What sort of training and services does Schoology offer?
This is the last part of our review of the LMS, Schoology. The other two parts focused on the course building functionality and the server functionality of Schoology. Read those to find out al the things that are possible with Schoology.
In this part, I am focusing on the training and services offered by Schoology that allows teachers and students to learn about the learning management system. This is arguably one of the most critical pieces of a LMS because when students and teachers do not find sites easy to use, the sites are less likely to be utilized.
User training materials
Schoology provides its users with a series of in depth videos that covers all topics needed to understand how to use Schoology’s website. The “help” link on a user’s home page links them directly to Schoology’s support center and materials. A getting started section is also available on this help page, and is divided by roles – teachers, students, and administrators. The vast online community that Schoology has provides resources for users under the “Public resources” tab on a user’s home page. Schoology also offers instructor led support.
Developer forum and tips
The Schoology blog, Schoology Exchange, is a community of users that offers tips, tricks, ideas, and news about Schoology and digital education. Schoology’s vast list of FAQs can answer almost any question if the user does not want to watch the how-to videos. The search engine in the Schoology help section allows users to search for answers to their issues by keyword, and will provide results generating from the official Schoology help section, known as the Knowledge base, or the community forums. The community forums is a great place for instructors to get ideas on how to use Schoology in their classroom.
In order to contact support or initiate a support ticket, a user has to use just two clicks to get to the support form. The support form can be accessed under the support section of their homepage, and then “Contact Support” at the bottom of that page. The support form is easy to fill out and attach files to if needed. The form allows the user to explain the problem, provide the product area, and provide their contact information. There was no visible phone number to call Schoology tech support, which was disappointing. A Google search did produce a number, however. Schoology also has a running status monitor so that users can assess if a problem they are having is an issue on their end or if Schoology is having an internal error. This status report can be generated from the help center.
Schoology is a worthwhile learning management system that offers abundant functionality for free. Schools new to learning management systems would find great use out of Schoology’s free version. It is a great system to use for determining how a learning management system would be utilized and useful to a school, its administration, teachers, and students. The course building functionality has many great features; the best of which include the interactive tools and the gradebook. Schoology could provide its users with better template courses, and Schoology approved courses as a model of best practices. For a free system, the analytics are outstanding. The ability to integrate Schoology with a school’s existing SIS with the paid version is also a great feature, which many schools might determine as necessary to avoid confusion over gradebooks. Schoology offers a variety of training and technical services that are easy to access and relevant to all users. Schoology has shown itself worthy of the awards received from PC Magazine in 2015 and 2016, and would be highly recommended to a school just starting with learning management systems or a school looking to increase the value of their current system.