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Instructional Design: Schoology

This guide serves faculty, staff, and students in improving and supporting instruction and learning in various learning environments (e.g., face-to-face, hybrid, and fully online). This represents our effort to share our knowledge with you.

Schoology, Our New LMS

Faculty:

In the summer of 2016, the Ed Tech Committee vetted several learning management systems (LMS), and Schoology was eventually adopted for its ease of use, integration with Google Drive, and interactive affordances (e.g., video responses in discussions, Media Album for sharing student projects and obtaining peer feedback, and app center). Since then, the Library and Instructional Resource Services have been training faculty, staff, and students. There are the 10 master trainers: Dwight, Maura, Bret, Lauren J., Terry, Daniel, Royce, Allyn, April, and Sandra. Student LEAP Leaders train all incoming Freshmen. We also introduce incoming Freshmen to Schoology at BadgerConnection.

For faculty, we provide training for the 2-and-a-half hour Schoology 101: The Basics for full usage and have added specific training such as a workshop on Advanced Gradebook. If you only need to use it as a repository and/or basic communication, then come to the first hour of Basic training. This Basic training is provided to new faculty during orientation. If you already received training and haven't provided us with an evaluation, please take a moment to do so here. 

Sandra Rogers (srogers@shc.edu) developed a hybrid course demonstration site on Schoology, contact her to be added to it. Instructors developing courses for distance education are enrolled in the Online Course Design Project group on  Schoology and have access to all available resources and supporting documentation for teaching online at SHC.

Providing Accommodations in Schoology

Faculty,

In Schoology, instructors can assign tasks or tests to individuals when they create them. Instructors can also reuse existing assignment or test by saving it to Personal Resources in Schoology. Then bring it back into your course as a new test with a different name. We suggest naming it with "Extended Time" in the title, so students know they're receiving the recommended time. Next, go to test settings and add the prescribed accommodations.

Warning: Don't reassign the mainstream test to an individual in Schoology, as it will disappear the test scores of the other students. Instead, instructors should make a separate assignment or test for the student(s) that need accommodations.

See image below to locate the option for individually assigning a test to a student. This option is available when editing the overall test from the settings wheel. For more information, contact Sandra Rogers (x4480).

Option to assign test to individual has 3 dots in the shape of a pyramid

Respondus, Test Migration Software

Faculty,

Spring Hill College (SHC) purchased a campus-wide license for the Respondus software. It’s a Windows application that helps you upload your tests or surveys or your textbook publisher's test bank to your online courses. This will save you from having to create tests questions one-by-one in Schoology.

Download the software on your computer (PC only) or use it on the computer workstations in BL112. Locate the software and password for installation on the Schoology SHC page in the folder titled, Test Migration Software. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Rogers (srogers@shc.edu) for support. She created a video tutorial of the entire process of using Respondus for test migration from where to find the software to installation to formatting your tests for upload to Respondus and then migrating it to Schoology. It's titled Respondus Video Tutorial for Migrating Tests into Schoology.

Use this Respondus workaround to transfer your paper-based quizzes into Schoology. You can also transfer your quizzes from other learning management systems (e.g., eCollege, Blackboard, D2L) into Schoology. Watch this video tutorial on how to migrate tests from eCollege to Respondus and then upload to Schoology.

Learn how to use the Respondus Test Bank Network to transfer your textbook publisher's tests into Schoology courses. 

Note.The alternative to Respondus, albeit basic, is the Blackboard Test Generator. See more information listed below.

Blackboard Test Generator

Faculty,

The Blackboard Test Generator converts your electronic file tests (i.e., MS Word or Text) into Schoology test questions.  This will save you time from having to build a test online one question at a time if you already have it prepared. The limitation to this free software is that it doesn't convert images; you would need to add those afterward within Schoology. For a more robust conversion, Respondus software is available for test migration. (See information listed above.)
 
Go to this website and copy-and-paste your test to convert it into a zip file that can be uploaded into Schoology. The directions on the Website are fairly straightforward. After you convert the text, you'll obtain a bbquiz zip file. Follow these steps after you log in to your Schoology course to upload the test:
  1. Create a blank test in Schoology.  
  2. Select Add Question.  
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Import Test/Quiz. Select Blackboard 7.1-9.0 button for import type. Locate your bbquiz zip file for import from your computer.
  4. Then you'll need to provide test settings.
  5. Save!

BigBlueButton Webinar Tool Within Schoology

BigBlueButton Webinar Information for Students

Student View of Schoology Course & Interface

Schoology Student Guide

Login Information for Spring Hill College Students

  • Log in to your SHC Gmail.
  • Open a new tab and go to https://shc.schoology.com/. This will take you to your SHC Gmail for login again.
  • Log in to Schoology with your school Gmail login credentials.
  • Select your class from the Courses tab drop-down menu.
  • Select your group from the Groups tab drop-down menu.
  • Log out by selecting it in the drop-down menu (Logout) near your name in the upper-right-hand corner.

* Note: University of South Alabama students do the same and log in with the SHC Gmail credentials.

Set-up Profile & Notifications

  • Select your name to add your photo and info.  Hover over the default image to edit.
  • The drop-down menu beside your name will allow you to set your Notifications, Account Settings, and Privacy.

Seek Help

  • Select the question mark (?) in the top right corner to access the Schoology Support Center tutorials.
  • At the top, Submit a Request to Schoology if you encounter an error message or other software issues
  • Contact the Spring Hill College (SHC) HelpDesk@shc.edu to open a ticket for technical issues in the course.
  • For all regular registration issues, contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@shc.edu. It will take up to 24-hours for your course(s) to populate in your Schoology account after registration.

Mobile App

  • Google Play free Android app for Schoology
  • iTunes free Apple iOS app for Schoology

Google Apps for Education

  • Access your SHC Google Drive in Schoology when submitting assignments and posting discussions. Be careful when deleting documents from Google Drive from within Schoology, as this will delete it from your actual Drive account. It can be retrieved from your Google Drive trash bin.
  • Go to the Resources tab and select Apps from the drop-down menu. Select Google Drive, YouTube, and others of interest.  

Advanced Schoology Gradebook Training

Sample Student and Teacher Expectations for Online Courses

Faculty and Students:

These are some best practices that an online instructor can use. Ask your instructor about their expectations and protocol.

What you can expect from your Instructor:

  • I’ll reply to your posts within 24-48 hours except during holidays or weekends.
  • I’ll provide clear and concise instructions and exercises for you to follow.
  • I’ll monitor discussions to clarify students’ postings, highlight good or interesting comments and ideas, and provide insight.
  • I’ll provide the necessary components of successful interaction: explanation, demonstration, practice, feedback, and assessment.
  • I’ll provide a range of practice opportunities–from self-corrected multiple-choice items to free form expression on a concept.
  • I’ll provide meta-cognitive, cognitive, and social strategies for instruction.
  • I know the platform you're using very thoroughly so that I can anticipate and make good guesses about the origins of any problems you’re likely to have and some answers for them.

What I expect from my Students:

  • You’ll learn what the minimum technical requirements of the course include. View the student orientation tutorial for this learning management system (Schoology) before getting started. Read the information in the Help tab (online manual) to learn how to use a tool. Seek other training services for basic computer and word processing skills.
  • Your discussion posts will be consequential and full of content! For example, simply responding “me too,” or “thanks,” does not include content. Use good grammar and spelling when posting online. 
  • You’ll follow the rules of Netiquette. For example, no bullying online.
  • You’ll complete all required tasks in a timely manner. Be proactive with a backup plan in case you're unable to access the Internet in your regular place of study.
  • You’ll preplan for testing situations to ensure uninterrupted span of time. For example, you won’t be able to access the Internet in remote locations like on a cruise.
  • Don't plagiarize the work of others and claim it as your own. Cite your sources using the style guide required for your field of study (e.g., American Psychological Association’s manual). Make sure you use the latest edition.

Protocol for Technical Issues:

  • First, make sure it’s not a browser issue (e.g., Google Chrome), and try a different browser to see if this resolves the issue. If so, then you either need to update your regular browser or clear its history/cookies/cache.
  • If after updating your browser, or other browser do not work, make sure it's not your computer. Try logging in from a different computer to see if you receive the same error message.
  • Read log error messages and record specifics of problems and forward this to the tech support and instructor. Take a screenshot if possible to illustrate the exact problem.
  • Remember that your peers can help you, too!
  • Last, after someone (or you) fixes the problem, make sure you refresh the Web page, as the system will remember the exact same page you were looking at the last time you logged in.

Schoology Instructor Guides

Schoology Intergration with LTI Apps

Schoology's App Center offers numerous software applications (apps) that meet learning tools interoperability (LTI) standards. This means that the apps offered will seamlessly integrate within your Schoology course as a standalone component. Benefits include single sign-on and the integration with the Schoology Gradebook. View the list available in the App Center on the Schoology Homepage. For example, if you use Cengage learning products, they have the Cengage LMS Integration app.

Perhaps you'd like to reuse open educational resources (OER) in your course. If so, Schoology's App Center offers the OER Commons and MERLOT resources that you can integrate into your courses, as they have share licensing. For these, you need to create an account with the third party (e.g., MERLOT or Cengage Learning) and obtain an access key. Contact Dwight Spivey (x3878) for more information.

 

Back to Schoology: Part 1 Organize Course Materials

Back to Schoology: Part 2 Discussions

Back to Schoology: Part 3 Embed Images

Back to Schoology: Part 4 Grades

Tips for Blended (Hybrid) Course

The blended format offers the best learning situation (USDOE, 2010). It’s like a web-enhanced course on steroids. You’ll get to meet with the students in person, share all types of great resources online, and continue discussions online instead of having the conversation end when the face-to-face class ends.The three most important things to remember when transitioning a regular face-to-face class (F2F) to that of a blended format are as follows:
1. Establish a clear schedule that explicitly outlines the activities to be conducted according to your blended format.
2. Revisit each of your F2F lessons and assignments to decide which ones are compatible with the online format and adapt them accordingly.
3. Apply many of the same basic principles for engendering a community of inquiry in your F2F to that of the blended format.

Blended format schedule. It’s imperative to state which activities will happen in the F2F class and asynchronously online; otherwise, students will become confused and miss F2F class meetings other activities. Educators should provide students a paper schedule and also add the important dates to the online course calendar. Additionally, special reminders can be shared via the online course announcements tool. This schedule should also be appended to the course syllabus. I suggest placing the dates of the F2F class meetings in the heading of the syllabus instead of buried within the other information.

Adaptation of lessons. Review all of your lessons with a new lens for the blended format. Make a t-chart of which lessons are suitable for the F2F and online learning environments. Then build a new schedule. It will serve as a nice outline for the course. You may have to modify, add, or remove existing activities and lessons to adequately fit the blended format. For example, I like to conduct a mock and formal debate. In the past, I taught the reading course in a Web-enhanced format. In designing my project for the blended format, I realized that I could conduct the mock debate via the Meetings tool and keep the formal debate F2F. Lastly, make sure you edit all your existing assignments tied to lessons to reflect the updates.

Community of inquiry. A community of inquiry (COI) exists when you have social, cognitive, and teaching presence. Some educators believe that the COI can only occur in F2F formats. Actually, when teachers encourage students to share ideas and their work, this provides for social presence online and F2F. Second, try to bring the same great F2F conversations to the online forums for discussion. This requires a lot of forethought before you post your question and related articles. This can engender cognitive presence if it provides challenging questions and promotes student-student interactions. Lastly, teachers need to be actively engaged in the discussions online in the same way that they lead, moderate, or guide F2F ones. This provides teaching presence. Just as you would give timely feedback on assignments as a F2F best practice, this also adds teaching presence. In summary, the three main things to keep in mind for transitioning content from a F2F course to a blended format is to be hypervigilant of the lesson schedule, adaptation of activities, and maintenance of the COI.

References

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. U.S. Department of Education Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development Policy and Program Studies Service Center for Technology in Learning. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ppss/reports.html

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