Mr. Kamrowski

"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children." –Sitting Bull

How To:  Use Schoology So Students Become Masters

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When I turned 16, like most kids in the United States of America, I took my driver’s test–and, I failed.  I went right through an uncontrolled intersection without blinking an eye–let alone slowing down to check for oncoming traffic (Luckily there was none).  It was a miserable day for me.  I tried making excuses but none justified the tragedy of failing.  I simply did not perform well on that test, and I was devastated.  I am quite thankful, however, that the man working for the Department of Motor Vehicles did not say “no second chances are allowed.”  Rather, he said “When would you like to try again?”  I am happy to announce that I am a fantastic driver today.  I have never been in an accident nor have I incurred a traffic citation.

I tell every one of my students that story as I explain my policy on second chance tests/projects in my class.  I let them know that I want them to learn the concept or improve the skill that I felt was important  to teach and assess.  That they can take a second chance test or rework the project (Not to be mistaken with a retake that is the same test or just blindly turning in multiple revisions of a project.) if they come to me and look at what went wrong the first time around and we discuss how they can improve.  

I did not always offer this element in my classroom.  This was an almost impossible task before I was introduced to learning management systems, and specifically before I learned about Schoology.  It would involve a mountain of work on my behalf with a 1.) very strong possibility that students would not utilize the opportunity; and 2.) good chance that my second chance opportunity would evaluate their memorization skills rather than an understanding of the concept.  With Schoology as a tool in my classroom, it is easy to make multiple versions of an assessment and ensure they understand a concept.  The following are ways Schoology has helped make this possible (Any teacher can do these as they were all done with the free version).  If you use an LMS besides Schoology, check to see if they have these features too,

How Schoology Has Helped My Students Become Masters

1:  Multiple Quiz Attempts

Schoology allows you to set the amount of times that students can take a quiz (Quiz is the term Schoology uses but in reality it could be used for a quiz, test, practice assessment, exit ticket, etc) and how those quizzes should be scored.  For instance, I could allow a quiz to be taken three times and the student receives the highest score or I could allow it to average the scores.

Question Settings

Of course, this step alone is the same as printing the same test and having students take it multiple times.  Students will simply memorize the test.  You can randomize the questions and the answer options (If multiple choice) and this will provide some variety to deter pure memorization, but probably not enough.

Randomize choices

2:  Question Banks

You are allowed to save resources in Schoology.  These resources can range from word documents to video files.  You can also save questions and make question banks.  Question banks can be organized around concept, skill, or standards.  Once you have question banks created, you can tell Schoology to pull random questions from question banks.  By doing this, students are assessed on concepts using different questions.  Hundreds of versions of a test can be made using this method.

Resources Personal

Add Question Bank

select from question banks

Chose random questions option

Questions for one concept

# of questions and points

3.  Feedback

I can set Schoology to provide feedback to my students too.  This saves time and makes it manageable to provide specific feedback to a large population of students.  Feedback can be offered in various layers.  First, I can decide if my students see  immediate results on question types that are automated (These include multiple choice, fill in the blank, true/false, matching, and ordering.)  Next, I can provide students with text explanations of why an answer is correct or wrong (This is quite useful).

View Results or not

Feedback

4.  Rubrics

We all know that assessments of the traditional form are not authentic, engaging, nor able to evaluate performance at a higher order thinking level.  Therefore, project based learning has a place in my tool box.  One that I continue to try to grow.  Of course projects, if constructed well, are criteria based and evaluated using rubrics.  Schoology allows for the easy creation, storage, and sharing of rubrics.  When using rubrics, you as the teacher can provide specific feedback and even upload examples for students to learn from (See a previous post I did on this here.).

  

  

  

  

Imagine creating a folder of project ideas for students to select from.  If they do not master the skills/concepts with the first project you allow them to do a “second chance project” with the requirement that they can not do it in the same form as their first attempt.  If this were the case, students may focus more on the evidence needed according to the rubric and realize the various formats that evidence could be provided.  Or, give them the rubric and have them come up with the product that proves their learning.

Question:  Do you have methods for ensuring mastery in your classroom?  If so, what are they?  If not, why not?  As always, thanks for contributing to the discussion by leaving your ideas and questions in the comment section.

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Author: Rob Kamrowski

My name is Rob Kamrowski and I have been a high school social study teacher of some years. Recently, I have accepted a position as an 8th grade American History teacher. I have taught a range of subjects from American History to Personal Finance to AP European History. I earned my Bachelor Degree in 2003, my Masters Degree in 2008, and strive to earn the respect of my students, colleagues and family every day of every year

12 thoughts on “How To:  Use Schoology So Students Become Masters

  1. Mr. Kamrowski, I am thankful this article. I find it very useful; in addition, it shows me I am not far from good teaching, but I still need to polish it. I am going to organize my ideas on some exercises that have been very good to my EFL students and share them with Schoology Educators.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maria, I am glad you found the post helpful and I hope to read your posts soon. We will all benefit from your contribution. Thanks for the comment!

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  2. Completely enjoyed this article. I thought I was using Schoology at a pretty high level for my students, but you introduced some things I have not tried yet. Thank you for sharing. Bridget

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Does Schoology allow for teachers to look at data or share the same bank among teachers so that we can create common assessments?

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    • Hi Kimberley! The answer to both of your questions is yes. You can look at data per assessment and per question within the assessment. And, your personal resources can be shared with teachers you are connected to in Schoology. You can also create groups that resources can be shared with. My Social Studies team has a group within Schoology that we exchange common assessments. I hope this helps. I may write a more complete answer in a future blog post. Thanks for the question!

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  4. Reblogged this on Blended Learning 1.0.

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  5. Hello Mr. K. I am new to Schoology. Thanks for the great information (especially about the rubrics).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Do you know if students can see a test they’ve already taken, without the correct answers, in order to make test corrections? Thanks for the article!

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    • Sorry for the delayed response. The answer to your question is yes. When you administer a test/quiz in schoology you can set the answers to be hidden, wrong answers marked or correct answers shown.

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  7. Pingback: 5 Reasons to Use an LMS | Mr. Kamrowski

  8. This is great!! I have been using Schoology for 5 years and love it for the same reasons you do!! In a 1:1 school, it just makes sense!! Keep up the great work. I will be sharing this with my colleagues.

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