A Beginner's Guide to Using Schoology
For those of you out there who need a little refresher, and for those of you just starting out (Welcome, by the way), we've put together a quick overview of navigating the platform that will be available here on the blog and in our Help Center.
Navigate Schoology Like a Pro
If you look up at the top of your screen, you'll see three main areas — Courses, Groups, and Resources—and some icons and your name on the upper right. This top navigation is always available, no matter where you are on the site. Make sure to familiarize yourself with it, because you'll be using it a ton. (If you are a system admin or have Advisor access, you might see an additional area called Tools).
And keep in mind that Schoology streamlines navigation. There are multiple ways to get basically anywhere you want to go, so don't hesitate to try something new and see what happens.
Your Home Page is where you will start every time you log into Schoology. There are two main tabs on your Home Page: Recent Activity and Course Dashboard. Depending on your preference, the Recent Activity tab is perfect for sending mass messages, posting updates, making calendar events, and the Course Dashboard is perfect for jumping directly into your courses.
There are two main components to your Recent Activity area:
Nearly everything on this page is clickable for quick and efficient navigation, so click away.
Central Column—This column shows a condensed feed of posts that relate to you, your courses, and your groups. It also enables you to post updates, announcements, and polls with files and links attached. (Pro tip! Posting an update or an assignment on the Recent Activity feed is a quick way to post to multiple places at once.)
Upcoming Feed—All your assignments, due dates, and calendar events are organized in chronological order.
For more information on your Home Page, see this help guide article.
The other tab on the home page (which might be your default) is the Course Dashboard. This is where you can navigate to your active courses, which for most teachers and students, is automatically populated based on your courses in the Student Information System (or SIS).
Your courses are your digital learning environments. This is where you will put learning content, grade materials, and communicate with your students. Your courses contain all your instructional items (e.g., files, assignments, and assessments) along with communication and organizational tools strictly associated with the course.
You can set up and organize your courses in many different ways. Your course materials can be set up by week, section, topic, whatever. You can even set up in what order your students must complete each item using the Student Completion feature for a self-paced approach to learning. However you decide to do it, consider one word of advice: Organize everything with folders. This makes it easier for both you and your students.
You can learn more about courses from our Help Center.
The Groups area can be used in many different ways -- from professional development to book clubs -- so the best way to learn about their potential is simply by exploring some of our Public Groups, like Schoology Educators. Basically, Groups are collaborative spaces where you can share ideas and resources, organize events, and connect with others.
Groups are a great way to build or expand your personal learning communities (PLCs) on a global scale.
You'll notice that your Groups look very similar to Courses. Groups are more about communication, collaboration, and resource sharing. They can be set up for students, parents, and educators -- basically for any group that needs to connect, collaborate, and communicate with others, enabling all members to work together for a variety of purposes.
You can find out more about Groups from our Help Center.
The Resources area is a centralized place where all of your instructional and shared Group materials are kept. It is a place where you can manage all your files, assignments, assessments, learning outcomes, and badges. Best of all, it has unlimited storage.
You can import files, create new resources, and copy or move them into any or all of your courses quickly. You can also share resources with your groups and download them from our Public Resources area. Course items, folders, and even entire courses can be copied in your resources for use on a later date.
If you use folders to organize everything in your courses, they will stay just as organized when you move them to your resources. If you don't, everything will be loose and much harder to find and repurpose.
The Resources area has three main sections:
Left Side Navigation—This enables you to switch between your Personal, Public, and Group Resources. This is also where you can connect Resource Apps, like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.
My Resources —These are your personal and shared resource collections (collections are kind of like different filing cabinets). You can switch between collections here
Main Window —This is where you can create, view, edit, and manage all your resources.
You can learn all about Resources in our Help Center.
In the top right corner, you'll see your name with a downward-facing arrow. By clicking on the arrow, you can modify your personal and account settings such as profile picture, privacy, notification settings (email, text, and push notifications), and more. This is also where you can see any received badges and your Portfolio(s).
That's pretty much all you need to know to start navigating Schoology like a pro. There is always more to learn, so make sure to check out our Help Center with step by step info on using the platform.