New Feature Updates: Learning Outcomes, Improved Discussions, and More

Contributed By

Dylan Rodgers

Content Strategy Manager and Editor in Chief of the Schoology Exchange

New Feature Updates: Learning Outcomes, Improved Discussions, and More

Posted in Schoology | April 05, 2013

Happy Friday, Schoology Community!

Prepare yourself for dangerous levels of excitement because we just released some sweet feature updates! One in particular that we’ve been bursting at the seams with excitement to share with you is something we like to call: Learning Outcomes!

Yes, the time for establishing your own set of academic alignments has arrived! You now have the ability to create Learning Outcomes—alignments that act just like custom standards—and tag them to course materials and resources as benchmarks to gauge your students’ level of concept mastery.

First, it’s important to note that Learning Outcomes can be created in a few different ways depending on your role.

  • For School and System Administrators, they can be created, edited, and managed under the “Grade Settings” tab—formerly called “Periods”—in the left menu under System Settings.
  • Teachers can create and manage their outcomes in their Personal and Group Resources.

Teachers, here’s a quick rundown on how to use them:

Creating and Managing Outcomes in Personal Resources

Go to your Personal Resources. You'll see a "Learning Outcomes" section in the My Resources menu. Here, you can create custom outcomes and save standards alignments into folders for easy organization and distribution throughout your courses. You can even import them as a CSV or Excel file using the nifty "Import" feature in your Learning Outcome Options.

Creating and Sharing Outcomes in Group Resources

You have the option to not only create custom outcomes, but also to share them with the members of your groups! Now you and your peers can collaborate on the best outcome methodologies and the most important skills to master, effectively raising the levels of mastery between courses, schools, and districts.

Simply navigate to your Group Resources. Before you start creating, you'll first need to "Enable Learning Outcomes" in the Options menu. You'll have to enable outcomes for each group individually if you plan on sharing outcomes in them.

Once outcomes are enabled, a folder will appear in your group's resources giving you instant access to start collaborating like you've never collaborated before! You can also disable the ability to share outcomes in groups at any time by using the gear icon to the right of the folder.

The Learning Outcomes feature is a huge leap forward in providing you and your students with more advanced means of formative assessment, adding to your agility as an educator. Of course the best way to learn is by doing, so give Learning Outcomes a go and let us know what you think about them. We are really excited to hear your feedback!

More Feature Updates

Ability to Lock Discussions and Assignment Dropbox

When creating or editing discussions and assignments, you now have the option to "Lock" them so your students can no longer post or submit. You'll find the option in your "More" menu designated by an icon of a grey lock. By clicking on it, a dropdown menu will appear allowing you to lock immediately, unlock, or lock on a future date and time. Please note that when locking an assignment, you're really locking the assignment dropbox.

Ability to Hide Discussion Posts

You now have the ability to hide discussion posts from students until they post a reply. Located in the Advanced Options settings of your discussion creation form entitled "Require members to post before seeing replies," this feature allows you to nurture more genuine discussions because students won't be influenced by one another until they've spoken their minds.

Rich Text Editor Redesign

You may have noticed that the Rich Text Editor has had a facelift. We've cleaned up the aesthetics and streamlined the interface for a better experience all around. You can toggle between the HTML and Visual modes by clicking those two little dots in the upper right corner of the editor.

Ability to Reorder Courses and Groups in Dropdown Menus (Coming Soon)

You will soon have the ability to reorder your courses and groups in the dropdown menus at the top middle of your page. This way you can easily customize your navigation, placing your most visited courses and groups at the top.

If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to our community support forum. Otherwise, I'd love to hear what you think about these newest additions to the Schoology 'Toolbox,' so comment away.

Enjoy your weekend!

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