What's New ( click here for news and updates )

Teacher's Console Jan 30th 2021

What's new in Console update

  • Support for large sessions of 200+ tables
  • New condensed table list
  • New partnership seating mechanics
  • Private messaging to students
  • Removed limitations for co-host
  • Fool-proofing table-closing function
  • PBN and LIN import improvements, add line break in comments in Shark

Support for large sessions and the new condensed table list

When you start or join a session, notice the new check box: "Condensed table list" on the Connect screen. You need to have it checked for large sessions. Tables can be switched between a condensed and full view from the Review button, when you click on it, two options come up: the first is to expand the drawer with tricks and chat, and the second is to switch to full view. The condensed table view is also useful for sessions where you do not follow closely how individual tables bid and play the hands. Give it a try. Start a Session with Condensed Table list checked, add 50 tables, and then use the Zoom In , Zoom out button to see how the view changes. In its normal size, it shows you Deal, Vuln, Contract, Tricks taken stat and the Auction in text form; the right-hand side drawer has trick history. 

We are proud to share the results from our last run of 300 tables with 300 dummy students and three teachers. All three teachers were running on Macs with Parallels virtual machines with 16GB RAM, a master teacher with i9 CPU, co-hosts with i5 CPU. The oldest Mac was model 2013. 

  • Loading all the tables took 10 seconds (25 seconds on the 2013 model); this is the one operation where the old Mac was significantly slower.
  • Moving people from seat to seat took 15 seconds. Improvement is coming in the next few days.
  • Loading of a hand took 2-3 seconds
  • Bid and Play from the teacher's table took under a second
  • An undo from the teacher's table took 2-3 seconds
  • Robots bid/play for 1 per table setup is the slowest operation, taking 4-6 seconds. Robots will likely play much faster once students start playing since they will need the robots at different times; for pairs, it should be 1-2 seconds per bid/play. 

New partnership seating mechanics

Seating partners is one of the significant challenges in an environment with no user/password requirement. The following setup proves to be the best so far;

Start Session and select Partners ONLY from the Auto Seat Students drop-down. With that option selected, students that requested partners will be seated in the NS position, while singles will be in the lobby. As students join in, you can seat singles in the EW as soon as they show on the list as unseated. Once everyone is in, choose the desired seating arrangement, and partners will be kept together. 

Private messaging

As mentioned in our previous update, we were working on a having a private teacher to respond to student messaging. You can now double click a message or a student from the list and type a message that goes only to that student. Above the message box on the chat toolboxes, you can see a drop-down menu (like in Zoom) that is populated as you send a private message to students. If you have a student selected and you start typing a message, the list will show you only messages to and from that student.  

Removing limitations for co-host

A co-Host can now add and remove tables, as well as updating session settings (right-click on “Add Table”). The requirement is that the master teacher creates the first table for the session. Loading deals from the library is still reserved for the master teacher; co-hosts can choose to replay hands. Good coordination is a must! 

Closing tables is now a two-click action

Once you click “Close” table, you get a little drop-down menu with the option to hide the table for the list or close it for good

PBN import from Bridge Composer and Lin from Bridge master series. 

There has been some issue with specific files, mainly related to comments that are now resolved. When you edit comments in Shark, you can use Shift+Enter to add a new line in the text.


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