There may be some work you assign to your students that you would like them to complete outside of Schoology–either using a different platform, or something like an in-class presentation, an ongoing participation grade, or even a good old-fashioned pencil-and-paper assignment. Even if an assignment is completed offline or in a different program, you can still use your Schoology Gradebook to evaluate and track your students' progress on the item.
The Simple Solution
There are two quick ways to incorporate a non-Schoology assignment into your Schoology Gradebook: via Grade Columns, or by disabling submissions in an assignment.
Add an additional grade column into your Schoology Gradebook where you can manually enter grades. Grade columns are visible to students in their Upcoming feed and in the Course Calendar, and also appear in Grade Reports and the Parent Digest.
- In your course, open the Gradebook.
- Click the + icon in the upper-right corner.
- Select Add Grade Column.
- In the Create Grade Column window:
- Name the column.
- Set the number of points available.
- Assign it to a grading category and grading period as you normally would for graded materials.
- Select a grading Scale.
- Choose from additional grade Options, such as Learning Objective alignments and grade statistics.
If you want to use Schoology to communicate the instructions and due date for an assignment, but don't plan on collecting submissions via Schoology, create an assignment on your Materials page and disable the submission dropbox for that particular assignment. This is also a good option if you are using Student Completion Rules* in your course.
To disable submissions:
- Click Add Materials.
- Select Add Assignment.
- Give the item a title, description, category, grading period and scale as usual.
- In Advanced row on the Create screen, click the dropbox icon to disable submissions.
- Click Create.
When submissions are disabled, students are able to access the instructions and due date for the assignment on Schoology, but cannot make a submission, and do not receive Overdue notifications once the due date passes.
*If you are using Student Completion Rules, you can set the rule on this item to "Must View."
The Assessment Solution
Even if students complete the bulk of the work offline or on another platform, you can still make the most of the tools available to you on Schoology to not only record grades but also measure your students' progress and understanding of the material. These options are particularly useful if you use Schoology as your primary gradebook of record, and if you are interested in using the Student Completion Rules feature.
Create a Discussion
Use Discussions to encourage conversation, debate, and engagement about work completed outside of Schoology. For example, use Discussions as a check-in during a long-term research project by asking students to post one new thing they have learned in their research. Or, ask students to post thoughtful questions and reflections after completing a nightly reading assignment to demonstrate they not only did the reading but also engaged with the material.
Create a (mini) test/quiz
Use a test/quiz to evaluate students' preparedness after completing an assignment or activity outside of Schoology. For example, create a short reading quiz to accompany a nightly reading assignment. Or, ask students to answer objective questions about the material covered in a practical lab. In order to minimize the time you spend grading, make sure to use only objective questions (and skip the short answer/essay questions for now). That way, the quizzes will be automatically graded. Learn more about creating tests/quizzes here.
Pro Tip: If you are using Student Completion Rules, use the Score at least rule on the test/quiz to establish the minimum required score and set a standard by which to measure student's understanding of the work. You may also consider setting the Attempt Limit on the quiz to Unlimited to ensure students have the opportunity to re-take the quiz and progress throughout the material if they do not meet the Score at least requirement on their first attempt. To change the attempt limit, open the test/quiz and click the Settings tab.
In the Attempt Limit dropdown menu, select Unlimited.