New Course Improvements That Will Save You Loads of Time and Effort

Contributed By

Dylan Rodgers

Content Strategy Manager and Editor in Chief of the Schoology Exchange

New Course Improvements That Will Save You Loads of Time and Effort

Posted in Schoology | November 18, 2013

Simpler, faster, and more efficient—this is our mantra as we continue to develop new features and platform improvements. You have enough on your plate, so whatever we can do to save you time and streamline your workflow is time well spent.

Today, we are excited to share five new features with you that will simplify the way you manage your course content.

Expanding Folders

Folders can be lifesavers when it comes to organizing lesson plans and instructional flow. But if you're like me—you create folders within folders within folders—then you understand what it's like to find that one piece of content you want right now that's four folders deep. 

Well, now there's a new, more efficient way to view and manage your course content. Introducing Expanding Folders!

You now have the ability to "expand" folders to see what materials they contain and even edit each material all from the same page. This way, all your course content is right where you want it, when you want it.

Inline Links

When you add links to your courses via the Add Materials dropdown menu, the website they link to will now, by default, be displayed in Schoology's iframe. This is called making the link "inline." To disable this setting when creating links, click the "Display in Schoology" icon—the one used to make Inline Pages. 

Inline Links enable you to use other websites as instructional resources while keeping a consistent, uninterrupted workflow. In fact, the iframed website is completely interactive, enabling you to navigate throughout it or even visit other websites it links to without leaving the Schoology platform. Check out this Inline Link to UC Davis' Chemistry Wiki page:  

As a side note, if your inline link isn't displaying correctly, it's most likely one of two causes:

  • Not all websites can be displayed in an iframe.
  • Some will be blocked by your browser's mixed content filter

In both of cases, the iframe will appear blank. If this is happening because of mixed content filter, then simply load the content. Otherwise, you will need to disable the inline setting for your link to be usable.

New and Consolidated Edit Folder Options

We have also relocated the Folder Availability options from the edit menu (designated by the gear icon) to the edit folder form. Now when you select Edit by clicking on the gear icon, you can modify a folder's name, description, availability, and standards/outcomes alignment all in one fell swoop!

Notice that we have also added some Date and Time fields, including the ability to set an End Date and Time. By designating the date (and end date if you so choose), the folder will show up in your calendar and your students' calendars. If the folder's availability is set to Hidden, it will not show up in the calendar.

Keep in mind that by choosing "Available after start date" or "Available during date range," you must also designate the appropraite date(s). 

Drag and Drop Reordering

Want to reorder your course materials? Grab a piece of content or a folder, drag it where you want it, and drop it in place. It doesn't get much easier than that! Just make sure that once you have reordered your materials, you allow Schoology to save the settings (see the bottom of the screenshot) before moving on to another area of the platform.

Because your folders are now expandable, you can reorganize your course materials on numerous levels—e.g., pulling content from within a third-level folder and placing it into a first-level folder. If you want to drop content into a closed, or non-expanded, folder, you can continue dragging the item and hover over the folder you want to put it in. By hovering over the folder, it will automatically expand and enable you to put the content exactly where you want it.

Creating Content Inline

Another way that we are streamlining the process of content management is by enabling you to create course materials by clicking the location in or between an expanded folder where you would want to organize them. All you have to do is hover over the area between two folders or course materials and click the green plus sign or dotted line that appears. This will open up the Add Materials menu, as shown below:

Once you have created the new material, it will be saved right where you had selected. With this simple feature, you can add materials on any level and in any folder all from the same page!

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We're always interested in your feedback, especially on new features like these, so don't hesitate to reach out here on the blog or via Twitter (@Schoology). If you have any questions, post them in our Community Q&A area and one of your peers or a member of our Support Team will help you out.

Happy Monday!

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