Learning Management SystemsSchoology.com By Matt Smith
• Looks and behaves a lot like Facebook• Teachers create classes and then give an access code tostudents to join the course, with an option for Teacherapproval• Can post and grade assignments, as well as give onlinequizzes/tests• Teachers can see site activity to see hit count as well aswho has been logging on• Attendance can be taken right on the site• And much more!
• Allows for the teacher to message the entire class, or for membersof the class to message each other (similar to Facebook’s system.• Teachers can post assignments, files, onlinequizzes/tests, photos, and other resources for the whole class to use.• There is a discussion board where the teacher can assign a topicand due date for students to collaborate.• A calendar is featured, where the teacher can post events, and duedates will show up on it as well.• The Teacher can create different pages within the course homepage to feature different kinds of information.
• A “Notifications” icon will appear for both teacher and studentswhen a message has been sent, someone joins the course, grades havebeen recorded, etc. (again, a lot like Facebook)• Teachers have the ability to comment on not only assignments, butalso on the attendance page and gradebook, allowing for feedback onmore than just work turned in. Comments can also be hidden fromthe student if the teacher needs it to be.• Has the ability to sync up with GoogleDocs for a complete onlinecollaboration (don’t have to upload anything that way).
• The similarity to Facebook assures that most students (old oryoung) will quickly adapt to the interface, allowing for less wastedtime in the beginning.• Allows the teacher to create individual discussion pages with duedates to promote student communication.• Allows every student (as well as the teacher) to fill out an “Info”page that can be viewed by anyone in the course, so “getting to knowyou” activities can be kick-started.• Both Teachers and Students can post messages (a la Facebook) thateveryone can read and respond to, allowing for instantcommunication and feedback.
• Once again, the similarity to Facebook is, in most cases, a positive.• Posting assignments, documents, messages, etc. is as easy asclicking the appropriate choice and typing a message or uploading afile.• Attendance is taken with just a click of the mouse.• When an assignment is created, an entry in the Gradebook iscreated at the same time. When grades are entered, it is immediatelyviewable to by the student.•
• Very clean interface; simple and uncluttered• Course pages are organized in a logical fashion.• Broken Record Time – it’s like Facebook, only better – NO ADS!Everything your interested in is a click away, and it has a very social-networking feel to it.
• On the bottom of your page (at all times) is a quick link to “Support”– clicking it brings up the option of viewing some user manuals, orposting the issue to a public forum where system admins or otherusers can answer your question. You can also post ideas forimprovements to the site.• There is a “Help” link that brings up different support guides forstudents, teachers, administrators, and parents.• There is no way t0 directly contact the company for support viaphone – the only number given is for sales. Therefore, all supportmust be done via the forum or help guides.
• Wait, you may have heard this before: the similarity to Facebook is apositive, allowing students and teachers to quickly adapt to the interface. Also, itseems students might be more apt to begin and continue using something that isso much like their favorite social networking site.• Pretty standard features as far as assignment posting, grading, and discussionactivities. Attendance is a nice feature, and the “Analytics” reports are great for theteacher.• The “instant” features, like grades, messages, and notifications are a nice touch.• The lack of person-to-person tech support may be a turn off for some schools orschool administrators, but the online support forum seems adequate.• Overall seems like a solid LMS, with most of the free features beingenough for individual teachers. A district as a whole would most likelywant to pay for the extra features, like Privacy control, languagecontrol, report card generation, etc.