SLVHS students began their school year this year with a completely different grading system. While last year SLV used Powerschool to post grades and Schoology was used for class updates, this year both will be done on Schoology. The only service Schoology does not fulfill this year for students is an online attendance log, which is still done with Powerschool.
There have been supporters and naysayers of both sides the issues; some students claiming that they preferred Powerschool, teachers are frustrated with new online systems, and other prevalent issues plague the new system.
A San Lorenzo Valley math teacher, Laurie Shipley has dealt with both the pros and cons of Schoology. She strongly disagrees with the Schoology default to display all upcoming quizzes, tests, and exams as assignments. “This confuses the students,” acknowledged Shipley. Students have told her that once they saw the quiz as an assignment, they thought it might be a homework assignment due next class. However, Shipley is not the only teacher noticing these network mistakes. Many of the high school’s teachers are experiencing these same problems and new ones are presenting themselves. Teachers are finding that student quiz and test results are completely disappearing with no chance of recovering them. Also, if a student transfers from one class to another, their assignments and feedback do not always travel with the student and may even be lost in the process of changing classes. Now, students cannot get to Powerschool from Schoology. Many of San Lorenzo Valley’s students and staff have been experiencing these same issues for quite some time. Hopefully, these complications will be resolved soon rather than later.
Despite all of these problems discovered, there are still many admirable things about Schoology. Like everything, Shipley says working with Schoology is getting easier and faster as she learns how to handle the problems. “I really like how I only have to enter a student’s grades once, because they automatically go to both Schoology and Powerschool,” said Shipley. She is trying to figure things out but says it is nice to be able to organize everything in one program. Whenever an assignment is posted on Schoology, there is an option to add a hyperlink- meaning that students do not have to go to a whole different site or download something just to get a page. To Shipley, possibly the most important part of Schoology is how she can have discussions with the students over the Schoology messaging system. If a student is confused on what an assignment is or how to work out a problem, they can send a message to their teacher and get some help. After a student finishes almost any quiz, they can get “immediate feedback on their grade” by a computerized grader, as explained by Schoology itself. This system tells the students what questions they got wrong, this allows them to learn what mistakes they may have made on the quiz and help them know what to do next time, however some teachers are frustrated with formatting errors that give students an incorrect grade and thus the tests still need to be graded by hand. Although Schoology may have many problems and pluses, the SLVHS community is capable of learning how to do anything; always improving from trial and error as well their our own experiences. Like everything, Schoology will just get faster and easier for everyone to understand.
By Jazz Khokhar