Coming soon: Custom Locks

We have a big update for student locks right around the corner. Here’s a look at what we did and what you can do with Custom Locks.

Not stretchy enough

Populi currently has three built-in locks: Registration, Grades/Transcript, and Financial. They work okay for some schools, but other schools need each lock to do a little more or a little less—or maybe even something else altogether. One popular example: if you want to restrict a student’s access to his unofficial transcript but not to his current grades, you’re out of luck because the Grades/Transcript lock hides both things from that student. User access for adding and viewing locks is also a bit too rigid. In short, locks need to be far more flexible than they currently are.

The update will let you tailor Populi’s locks meet your school’s needs. You’ll be able to customize each lock in three different ways:

  • Lock Types: You can name your own locks.
  • Lock Areas: You’ll decide what parts of Populi each lock closes down.
  • Lock Permissions: You’ll choose who can add, remove, and view each lock.

Lock Types

In addition to the current set of built-in locks, the update will introduce a new, highly-requested type: Courses, which bars the student from accessing any course content. Via support request, you can ask us to modify any of these built-ins, add new locks, or remove an existing lock altogether. You can have as many lock types as you wish and customize each one’s areas and permissions (more below). You can even set up "redundant" locks for use by different departments—for example, a Course lock for Registrars to bar academic discipline cases and another, separate Course lock for financial staff to handle students with unpaid bills.

Lock Areas

Here are all the areas of Populi that the new locks can affect—each of your custom locks can have as many or as few of these as you need (or even none!):

  • Grades bars access to in-progress course and assignment grades.
  • Transcript keeps students from exporting their own unofficial transcripts.
  • Registration prohibits self-service, online course registration.
  • Charge to account removes the ability to charge bookstore purchases to that student’s account.
  • Courses zaps the student’s access to courses.

Lock Permissions

Anyone with the Staff, Faculty, Advisor, or Academic Auditor roles can see any lock type once it has been added to a student. Beyond that, Custom Locks let you specify who has access to other information about the lock. You can set which roles can add, remove, or change each lock type, as well as who can read the lock reason (besides the student). Permissions can be set for individual roles or whether the user is the student’s advisor.

Additionally, you’ll be able to apply the same lock to a student multiple times. F’rinstance, you might have a Registration lock available to Academic Admins and Advisors. A student’s Advisor applies that lock because the student needs to meet with her before registering. Then an Academic Admin applies that same lock at the same time because of an incomplete course from the previous term. Now the student has two Registration locks for two different reasons—and even if she deals with one lock, the other one can remain until she deals with that issue, too.

A few other things

Besides the lock reason in which you explain to the locked student why he’s in this predicament, you can also leave internal notes visible only to users who can add, remove, or change that lock type.

Reporting has been tuned-up, too: where once you had to look up locked students by searching for the system tag in the Data Slicer, you’ll soon be able to search by lock type.

If you like the current locks, you’ve no need to do anything. But if you’d like to have us customize your school’s locks, get ahold of us once they’re released and let us know what you’d like. And how, you ask, will you know they’ve been released? Head over to our Release Notes and click the Follow button!

We expect to release Custom Locks in the next few weeks.