Course authoring (39)
Mobile friendly (39)
Learning reporting & analytics (38)
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Schoology, now a PowerSchool Unified Classroom product, is a learning management system (LMS). Schoology’s platform is built specifically for the needs of K-12 students, teachers, and administrators. Schoology aims to combine as many parts of the learning process as possible into a single platform. By doing this they aim to simplify the learning experience for students, parents, and teachers.
The Basic Package is free for instructors and includes features such as an Academic Activity Dashboard, Instructional Tools, and a Native Document Grader. The Enterprise Package includes the Basic Package and additional features such as Systemwide Administration, User Management, and Workload Planning.
PowerSchool acquired Schoology in late 2019.
Overview of Schoology Features
Schoology focuses on student mastery of learning objectives by offering a proficiency model of grading and traditional numeric grades. Through their online platform, it is simple to deliver assessments to students regardless of their location. Assessments are flexible and can be quick quizzes, locally-created benchmarks, or district-wide assessments.
Through Schoology’s built-in data and analytics, educators can determine what is working and what is not at several different levels. The reports generated give information at both the class and school level and can be used by teachers to determine how their students are doing, as well as administrators to ensure that all students school-wide are on track. Reports can be shared via a secure URL, and access is filtered based on staff permissions
Schoology aims to ensure effective communication between parents and educators. Teachers can send weekly digests about classroom activities. Parents can instantly access their students' grades to get an idea of their child’s full learning experience.
Per the vendor, Schoology is easy to use in combination with other learning tools and comes with over 200 native integrations. Educators can use said tools to quickly create assignments. Courses can be built from scratch, or educators can use Schoology’s content library that contains over 300 applications. Courses can be easily shared with other teachers or can be re-used across multiple academic years.
Collaboration is encouraged between teachers through the Public Groups pages on Schoology. These are community pages where educators can share ideas, ask questions and learn from each other.
Tailored Education Solutions
Schoology aims to create a highly tailored educational experience for students that ensures that they meet learning objectives in the way that works best for them. By offering personalized pacing, students can work through the material at the speed that suits their individual needs.
Educators also have the option of creating lessons that give students a choice in how they learn the material. Students can select the tasks that suit their learning style, and a grade for that lesson appears in the grade book, regardless of which task was selected.
Schoology also emphasizes the importance of collaboration between students, even in a remote learning environment. The Groups feature allows students to communicate and store resources about sports, clubs, etc. outside of their course modules.
- Supported: Course authoring
- Supported: Course catalog or library
- Supported: Learning content
- Supported: Assignments
- Supported: Learning administration
- Supported: Learning reporting & analytics
- Supported: eLearning
- Supported: Assessments
- Supported: Live online learning
- Supported: In-person learning
- Supported: Video learning
- Supported: Social learning
- Project-Based Learning.
- Improved Student Engagement.
- Empowering Students with Technology.
- Functionality does lag a bit at times.
- I would like to see an improved dashboard.
- allows teachers to upload Google docs, sheets, etc. as assignments
- allows integration with our school's report card system (grades in gradebook are automatically imported to report cards for families)
- allows different teachers to save and share materials by saving them to Resources
- In general, the system is NOT intuitive and there is a lack of customization across all aspects of it. Far too much clicking is required for many tasks. Some examples follow...
- When typing comments on assignment, the default is to NOT show the comments to students--for students to see, you must click a box before submitting and there is no way to change that setting.
- There is no way to create a bank of frequently used comments (e.g. "This is plagiarized", "Good job!", "You need to edit more carefully", etc.), so the teacher must type comments manually for each assignment.
- Once assignments are marked missing, late submissions are still marked missing and there is no automatic way to change this. Teachers must go in and manually remove the "missing" marks from any assignments submitted late. This is a huge hassle, considering our district does not want us to refuse late work.
- In consideration of the movement towards mastery grading, there is no way to customize the value of a missing assignment; it can only be zero. Any equity-focused district encourages teachers NOT to count missing assignments as zeroes. The value of missing work was customizable in the Illuminate gradebook that my school previously used.
- "Mark empty cells missing" (bulk feature) does not mean "all cells without a submission"; it means "all cells without a grade." You cannot easily mark multiple assignments missing at the same time without then going to manually remove the missing mark from those students who HAVE submitted something that you have not yet had time to grade.
- There is no way to sort students by who has the most ungraded work, which would be very helpful in prioritizing.
- If a student takes a quiz late, their score does NOT automatically populate. Teacher must go in to view the score and then manually enter it. This is incredibly annoying at a school with a high absence rate.
- Assignments submitted late are just marked "late" instead of time-stamped and there is no way to sort late assignments by the order they were submitted. I do not want to grade the work of students who turned in everything the last week of the semester before those who only turned things in one day late.
- The Bulk Edit feature does not allow you to change the lock date (last date an assignment will be accepted). Lock dates for assignments must be set and changed individually, which I learned the hard way.
- My experience with the mobile app was so frustrating that I never use it. It would be amazing if I could grade student work from my phone, but it's totally confusing.
Schools and teachers can decide to use Schoology or Google Classroom.
- Assessments - Much more interactive and have more grading options than Google Forms
- Auto-rostering - We are able to use Infinite Campus to automatically roster classes and there are no extra steps
- Family/Guardian access - Schoology allows families to have a sign in and see student grades & work.
- Intuitiveness - Some sections are clunky and need extra people to help figure it out
- Student view - You can view pages as students, but can't really experience sample tests and such
- Ease of use for the students
- Allows for organization that fits different instructional models
- Straightforward interface that allows both teacher and student to easily navigate.
- Lack of frequent synchronization
- Victims of their own success
- Easy to use gradebook.
- Links assignments to Google Drive.
- Attached rubrics for grading.
- Completion markers.
- User friendly.
- Analytics need to be updated more frequently (once every hour would be ideal).
- Notifications need to be more visible, otherwise students often ignore them.
- Organize materials.
- Keeps students on track with assignment.
- Report grades to all stakeholders.
- It doesn't break down the grading/materials in to marking periods.
- There's no mass excusal process for new students.
- Analytics of usage for students doesn't address all the data required by the school system.
- Schoology has a simple and easy to use interface - it's easy to organize your classroom in a way that makes sense for the particular class you are teaching.
- It is very easy to create dynamic multi-media instructions in simple discussion forums or assignments - many of our faculty found the process of creating learning activities simple to use.
- Communication was a strong point - announcement features were well suited to daily reminders, update videos, quick polls, and other features that are of incredible value in the classroom.
- Schoology is great when you are managing individual courses, but for our fully online and blended programming, it really lacked the back end administrator capabilities to be scaling up well - lack of a template/blueprint feature was really disappointing.
- Third-party Integrations were few and often did not work well.
- As a higher education institution, we saw very little responsiveness to our needs up against K-12. Although promises were made early on, they never came to fruition. Some faculty also felt the platform looked a bit 'juvenile' for higher ed.
- Allows students and staff to work in one place
- All systems we use filter through Schoology making it a very useful tool
- Students have taken to it very well and have enjoyed the user friendly feel
- The single sign on piece needs work
- The use of additional apps would be great
- Great interface, easy to use.
- Parent access code allows parents to monitor their children's learning.
- Notifications of resubmitted work is the most useful.
- Some of my students have difficulty signing in because Schoology linked them to a formal foreign language class. I found a workaround.
- Organization of instructional materials
- Streamlines the process of creating lessons
- Easily allows teachers to integrate programs such as NearPod, Google Sheets, etc.
- We have had several instances this year where the program crashed district wide. Possibly due to overload?
- Some programs, like Kami, do not work as smoothly as they should within the program.
- The training is intensive for the program. There has to be a way to make it easier for kids to use.
- Poor navigation
- No summary Information
- Little to no support
- Support is terrible
- No simple way to view assignments and status
- Extremely arcane and difficult navigation for users
Still to come, a cleaner looking interface with differentiation for elementary students!
- Google Assignment App - this is a game changer for schools using Google and Chromebooks.
- Most open LMS - it integrates with more outside apps and programs.
- New interfaces on the way - a cleaner look for all and an elementary version of the interface.
- More question types coming for assessments including labeling.
- Options are availble for assessment monitoring for schools and districts.
- Microsoft OneDrive Integration and Assignments.
- Google Drive Integration
- I wish I could move and resize pop up editing boxes. I create complex and visual landing pages with hyperlinks for my students. I wish that box were able to be made bigger and many pop up boxes cover information on the page that would be helpful when working in the box.
- Settings and due dates for assessments are in two completely different places when creating them. One is in a tab in the content area, the other is in the creation "gear" menu. If both are not set correctly, your assessment will not work.
For the middle school to post secondary, all content and assessments can be managed through Schoology in traditional, blended, or fully online environments.
For elementary, a new interface is in the works geared to those levels, but basic course materials can be shared and house in the system. Additionally, its ability to integrate apps and LTI content within its framework means improved ease of use for all students as they can stay within Schoology while accessing content outside of the platform.
Assesment options are increasing and their assessment management platform (AMP) provides for the creation of question-based assessments that can be distributed to one or more course sections across a district or organization.
Parents can monitor their students assignments and keep track of what is due and when.
- Single Sign-On for Subscriptions. This is very good especially for the elementary grades. One point of access, one URL to remember.
- Syncing with SMS. We use RenWeb and it works well with them.
- Assessments are easy to set up and you can save questions on the question in the question bank for use later on.
- Enterprise - control of users and their profiles.
- Ability to remove an assignment that was uploaded to the wrong place or has a mistake.
- Change the order of students names in the submitted assignment section.
- Date to end/close a poll.
- Connecting students and families to classroom learning.
- Working with students who are home sick or absent in travels.
- Posting online assignments and grading.
- The dashboard and main screen are beginning to look outdated.
- The connection to other third-party software is limited.
- Group discussions are not as easy to facilitate as other programs.
- Customer Service is amazing. If there is something that doesn't see to work, the customer service department is there to help! The help and support page is comprehensive.
- It is easy to embed various programs, web site and apps into this one LMS platform. This makes if very easy to customize.
- Improvements and modifications are constantly being made. The company stays ahead of current trends.
- Organization of courses and groups is easy, with many an endless amount of possibilities available for creation.
- While this product constantly seeks to make improvements, certain features need tweaking. As educators enroll in various courses, these course tend to accumulate. If the educator is not an administrator of the course, it is next to impossible to get out.
- Switching from one course/group to another course/group takes several steps. Not always easy to find the course/group needed.
- Schoology offers great support resources.
- The interface is easy for teachers and students to use and is visually appealing and intuitive.
- They offer many features above and beyond the basics.
- Integration with Google and Microsoft make it easier for teachers and students to use.
- The gradebook could use some improvement.
- They could use some themes to make the pages more interesting.
- Some of the grading features take some time to learn.
- Videos crashing.
- Embedding sites and videos.
- Schoology does a great job providing a safe platform for students to collaborate and communicate.
- Schoology allows opportunities to create small groups for differentiation.
- I would love to see Schoology provide a way to schedule lessons on a particular day at a particular time.
- I would love to see Schoology respond to suggestions and ideas frequently as opposed to ignoring them.
- Schoology organizes resources is an easy-to-understand and design layout. With this, student work and assignments are no longer lost in the "shuffle" of the school day.
- Schoology works well with many other apps and programs such as Google Docs, and uses an integrated LTI app so that users can embed other programs such as Thinglink, Quizlet, Padlet, Smore, and many more.
- Schoology is always improving. Since implementing Schoology we have had the benefit to see a number of key new additions be added to the platform including LockDown Quizzes with Respondus, the AMP and Mastery Learning feature, the Portfolio feature, and the upcoming enhanced Google Docs integration.
- One feature I'd like to see added is the option to individually assign an entire folder of contents to a particular student. As of now, each separate assignment can be individually assigned, but more often than not, teachers need to send multiple materials and it would be easier to open a folder and share.
- Schoology provides students personalized experiences.
- It allows students to keep resources and school materials available online, at any time.
- It provides students opportunities to engage in online tasks and discussions in a very engaging way.
- Schoology is very accessible, with a friendly interface, and provides mobile apps that are easy to use.
- Easy for teachers to learn to use, and provides multiple opportunities to teachers, depending on their level of knowledge.
- Best way to get teams of teachers to collaborate in groups or courses, and to share work and assignments.
- Fantastic way to gather data on students and their performance.
- They could provide faster updates in terms of changes to the system.
- It could use a better way to keep track of popular teacher requests in terms of a "wish list" of items to change or update.
- Students like it.
- Works well on Mobile Devices
- Easy to train teachers how to use.
- Not all features that Schoology offers work through the app
- Need more reporting tools
- Organizing coursework in folders keeps my students focused
- Giving assessments on Schoology saves grading time and allows students to receive feedback in a timely manner
- It is difficult to get features modified by user suggestion
- Mobile app does not have all the features as using Schoology on a computer does
- Schoology does a great job of working complementary with other interfaces, such as Neapod, Flipgrid, etc.
- Schoology does a great job of listening to feedback and involving those of us who use it on a daily basis on decisions of how to improve and upgrade.
- Schoology does a fantastic job of being a powerful program without losing the intuitive user-friendly interface.
- I'd like to be able to mark work as late and have it automatically deduct points based on settings.
- I'd like for the assessment feature to auto-update scores when I edit a question the way the test/quiz feature does.
- Platform to communicate updates and announcements to all stakeholders in our school community.
- Repository to house all professional development resources and courses for faculty.
- A collaborative platform for curriculum writing. Our content teams have all developed a collaborative Group to discuss, collaborate, and house resources to be used in the classes.
- A virtual classroom for all courses-- embedded interactive activities, assignments, due dates, calendar events, discussions.
- Gradebook-- while not the official gradebook, we use the gradebook feature for effective feedback. Our gradebook is set up to sync with our official district-wide gradebook.
- Schoology allows for collaborating and sharing of resources. It is vital for teachers to have the opportunity to collaborate and write engaging curriculum. This platform allows for teachers to participate in this effort any-time/any- place.
- Schoology is a great platform to provide any-time/any-place professional development opportunities allowing for embedded engaging interactive activities, accountability, and a badge reward system.
- Schoology is wonderful for our students and parents. All resources are housed through Schoology, which provides students and parents with the support needed to prepare for tests, accomplish tasks, and learn new things. Parents are aware of all due dates and activities, becoming vital partners in the education process.
- As the system administrator on campus, it would be nice if I could "Masquerade" as a teacher in order to troubleshoot. I could then see how 'they' went about accomplishing a task and help them through the process. At this time, I basically have to join the course as a course administrator and do what needs to be done.
- Our teachers are supposed to connect with their evaluating administrator. The administrator is not allowed in their virtual classroom without that connection. This presented a struggle in the beginning as teachers forgot to connect, or did not connect for some reason. It would be helpful to set up a structure to facilitate that. With that said, we are in the initial year of Schoology implementation. This functionality may exist. I will keep you posted!
- Schoology allows for grading groups and individual assignments. This allows me to tailor my instruction to varying levels of student needs as well as addressing student voice and choice.
- I also love that I can embed pretty much ANYTHING. I have never used an LMS that let me tinker with the HTML code of posts. That alone makes Schoology one of the best tools out there. I frequently embed Google forms, Padlet, Flipgrid, and many more tools.
- Their assessment tool is fantastic. It has a ton of question types and provides great data. Their assessment tool will soon support grading by question - because Schoology LISTENS to its users! If there is something Schoology isn't doing that you want it to, please send them a message. They really do listen!
- A streamlining of the process could help when teachers are transitioning it. The grading area needs some help. I often have classes of over 30, and scrolling up and down to click a kid's name and then see their work is really tedious.
- Schoology does take a lot more clicks to get things done than some other LMSs.
Schoology could do better on the mechanics of the grading for submitted Google documents.