Schoology: a change for the worst



Madison Dietrich, In-Depth Editor

It’s no secret that change can be hard. After many years of using Blackboard and Google Classroom, the switch to Schoology has been a bit of a shock for students and teachers alike.

The main problem with Schoology is not the website itself but rather the replacement of Google Classroom. Since almost all student work is done through the Google Suite, Classroom made it easy to attach and turn in assignments. Schoology, however, is not affiliated with Google. Since the majority of work is still done through Google, submitting work is no longer as seamless. On top of that, the timing of this switch was far from ideal. With virtual learning last school year, most students and teachers got very comfortable using Classroom. To switch now, in the midst of so many other school changes related to in-person learning, does not make sense, especially when Classroom worked just fine.

Although the main problem with Schoology is not the website itself, the site certainly still has its problems. For one, there is no way to mark an assignment as done. In order to submit, students have to attach or create a document, even if the assignment was to submit a form through a different site or turn in a physical paper. For another, Schoology makes it hard to track due dates. Google Classroom automatically linked upcoming assignments on the homepage, and once the work was turned in, those reminders went away. This made it extremely easy to figure out which assignments were coming up first, helping students prioritize their work. There was also a calendar function that listed everything that was due if students wanted to see a longer term picture. Schoology does have a tab for upcoming events, but it lists assignments as well as normal calendar dates with nothing for students to complete. Also, the assignments do not disappear from the upcoming tab once completed, which clutters this list and makes it more difficult to see what students actually have left to complete. These issues are fairly minor, but all of the small issues add up to result in an unpleasant user experience.

With that being said, Schoology is not all bad. It consolidates several websites into one, which is certainly a perk. Students no longer have to check both Blackboard and Classroom, and Schoology also accommodates Edpuzzles, Word Documents, Google Documents, Zoom and more. Not to mention, giving parents access to assignments could be helpful for students struggling to adapt to the workload of high school. These benefits, however, don’t make up for the submission issues, ugly interface, and the adjustment of getting used to a completely new system.

Just like any change, the switch to Schoology has come with plenty of pushback—and for good reason. It seems, however, that Schoology is here to stay, so we might as well get used to it now.