4 Quick Tips for Busy Educators

Contributed By

Dylan Rodgers

Content Strategy Manager and Editor in Chief of the Schoology Exchange

4 Quick Tips for Busy Educators

Posted in Pro Tips | May 15, 2014

No matter how long you've used the Schoology platform, there are always new tips and tricks to add to your repertoire. Well hold on to your hats, Schoology beginners and aficionados, because these four simple tips might just blow you away.

#1 Create Standards-Aligned Assessments in No Time

Question Banks are collections of questions that live in your Resources. They can be incredibly useful, especially when creating standards-based tests and quizzes. Here's the trick: you can filter the questions by learning objective.

Follow these steps to create a standards-aligned assessment in no time:

  1. Create a test/quiz in a course.
  2. When adding questions, choose the Use Question Banks option.
  3. Select Learning Objective in the pop-up and choose the alignments you'd like.
  4. Add any or all of the questions that are aligned to your chosen objective(s).

 You also have the option to randomly select any number of questions from your bank using the Auto Select button.

#2 Weaving Vocabulary into Lessons with Tooltips

Vocabulary lessons are traditionally separate from the main lessons that they pertain to, but they don't have to be. Using Schoology's Tooltips, you can insert "hidden" vocabulary definitions right into your pages and material descriptions!

So when your students are reading and get stumped on one of the new vocabulary words, all they have to do is hover over it to see its definition in a realistic context. You can even make the words big, bold, or a brilliant color if you want them to stand out more than they do with the blue dotted underline.

Follow these steps to use Tooltips:

  1. Create or edit a course material or resource using the Rich Text Editor.
  2. Highlight a word with your mouse and then select the Insert Content button.
  3. Choose Tooltip and add any information you want.

 Tooltips can also be attached to images! This makes each image a more effective learning tool, especially when teaching a foreign language course.

#3 Shared Cross-Disciplinary Discussions

Some of the most intriguing classes, in my opinion, are cross-disciplinary classes. The lessons can seem to take on a whole new life when they're applied to a different field of study.

Using Schoology's Shared Discussions, it's easy to combine your biology class with a colleague's chemistry class, for example, to take a deeper look at photosynthesis and cell respiration.

To share a discussion, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new discussion and select the Shared Discussion icon in the Advanced Options.
  2. Choose any of your own courses to share it with and set a password (if you want).
  3. Once you view the discussion, you'll see the Share ID and Password you can share with your colleagues.

To join a Shared Discussion:

  1. View all of your discussions using your Materials Index at the bottom of your Materials Page.
  2. Select Join Shared and enter the discussion's credentials.

 Shared Discussions must be newly created and cannot be graded.

#4 Create and Organize New Course Content On the Fly

What do you do when you need to add a new assignment in the middle of a unit and you're in a rush? If your immediate answer isn't by clicking the Green Plus Sign that appears in between your course materials, then have I got a tip for you!

If you organize your materials in folders (something you should definitely consider if you don't) then you can create and organize content really quickly by simply hovering in between any two materials and clicking the green plus sign (or the green dotted line). This makes adding new course content a breeze!

That's it from my end. I hope these tips will help you out, especially as the school year gets busier near the end.

Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

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