Schoology: Teacher's New Best Friend
October 18, 2018

Schoology: Teacher's New Best Friend

Dan Talvi | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Schoology

Our organization allows individual programs to use the Schoology (Basic) platform as our Learning Management System. It is not used organization-wide, but several programs use it across our multiple campuses. I manage the courses and content for a Digital Media and Video Production vocational program for high school juniors and seniors. Schoology has provided a free utility for creating assignments, distributing and collecting classroom materials, tracking student grades, proctoring quizzes and exams, documenting classroom attendance, and maintaining contact/feedback with parents/guardians. This has allowed us to migrate services that were spread across multiple platforms into one single platform, allowing instructors to focus more on in-class interaction than classroom management.
  • Gradebook — provides a detailed breakdown of student grades, viewable by class or by the individual student.
  • Integration with other services — Schoology makes a priority to integrate with other common teaching tools (such as EduCanon, TurnItIn, YouTube, Google Drive, and OneDrive).
  • Assignment Distribution and Collection — Schoology allows instructors to distribute and collect assignments digitally, removing the "dog ate my homework" excuse from students. In conjunction with Google Drive / Doc integration, distributing assignments is made easy.
  • Some functionality blocked by paywall — Schoology offers two levels, Basic and Premium. Basic is available to anyone for free, allowing access to all of the core functionality (building Courses, assignments, gradebooks, etc). Premium offers additional services at an organization-wide level with a subscription.
  • Slow Updates / Upgrades for Free Users — While Schoology has rolled out several great features for Premium users (such as the more advanced "Assessments" assignment mode), free users rarely see any earth-shattering upgrades.
  • Clunky Assignment Creation Utilities — Creating assignments can be cumbersome at times; the assignment creation interface allows basic word processing or HTML options. Unfortunately, this can cause some issues when trying to format text or import objects into the assignment pages. For example, text may not change colors, font sizes, or styles despite selecting new text options. Formatting can slightly change after creating the assignment.
  • Increased time on instruction / more 1-to-1 student time.
  • User-friendly compilation of classroom tools (fewer accounts needed to achieve similar results offered by various other individual services)
  • Free version allows individual classrooms to manage class materials without a subscription/license fee.
Schoology provides a much more user-friendly experience for students and instructors while providing most, if not all, of the same functionality of Blackboard. In addition, Schoology adds additional social experiences that encourage student collaboration inside and outside of the classroom. There is also a strong community of educators who use Schoology, providing many peer learning groups for instructors to collaborate, share materials, and provide ideas for classroom content.
Overall, Schoology provides a solid learning management system on par with Blackboard. Schoology is best utilized in environments where students have 1:1 access to computers, laptops, or smart devices for extended periods of the class period. With mobile apps also available, instructors can choose to allow students to use their personal devices to access Schoology functionality for in-class discussions, assessments, or updates.

Schoology is also best suited for secondary education purposes (8-12 grade) and higher education, as much of the social interaction and assessment functionality may be difficult for younger students to utilize and/or navigate. However, primary education instructors may find Schoology to be beneficial for digital record keeping, tracking grades, and parent/teacher communications.

Schoology Learning Feature Ratings

Course authoring
9
Course catalog or library
8
Player/Portal
8
Mobile friendly
7
Progress tracking & certifications
6
Assignments
9
Learning administration
7
Learning reporting & analytics
7
Social learning
8