Review by Jason Shiroff, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2017

Schoology

Top-tier LMS for digital classrooms

Subjects & skills
Subjects
N/A

Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
5-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (47 Reviews)

Take a look inside

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Pros: Flexible options for assigning and assessing work.

Cons: It can be a little overwhelming to first-time users not familiar with this style of LMS.

Bottom Line: To make the most of Schoology, you'll need some ramp-up time and great tasks and assessments, but it can offer rich learning and collaboration experiences.

Due to Schoology's array of features and possibilities, teachers should try a gradual rollout. Start out by creating a host course for additional resources like videos or informational text, practice assessments, and homework help discussions. After students become knowledgeable in navigation and use, you can upload tasks, create assessments, and integrate engaging discussion opportunities. Then make a push to go paperless. Evaluate and provide feedback to student work on the site, and allow for students to apply the feedback and resubmit assignments. Finally, boost the home-to-school connection by making a parent page where assignments, deadlines, and class announcements can be posted and where virtual parent meetings can take place, thanks to the privacy of the site's messaging feature.

And if you've been having difficulty meeting for professional development or professional learning communities, Schoology could serve as a space for knowledge sharing. Try setting up a space to host virtual meetings, share resources, and collaborate with teachers -- school- or district-wide. 

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Schoology is a web-based learning management system (LMS). Teachers can create tasks/assignments, assessments, and discussions for students (or even other teachers). Individual teachers can opt for the free version loaded with features related to time management, organization, and feedback, or schools/districts can pay for the enterprise version that includes additional audio, student progress, and support features as well as all the administrative features necessary to manage hundreds of users and many different classes. Schoology is also an online gradebook with the ability to create assessments and rubrics and keep track of student performance. In addition to the web-based experience, there are apps available for iOS, Android, and Chrome.

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Any content-area teacher can use Schoology to push engagement and learning from the classroom to anywhere students go. Alternatively, trainers can host school/county professional development on Schoology. There's no shortage of features to customize the learning environment to your needs. In fact, it's so loaded with possibilities that it can feel like a bit much. To make things easier, teachers and students both will want to run through the tutorials to get a handle on things. Once the getting-to-know-you period is over, teachers can engage students in rigorous tasks, assessments, and discussions using teacher-designed and uploaded curriculum. It's a perfect platform for skill extension, content scaffolding, and time management, especially for more tech-savvy secondary students on-the-go. (There are app versions.) Teachers provide quick feedback and communication to students and parents and keep track of student progress using badges, a gradebook, email/app notifications, and workload monitoring (with the enterprise version). With thoughtful implementation and consistent use, students and teachers will be able to upload, create, collaborate, and check progress with relative ease.

 

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students can take control of the class with this interactive, robust LMS.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

With ease, teachers can upload resources, initiate collaborative tasks and discussions, annotate/evaluate writing, and design meaningful assessments. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

This is a one-stop learning hub with a robust dashboard that allows teachers to craft assessments, offer feedback, and track student progress. 


Common Sense Reviewer
Jason Shiroff Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 47 reviews) (47 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
The Archbishop of Y. , Developer
Developer
Flexible, fully-featured and fun!

Schoology works best for a whole school setting where different ability levels of instructors and learners will be accessing the platform. Especially suited to an establishment which intends to develop a blended learning and learning self-paced learning approach outside of the classroom. A school which confidently uses mobile apps and digital technologies will find Schoology a healthy addition to their collection of digital tools.

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