New Admin Upgrades and IT Infrastructure Integration in Blue 7.20 – A Q&A with Director of Product Management, Nitin Sharma

Written by Lorcan Archer, Explorance.

Image depicting Blue 7.20

Blue is Explorance’s Experience Management (XM) platform, designed to centralize feedback processes at any organization, including course evaluations, surveys, 360 degree reviews and more.

By integrating with existing IT systems and providing feedback insights, Blue facilitates both Student Experience Management (SXM) and Employee Experience Management (EXM) frameworks. 

Our latest release – Blue 7.20 – focuses on improving this integration by better facilitating the use of Blue alongside IT infrastructure including Canvas, Brightspace and Cornerstone OnDemand, as well as boosting single sign-on security features.

What’s new in Blue 7.20?

  • Cornerstone updates to leverage use of OAuth 2.0. standard.
  • Blue Canvas pop-up improvements
  • Better support for cross-listed courses in Brightspace.
  • Ellucian Identity single sign-on now supported.
  • And more.

Q. What was the focus of these improvements, Nitin?

Nitin: The big theme of Blue 7.20 is around integrations. These changes are largely Blue Administrator upgrades.

Q. What has been upgraded in Blue 7.20?

Nitin:. We’ve taken the step to update our Cornerstone OnDemand integration in line with the OAuth 2.0 authentication standard. This really leverages the enhanced security that OAuth 2.0 offers and helps maintain a highly functional connection with the LMS. Additionally, the Blue Connector CSOD integration was updated to leverage OAuth 2.0 as well.

Q. What kind of changes can Canvas users expect to see?

Nitin: One clear visual change is that we’ve adjusted how the Blue pop-ups in Canvas are displayed. When Blue is configured within an LMS, an institution can choose to set it up so that when a user logs in, they get an on-screen alert that tell them “Hello, you’ve got this evaluation waiting to be completed.” In the past, this was quite a small box, which did not really drive engagement and wasn’t that welcoming. This has been enhanced to really command attention and take up more screen size.

The interface has also been changed, in that now, you simply need to click on the displayed row to launch the evaluation, whereas previously you had to click precisely on the title.

Q. What about changes in Brightspace?

Nitin: We now support cross-listed course methods in Brightspace. Blue has always supposed cross-listed courses, but within Brightspace, we did not always know how to map it accordingly. Now, we can map the course evaluations or surveys directly to a cross-listed course.

Q. What new Single Sign-on (SSO) aspects are supported in this release?

Nitin: This release featured expanded integration specifically for clients that are utilizing Ellucian Identity. Blue 7.20 can support Ellucian’s Single Sign-on process, thus saving time and ensuring a more seamless experience for those clients using that SSO.

Q. What other changes were delivered in Blue 7.20?

Nitin: For other small improvements, I’d point out our improvements to reports built on a subject definition. Previously, we did not have the option to include raw response data. We did have it for reports built on other definitions, so we added this as an option for reports built on a subject definition. This is mainly just a move for consistency.

Additionally, we made changes to the summary report block. Specifically, if you had a parent checkbox, with a bunch of child checkboxes, there was no way to select them all, other than individually clicking each one. This could be very time-consuming, especially if have an extensive list of checkboxes and you miss something. We applied a very simple solution – if you check the parent box, it will automatically check all of the children boxes. This is a very minor usability enhancement that we hope will save people quite a bit of time.

Q: Anything to note as regards the process of developing Blue 7.20?

Nitin: Many thanks to our Development and QA teams for their work on Blue 7.20. Also, a big thank you to Florin Valean! Through his research, diligence, and partnering with Product Development Management, he helped ensure we met client needs during this development cycle.


About Nitin:
Nitin Sharma is the Director of Product Management, Blue and Bluepulse, at Explorance. He is a technology enthusiast at heart and has been an Explorer for over four years. He enjoys the challenges and teamwork involved in creating useful innovations which offer memorable experiences. When not reading up on new trends or technologies, he enjoys spending time outdoors and experiencing new cultures.




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