Courses: Course Materials

Your Materials are the backbone of your course. We give you the tools you need to build diverse materials designed to engage students on all levels. The materials contain so much unformed potential, you can tailor folders, assignments, and quizzes to fit specific needs within each class. You can also pace students individually using our Student Completion feature. If you look below, you’ll see a list of different types of materials. Each one has its place within the course, along with individual strengths and engagement methods.

This article covers the following topics:

Course Materials


To begin adding materials to a course:

  1. Click the Courses drop-down menu in the top menu and select the course to which you're adding materials.
  1. Click the Add Materials button and choose the content type (See below for details on each content type).
  1. Fill out the popup form and click Create.

Filter by Material type

After creating materials, you can filter your course materials list by specific types of content by clicking on the drop-down menu in the upper-right corner of the course materials list. Click the menu and select a material type to display only your materials of that type.

 

Course_Folder.PNG Create Course Folders

Creating a materials Folder allows you to organize your course content into interactive lessons. Within a folder, you can add all the other types of content and organize them into any order you wish. This gives you the most flexibility in content organization and functionality. Folders also allow you to set availability dates to materials, and to set student completion rules. Additionally, you can color-code your folders, and apply formatting to folder descriptions.

To create a folder, use the Add Materials button located at the top of your Course Profile, then follow these steps:

  1. Select the Add Materials dropdown menu and click Add Folder. The Create Folder window displays.
  2. In the Create Folder window:
    1. Enter a title for the folder.
    2. Choose a folder color (optional) – this is useful for adding another level of visual organization to your course.
    3. Enter a description (optional). The description displays on the course profile below the folder name.
    4. Use the rich text editor at the top of the description field to:
      • Apply bold, italic, or underline.
      • Add a bullet or number list.
      • Select text color.
      • Apply strikethrough, superscript, or subscript.
      • Change the indent and alignment of selected text.
      • Insert attachments such as images or links.
      • Spellcheck the description.
    5. Add a start date if you'd like the folder to display in the course calendar.
      Add an end date to remove the folder from the course calendar after the end date passes.
    6. Set the availability of the folder:
      • Visible to students.
      • Hidden from students.
      • Available after the start date.
      • Available during the selected date range.
  3. Click Create to complete.
You may also add folders by using the Drag & Drop + Auto-save feature:
  1. Once you have at least one folder in the course, you'll notice a light grey line below the folder.
  2. When you hover over the line, a green + sign will appear. Click on the line and select Add Folder or Import from Resources.
  1. Choose Import from Resources to add folders of content that are already in your resources.
  2. Fill out the Create Folder form using the instructions above.
  3. Click Create to complete!
Availability

Folder Availability can be set to Visible, Hidden, Available after start date, or Available during date range, giving you greater control over when the folder (and its material) is visible to students.

If a folder is Hidden, neither the folder nor its contents will be accessible to students. If it is Available after start date or Available during date range, the folder and its contents will only be visible to students after or during the specified dates.

To adjust these settings, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Materials tab from the left menu in the Course Profile.
  2. In the folder that you wish to modify, click the gear icon  to the right and select Edit.
  3. In the Availability menu, choose Visible, Hidden, Available after start date, or Available during range.
  4. If you choose one of the latter two options, choose the appropriate dates in the calendars in the Date row.
  5. Click Save Changes to complete.

Note: The date and time of availability follows the user's time zone. If a student of a course has a different time zone than your settings, the folder will be available according the date and time of the student's time zone.

Reorder Folders

Reordering folders is easy! Click on the folder you'd like to reorder (click and hold for about 1-2 seconds). Then drag the item to the appropriate location and release the mouse. This relocation will save automatically.

Add Materials to Folders

Once a folder has been created, you can a begin adding assignments, tests/quizzes, files/links, discussions, pages, or media albums.

To add items to folders using the Add Materials button, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Materials tab from the left menu in the Course Profile.
  2. Click on the folder to which you'd like to add materials.
  3. Use the Add Materials drop-down menu at the top to select a content type.
  4. Fill out the form in the pop-up.
  5. Click Create to complete.
You may also add items to folders by using the Drag & Drop + Auto-save feature:
  1. Click on the carrot to the left of the folder to expand the folder.
  2. When you hover between course content, a green + sign will appear. Click on the line to add material to the folder.
  3. Fill out the form in the pop-up.
  4. Click Create to complete!

 

 
 

Manage Materials in Folders

Once items have been added to a folder, you can reorder them by clicking on the item you'd like to reorder (click and hold for about 1-2 seconds), and dragging the item to the appropriate location.

There is also a Gear Icon to the right of each item, which can be used to:

  • Edit—Modifies the item.
  • Move—Moves the item to another folder.
  • Copy to Course—Creates a copy of the material in another course and/or folder.
  • Delete—Deletes the material from the course section.
  • Save to Resources—Allows you to house the material in Resources for future use or to share with colleagues.
You can also click on the carrot to the left of each folder to expand the folder and view the content inside. To expand a folder:
  1. Click on the carrot to the left of the folder name.
  2. A list of the course material in the folder displays.
  3. If you have a folder within a folder, you can click on the carrot next to the sub-folder to expand it, as well.

Course_Assignment.PNG Create Course Assignments

Assignments can be used as graded items in conjunction with the Gradebook. Each assignment can have submissions for students to submit files. You can use the assignment submission viewer to view, grade, and and add comments to submissions. Assignments can also be given a Due Date, which will automatically display the assignment in the Calendar and Upcoming areas for all members.

To create an assignment, use the Add Materials button located at the top of your Course Profile. You can also access the Add Materials button from within a folder. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the Add Materials dropdown menu and click Add Assignment.
  2. Fill out the Assignment form.
    • Enter a Description (optional).
    • Set a Due Date to place the assignment in the Course Calendar and Upcoming area.
    • (Optional) Click Enable Submissions to enable/disable the feature.
    • (Optional) Add a learning objective to the content.
    • To grade this assignment in the Gradebook, you must select a category other than (Ungraded).
  3. Click Create to complete.

Note: Assignments can also be created within course folders, or added to folders after their creation.

Assignment Profile

Once you have created an assignment, a profile will automatically be generated. The description and any additional files or links will appear in the profile, along with the Submissions and comment tools. You can use the profile to manage assignment submissions, grade students, and participate in the comments area.

Assignment Submissions

The Submissions feature is located in the right column of the Assignment Profile. It can also be reached by clicking the Assignment listed in the Calendar. You can use this area to manage files that have been submitted by students.

Submitted files are split into On Time and Late areas based on the assignment Due Date. You can download or view each individual file, or you can download all assignments in a bulk .zip file.

Document Viewer

The Document Viewer allows you view and/or annotate student assignment submissions directly through your Schoology account. To use the Document Viewer, click on a submission.

In the Document Viewer, you have the ability to:

  • Comment  and discuss in the right column.
  • Upload a file to the comment/discussion feed.
  • Highlight selected text (if the annotation tool bar is available).
  • Comment in the document (if the annotation tool bar is available).
  • Strikeout selected text (if the annotation tool bar is available).
  • Draw on the document (if the annotation tool bar is available).
  • Grade the assignment (if the assignment has a grading category).
  • Download the file and save it on your computer
  • Return the annotated/graded assignment to the student just by clicking Save Changes.

Note: Our Doc Viewer supports the following file types—.doc, .docx, .html, .odt, .pdf, .rtf, .text, .ppt, .pptx, .swf, .xls, .xlsx, .mp3, .mp4, .mov, .wav, .wmv and many more. The submission viewer does not convert iWork files, but you may download these submissions onto your computer. Not all file types (e.g. media files) can be annotated using the Annotation tool bar.

Returning Assignments

The Submissions Viewer feature allows you to ‘return’ assignments to students simply by clicking the Save Changes button in the bottom right corner of document. If you use a third-party annotation program, you can upload your revised document to the comments/discussion area to the right of the student's submission.

Grading

The grade entered in the Grade field of the Document Viewer will automatically sync with your Gradebook. The comments you add in this form will also automatically sync with Gradebook. You can also navigate to the Gradebook using the left column.

Advanced Options

Use Advanced Options to turn on/off the following features:

  1. Individually Assign—show the assignment to a member of the course or a grading group.
  2. Align Learning Objectives—add a custom learning objective, common core, or state standard.
  3. Lock—prevent students from making additional submissions.
  4. Enable Submissions—provide an area for students to submit work.
  5. Visible to students—show the assignment to students.
  6. Grade Statistics—show the statistics for the assignments to students, which is located in an icon above assignment submissions.
  7. Enable Comments—allow students to comment on the assignment profile.

Course_Quiz.PNG Create Tests/Quizzes

You can create online Tests/Quizzes for students to take on Schoology. Currently, this feature supports the following question types:

  1. True/False
  2. Multiple Choice
  3. Ordering
  4. Short-Answer/Essay Question
  5. Fill in the Blank
  6. Matching

Each test/quiz appears in the Gradebook and is automatically graded unless there are subjective questions (e.g. Short-Answer/Essay Questions). You can manually override these grades, add comments, and customize a wide array of settings for each test/quiz.

To create an Online Test/Quiz, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Add Materials dropdown menu and click Add Online Test/Quiz.
  2. Fill out the Test/Quiz form.
    • Set a Due Date to place the test/quiz in the Course Calendar and Upcoming area.
    • If you wish for this test/quiz to appear in the Gradebook, you must select a Category other than (Ungraded).
  3. Click Create to complete.

Note: Tests/Quizzes can also be created within course folders, or added to folders after their creation.

Add Questions

To create questions, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Add Question button.
  2. Select a question-type from the menu.
  3. Fill out the fields. Each form includes different question-type specific fields.
  4. For multiple-choice or true/false questions, you can also add feedback at the question-level or answer-level:
    1. Click the Show Feedback link.
    2. Add answer-level feedback in the text fields next to each answer choice.
    3. Add question-level feedback in the text fields beneath the answer choices, labeled Incorrect Response Feedback and Correct Response Feedback.
    4. After adding the feedback, click Hide Feedback to not display it.
  1. (Optional) Add a learning objective to the test/quiz question.
  2. Click Create Question to complete.

Import Questions

Once you have a Question Bank in Schoology, you can build tests/quizzes with questions from the banks. You can add individual questions from a question bank, or you can add a random selection of questions from multiple question banks when you create your quiz.

To add individual questions from one question bank to a test/quiz:

  1. Create a test/quiz, or click on the name of test/quiz into which you'd like to add questions.
  2. In the Questions tab, click Add Question and select From Question Banks in the menu.
  3. In the Import from Question Banks window, select Individual Questions.



  4. Click the Question Bank from which you'd like to import questions.
  5. Select the box next to the question(s) you'd like to import. To import all questions, select the box next to the Auto-select button.
  6. To insert a set number of randomly-selected questions from the bank:
    1. Click Auto-select.
    2. Enter the number of questions you'd like to add to the test.
    3. Click Select.

When you use the Auto-select feature, the selected number of questions are added to the test/quiz, and all students in the course receive the same set of questions.

  1. Enter a value in the field to the right of each question to set the number of points it’s worth. To set a consistent point value for each question, click the Set Points button and enter a value in the Points Per Question field.
  2. Click Add Questions to complete.

To add a random selection of questions from one or more question banks to a test/quiz:

  1. Create a test/quiz, or click on the name of the test/quiz into which you'd like to add questions.
  2. In the Questions tab of the test/quiz, click on the Add Question button.
  3. Select the option to import From Question Banks.
  4. In the Import from Question Banks window, select Random Questions.



  5. In the Select Question Banks window, select one or more of your question banks to pull from. You can select as many as you’d like.
  6. Click Select Question Banks.
  7. In the Add Random Questions window, enter:
    • The number of questions that you want to generate from each bank.
    • How many points each question is worth.
  8. Click Add Questions to complete.
    • Each quiz will contain the determined number of questions from the selected question banks.
    • Each student in the course receives a unique set of questions. Even if students receive a few of the same questions, they will appear in a different order, so no assessment is alike. This is helpful in maintaining the validity of your quiz results.

Note: Having a question bank strategy and strict labeling system can separate good assessments from great ones. Think about how your random assessments might turn out if you organize your question banks by lesson unit, question type, learning objective, or even learner type (e.g., visual, auditory, etc.). 

To import a test/quiz from Blackboard 7.1-9.0, Edmastery, or ExamView, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Add Question button.
  2. Select the option to Import Test/Quiz.
  3. Select to import from Blackboard 7.1-9.0, or from Edmastery. ExamView questions can be imported by first exporting them to the Blackboard format.
  4. Click Next, and select a file from your computer.
  5. Click Import to complete.

Settings

Click on the Settings tab of the Test/Quiz profile to adjust the following settings:

  • Instructions—The text you enter here will be accessible while students are taking the test/quiz.
  • Availability—Specify when students have access to take the test/quiz. This is separate from the publishing feature on the test/quiz profile.
  • Time Limit—Set a time limit for the entire Test/Quiz. If enabled, individual questions cannot be timed.
  • Attempt Limit—Specify a limit to the number of times a student can take the Test/Quiz.
  • If students can take it more than once, select how the test/quiz will be graded using Graded By.
  • Paging—A quick way to set one question per page.
  • Randomize Order—Give each student a different version of the same Test/Quiz.
  • Question Review—If enabled, students will be able to see an overview page at the end of the Test/Quiz where they can review their answers before submitting.
  • Resumable—Allows students to resume an incomplete submission.
  • View Submissions—Allows students to view their submissions after they have submitted the test/quiz.
  • Hide point values—Allows you to hide the point value for each question. If you've enabled the setting to View Submissions, the total point values will appear when students view their submissions.

Note: Tests/quizzes save student answers automatically. Tests/quizzes can remain open for a maximum of 6 hours before the session expires. Please make sure you tell students to exit the test/quiz and resume it at a later time if the test will take longer than 6 hours to complete.

Preview

You can preview the quiz from the Preview area of the test/quiz. This feature allows you to check your questions and settings before you make the test Available to students.

Results

The Results area allows you to view student submissions by student, and by question. The default view displays submissions in the View by Student view. If your test/quiz has subjective questions, you must grade the test or test question manually for the student to receive a score. To grade a test/quiz from the View by Student area, follow these steps:

  1. To grade the overall test, click on the asterisk and enter a score.
  2. To grade a test/quiz question, click on the View Attempts option to the right.
  3. If your test/quiz allows for multiple submissions, each submission will be listed under the selected student's name. To view a particular submission, click on the gear to the right, and click View/Edit.
  4. Enter a score for the subjective question, and adjust other automatically graded questions if needed.
  5. Click Save Changes.
  6. Click on the Students' name to toggle to another students' submission.

To grade a test/quiz from the View by Question area, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the area to View by Question. A list of test/quiz questions will appear below.
  2. To enter a grade for a particular question, click on the View Responses link.
  3. Enter a score for the subjective question, or adjust the automatically graded question if needed.
  4. Click Save Changes.
  5. Click on the View by Question link at the top to return to the list of questions.

To add a File or Link:

  1. Click the Add Materials drop-down menu and select Add File/Link/External Tool.
  2. To add a file:
    1. Click File.
    2. Click Attach Files and browse to the file(s) to add.
      To select multiple files, hold down the Shift or Ctrl key as you choose files.
  3. To add a link:
    1. Click Link.
    2. Enter a URL or embed code.
    3. Enter a title for your link.
      To automatically use the title from the webpage to which you're linking, click .
  4. Additionally, from the Advanced row you can:
    • Click  to align the file or link to learning objectives.
    • Click  to display the file or link to your students.
    • Click  to copy the file or link to a different course. Edit the new version of the file without altering the original.
  5. Click Add to complete.

When you add a link, you can also click to display it in Schoology (default setting); choosing this will open the linked webpage in an iframe within the course. To view the link in a new window, click on the icon on the top right or the page.

Note: Files and links can also be created within course folders, or added to folders after their creation.

Editing Links

After you add a link to a course, click the gear icon next to it and select Edit to change its URL or title, or any of the Advanced features described in step 4 above.

External_Tools.PNG External Tools (LTI)

The External Tools feature allows Schoology users to interact with LTI-compliant resources and activities on other websites. Many websites provide interactive learning materials that are complementary to Schoology’s own course materials and resources. External Tools allows you to connect with these tools and utilize them within your Course or Resources. When used in a course, external tools that support grade pass-back can send grading information to the Schoology gradebook.

Adding External Tools in Courses

External Tools can be added to a course just like any other type of course content.

  • Select the Materials tab from the left menu in the Course Profile.
  • Click on the folder to which you’d like to add materials.
  • Use the Add Materials dropdown menu at the top to select Add File/Link/External Tool, then select External Tool.
  • Fill out the External Tool form.
    • Select a Tool Provider (instructions for setting this up can be found in the Adding External Tool Providers section below).
      • "Automatic, based on URL” will allow you to add an external tool without having to set up a Tool Provider.
    • Enter a Title and URL for the external tool.
    • Optionally enter a Consumer Key, Shared Secret, or Custom Parameters.
      • Consumer Keys and Shared Secrets may be provided to you by the content provider that is hosting the external tool as an added level of security.
      • Custom Parameters may also be provided to you by the content providers.
    • Enable Grading will allow you to make an external tool visible in the Gradebook, and it will also support grade pass-back between the external tool and your course gradebook.
    • Click Create to complete.

Adding External Tools to Resources

External tools can be added to resources just like any other type of course content. When external tools are added to resources, only the Title, URL, and custom parameters will be saved. The Consumer Key and Shared Secret must be added after the external tool resource has been imported into a course, or these can be automatically set if you have External Tool Providers set up on a course or school level.

Adding External Tool Providers

External Tool Providers can be added on a course or school level to automatically save Consumer Keys and Shared Secrets for specific domains or URLs. When adding External Tools to a course, you can select from a list of these providers, which will pre-populate the Consumer Key and Shared Secret (depending on how the provider was set up).

Adding External Tool Providers to a Course

  • From the course profile, click on Course Options in the left menu (below the profile picture), and select External Tool Providers.
  • Click on the Add External Tool Providers button.
  • Fill out the Add External Tool Provider form.
    • Enter a Tool Name.
    • Consumer Keys and Shared Secrets may be provided to you by the content provider that is hosting the external tool as an added level of security.
    • Privacy settings allow you to determine what information is sent from Schoology to the external tool provider (the only types of information that can be sent are Name and Email of the user who launches the tool).
    • Configuration Type allows you to choose how you want to set up the provider.
      • Manual (choose this option unless you are linking to an XML file).
        • Match By allows you to select how you want the provider settings (consumer key, shared secret, privacy) to be automatically set for each external tool in the course.
          • Domain – Selecting this option means that when an external tool is added to a course, if the URL contains the domain of a provider, the provider settings will automatically be set for that item.
          • URL – Selecting this option means that when an external tool is added to a course, if you select the provider from the list, the URL field will automatically be populated.
        • Domain/URL is the domain or URL of the provider (details are specific above in the Match By section).
        • Custom parameters can be set for each provider.
      • URL/XML (choose this option if you are trying to set up a provider based on a link to an XML file, e.g. https://lti-examples.heroku.com/).
        • URL/XML allows you to provide a URL to an XML file or to input directly as XML.

Adding External Tool Providers to a School

To learn more about adding external tools at the system level (Enterprise), visit our Integration article.

Course_Discussions.PNG Add Course Discussions

You can create an interactive Discussion for your students. Each Discussion has threaded commenting that allows students to respond to any post by another student. These comments can also be moderated, which will require a Course Admin (the teacher) to approve each post before it is published. Deleted posts will are listed under Moderate Posts in the Course Options in the left column of the Course Profile.

Creating Discussions

To create a discussion, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Add Materials dropdown menu and click Add Discussion.
  2. Fill out the Discussion form.
    • Enter a Description (optional instructions for the Discussion).
    • To have the Discussion appear in the Upcoming feed, enter a Due Date. If you do not enter a Due Date, the Discussion will remain accessible in the Discussions index or Course Folder.
    • (Optional) Add a learning objective to the content.
    • To make the Discussion a graded item, check the Grading checkbox and adjust the grading preferences.
  3. Click Create to complete.

Note: Discussions can also be created within course folders, or added to folders after their creation.

Share Discussions

You can share your discussion with other courses. This options are located in the Advanced options at the bottom of the popup window during discussion-creation.

Sharing the discussion will give the discussion a ShareID that other instructors can use to join their classes into the same discussion. You can also automatically share the discussion with your courses and sections.

Note: If you do not see the option to share the discussion under Advanced, it is likely that Grading is enabled. Graded discussions cannot be shared with other courses. You also cannot share discussions after they have been created.

Advanced options

Use Advanced Options to turn on/off the following features:

  1. Individually Assign— show the assignment to a member of the course or a grading group.
  2. Align Learning Objectives—add a custom learning objective, common core, or state standard.
  3. Lock—prevent students from making additional submissions.
  4. Visible to students—show the assignment to students.
  5. Members can see other responses before participating—allow members to see discussion posts before they create an initial post.

Course_Albums.PNG Create Course Media Albums

Create albums to organize photos, videos, and/or audio files for your Course. Photos can be cropped and rotated after you add them. You may allow commenting on each item within an album. You can also tag users in your uploaded photos, or allow students to upload and tag media as well.

Creating Media Albums

To create a Media Album, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Add Materials dropdown menu.
  2. Click Add Media Album.
  3. Fill out the Media Album form.
    • Adjust the album settings for student commenting and uploading capabilities. Make the album visible or invisible to students with the Publish feature.
  4. Click Create Album to complete.

After the media album is created, you can add different kinds of media to it at any point in time, just like a folder. Click Attach Files to add media from your computer’s hard drive. You can add media at a later date by clicking into the media album and selecting the Add Media button.

To edit a media album or its contents, select the Gear Icon in the top right corner of the media album profile.

Note: Media Albums can also be created within course folders, or added to folders after their creation.

Course_Pages.PNG Create Course Pages

Create a custom Page of text, images, videos, html, or any combination of these elements. Each page has a Rich-text (WYSIWYG) Editor that allows you to customize font styles, colors, indentations, etc. You can also upload files, embed videos, and customize the html of the page.

Creating Pages

To create a Page, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Add Materials dropdown menu and click Add Page.
  2. Construct the Page content.
    • Use the editor to write custom content.
    • Use the Insert buttons to embed images, videos, or equations into the editor.
    • You can toggle between Visual and HTML versions of the editor.
    • You can attach a File, Link, Audio/Video Recording, and/or Resource to the bottom of the page.
    • Click Align Learning Objectives if you want to align the page with standards or custom learning objectives.
  3. Click Create to complete.

Note: Pages can also be created within course folders, or added to folders after their creation.

Display content within the folder

By default, students must click into a page to view its content. However, when you add a page from within a course folder, you may choose to display the page content within the folder.

To display the content in directly within the folder, click on the ABC icon by the Advanced options while creating or editing the page. When the feature is not enabled, the cluetip will read "Display on new page." When the feature is enabled to show content directly within the folder, the cluetip will read "Display inline within folder."

Package.PNG Add a Package

You may add web content or SCORM packages to your course to integrate content you may have available from another system (SCORM is only available to Enterprise users).

Adding Packages

To add a package, follow these steps:

  1. Click into a folder in which you'd like to add a package.
  2. Click on the Add Materials dropdown menu and click Add Package.
  3. Select to add a web content package in ZIP file, or add a SCORM package (SCORM is only available to Enterprise users).
  4. Attach the file from the computer or device.
  5. Click Submit to complete.

Note: The .html file in the folder must be named index.html or the system will not identify the content to display as an iframe package.

Individually Assign


You can also Individually Assign assignments, tests/quizzes, and discussions to individual students or to grading groups. To individually assign a material, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the More area when creating the material, or click on the gear to the right of the material and select Edit. The option to select More will appear in the Edit form.
  2. Click on the option to Assign.
  3. Begin typing the name of a student or grading group. The members and grading groups should automatically populate in a list.
  4. Click on the member(s) or group(s) to which you'd like to assign the item.
  5. Click Create or Save Changes to complete.

Completion Rules


You may add Student Completion Rules to folders and/or materials. To learn more about Student Completion Rules, please click here.