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

Schoology

Top-tier LMS for digital classrooms

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Teachers say (46 Reviews)
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Grades
5-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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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
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

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?
5

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?
4

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

5
(See all 46 reviews) (46 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Philip P. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Fieldcrest High School
Minonk, IL
4
Great LMS and Getting Better All the Time

Is it perfect, nothing ever is or would be considered so by different people, but with its ever-increasing integration of outside apps and LTIs makes it a great choice for those looking for an LMS. With new question types on the way, outstanding Google and Microsoft integration and interfaces that are cleaner and more streamlined, it makes a great choice to house content, conduct assessments, and for conducting training. Additionally, its AMP system combines learning management and assessment management into one easy-to-use Assessment Management Platform (AMP), bringing together student learning experiences with comprehensive assessment and actionable reporting.

I wish editing pages and setting up assessments had fewer steps (and that some of those steps were included in the same are) but is is ever evolving and makes a great choice for an LMS.

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