A Sneak Peek at the Product Announcements at Schoology NEXT 2014

Contributed By

Ryan Hwang

Founder and VP of Product at Schoology

A Sneak Peek at the Product Announcements at Schoology NEXT 2014

Posted in Schoology | August 07, 2014

During our first annual user conference, Schoology NEXT 2014, we announced many of the exciting upcoming initiatives and improvements to the Schoology platform. The conference opened with a Keynote presentation led by Jeremy Friedman, co-founder and CEO, who gave a brief history of Schoology, where we came from, where we are today, and where we are going.

I then had the pleasure of introducing our major product initiatives that you can expect to see over the course of this next year. Some major themes across all of these initiatives include our commitment to improving the overall user experience across the platform, making the interface and workflows simpler and more efficient for everyone, and unifying the Schoology experience across all devices.

Mobile Annotations & Improved Grading

We will be releasing some major improvements to our mobile apps this fall with a redesigned assignment grading panel and full (native) access to mobile annotations. These changes will improve your grading workflow by making it easier and more efficient for you to grade student submissions.

The redesigned grading panel will feature quicker access to student submissions, adding toggles to let you quickly navigate across all submissions and horizontal swiping to toggle between students. We have also added inline grading and commenting to speed up your workflow as you view and provide feedback on student submissions.

You will also have direct access to our full suite of annotation features. Built natively into our app, these tools will enable you to highlight, strikethrough, comment, and free-hand draw on student submissions using of your touch screen device. These annotations will carry over from mobile to web (and vice versa!), ensuring a consistent experience across all of your devices.

Better Course Management

Many of the instructors that use Schoology teach multiple sections of the same course to different classes of students. Instructors typically teach the same core content to these sections and want an easier way to manage all of it.

Coming later this year will be the ability to merge sections of the same course together into a single course profile, allowing you to manage your classes from a single area. We will also be improving the content creation process to give you even more control over individualizing items for each class.

More Customizable Folders

To provide more flexibility when creating and organizing your course content, we are introducing enhanced folder customization options for you and your students. When creating folders, you will be able to customize the icon color and use rich-text on the folder descriptions, giving you more control over how your content is displayed to your students.

Better Organized Content

We have released improvements to the Materials Index in courses to make it easier for you to create and organize your course materials. It will even allow you to create materials at the “root” level, meaning they’ll appear outside of the folder inline without being filed away in the index. For more details see our blog post

Video Conferencing

We are excited to announce that we will be releasing a Video Conferencing app that can be installed to your courses for use in scheduling and hosting video, audio, and live chat. Best of all, this app will be included at no additional cost for all enterprise clients.

More Apps & Integrations

We will be working to release more apps and integrations into our App Center over the course of the next year. Included in this will be integrations like Microsoft OneDrive as well as our continued effort to create more Student Information System (SIS) Apps for deeper level integrations with SIS platforms.

Our SunGard App is the most powerful SIS integration that we've ever built. Releasing soon, this app shows how far a great partnership can go: it handles provisioning of buildings, users, courses, enrollments and even syncs grades from Schoology directly into SunGard, ensuring that all grade items and calculations match up.

The NEXT Schoology

Site Redesign & ePortfolios

Over this next year, you will start to see changes to the Schoology user interface that enable more efficient, task-oriented workflows and save you time. These improvements will focus on redesigning and reimagining the site navigation (course, group, and user profiles) and making a consistent experience across all devices.

Included in this will be changes to the user profiles to make them more engaging by including ePortfolios for students to show off their academic achievements. Here is a sneak peek:

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