module.
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 the appendix at the end of this guide for details of how to structure the import file.
Figure 3 – 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 4 which demonstrates the sample import file show in the Appendix).
Note in the example 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 4) 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 correct, click on Import individuals to proceed with the import process.
Figure 4 – previewing information about new users to be imported
On certain occasions you may wish to erase cohorts of past users from the LADS Plus database. This can be done quickly and easily on the ‘Delete individuals’ page. Note that the ‘Active/Dormant’ facility (introduced with v6.05-N) allows you to list either Active or Dormant students (but not both). Names can be shown alphabetically, or sorted by those tested most recently or the longest time ago.
Figure 5 – 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 test them again!
Figure 6 – Archiving menu
There are three options on this menu page:
1. Save (archive) the current database
This option will allow you to save the entire current database. The archive is saved by default as a text file containing SQL statements which can be used to recreate the database when it is used as an SQL script. The file extension used is .arv. This is not a universal file extension but is useful because it will allow an easier search of hard drives or network drives for LADS Plus archives.
2. Load a previous archive (destructively)
This operation will destroy all records in the current database and then load the archive and recreate the student records from that archive into the database.
3. Start a clean database (destructively)
This deletes all records in the current database, therefore it blanks the database but does not erase the software licence information and serial number which will be stored within it.
Note: There is currently no facility in LADS Plus to merge databases.
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 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 in figure 8 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 undertook the LADS Plus assessment and which of the tests have been completed or not.
A drop-down list allows you to choose a different group or cohort of students. In the example below, all students in the group called ‘main group’ are displayed. The table can be printed out by clicking on the ‘Print’ icon button.
Figure 7 – Testing progress screen
Figure 8 – 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 selected tests.
Editing personal details
Figure 8 shows a typical screen where an individual’s personal details are shown (top) and the LADS Plus tests completed are shown in the central panel.
By clicking on the upper ‘Edit details’ button a 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 8). Tests completed are shown as red balls. By clicking the ‘Edit details’ button 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’ button is clicked upon. The ‘Undo changes’ button is available in case fields have been changed erroneously.
Figure 9 – Settings page
The Settings page has three actions which the administrator can perform:
1. Change the password *
This is the administrator’s password which you can change at any time.
2. View the software licence.
This information tells you when the software will stop working. If the software is approaching its renewal date a renewal option will appear on the password panel which you see when you start the administration module.
3. Individual may print own report.
This option will allow each student to print out his/her LADS Plus report immediately after completing the test suite. By default, this facility is configured as disabled, in which case a red cross appears next to the menu item.
Note: It is up to the administrator to decide whether it is acceptable to allow students to view their own reports without prior counselling from the Disabilities Officer or SENCo.
* The default password is lucid (password is case-sensitive, so if the keyboard’s Caps Lock key is on, the password may 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 help with the administration of LADS Plus users. See figure 10 to view a typical Security screen.
Figure 10 – Security Menu Screen
It is useful to be aware of the security settings used in LADS Plus, so these are described in the paragraphs which follow.
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 10 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 security modes to use. It is possible to use either mode 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 ‘Login 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.
Students can be either Active or Dormant. Active means their names are shown on menus in the Reports and Administration module; Dormant means they are not shown.
By making students (or entire groups of students) dormant, you can effectively hide them away and make the database easier to manage, without actually deleting them from the database.
Can any of the above settings be applied globally?
Yes. You will notice about halfway 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”, “D.O.B. as password” or “Status”. Finally click on the adjacent button called Update.
Note that for security reasons you cannot allocate a group password.
Select the printer icon to print out the grid or spreadsheet which forms the main part of the Security screen.
The Progress screen shows which students have been assessed so far. The spreadsheet can be printed out or exported as a .csv file, which can then be imported into a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft ® Excel.
Figure 11 – Testing Progress Screen