As you’ve most likely figured out…I love Schoology! This is seriously an amazing Learning Management System, and I’m learning and uncovering more exciting options as I use it.
This semester, I’m undertaking a huge challenge: teaching 6 classes in a “face to face” environment, and two different independent study courses…neither of which include content I teach during the day.
I simply would not be able to complete this task, and provide my students with what I hope is a high level of education, without using Schoology.
How do I set up my class?
First, and made sure that my students enrolled in independent study courses knew what they were jumping into. They would not see me for content information or be physically present in my classroom to ask for immediate help if they needed it. These students are self-starters and motivated to learn, and they agreed to the task!
I share a typical “lecture” outline presentation with my students as a PDF via Schoology. I then assign the student textbook readings…information with which they “fill in” the outline presentation. This serves as their notes AND a grade…a way for me to ensure that they are in fact interacting with the course material. The students simply create their notes on a Google Doc, and share them with me at the end of the unit.
Students are also assigned “discussion board” activities, which require them to read and analyze a text related to concepts discussed in the unit, and respond to their classmates’ posts as well. If you’ve taken an online or blended course, you know that this type of activity can be challenging, and does not allow students to simply sit back and blend in with the wall. They MUST participate!
Many, if not all of you reading this post have had some sort of experience with online courses at some level in your education. You know that sometimes, you just can’t think of a way to start a discussion board post, or maybe you’re just not sure you understand the concept…so you might, just might glance at some classmates’ posts. Hmmm…
An option is available in Schoology that requires students to post their initial response before they are able to see their classmates’ posts! Cheating crisis, averted! (Most of the time)
I can also share supplemental instructional videos with my students via Schoology, which can provide them with additional explanations and information that they miss from their typical “face to face” classes.
What about tests, you ask?
This is the ONE time that I will require students to be in the classroom with me. They are given the option of taking the test in the classroom during the class period they are assigned, or staying after school for our tutoring program to complete the assessment. Either way, they are with me while they are testing!
If you’re interested in setting up a class like this, please access important course documents and examples below.