The end of the school year is coming, and you want to make sure that everything you created in Schoology will be safe and sound when it’s time to copy and paste your entire course for next year. What should you do right now to make sure you are ready? Follow the three steps below to prepare for next year.
One: Confirm the Naming of Courses and Sections
Make sure you have named your Courses and your Sections properly. What’s the difference between a course and a section? A course is the official name of a class that might be taught multiple times per day and/ or taught by more than one teacher.
A typical COURSE NAME might looks like one of these:
- Technology 302
- T302 Principles of Engineering
A section is just one offering of a course with the same students and teachers assigned to it. A teacher might teach T302 during second period to one class of 25 students and teach the same course again during third period to a different class of 25 students. There is one course (T302) that is offered in two different sections (2nd period and 3rd period).
A typical SECTION NAME looks like one of these:
- First Period; Second Period; Third Period
- 01; 02; 03
- 2014-2015; 2015-2016
- Semester 1; Semester 2
All of your active Courses are now listed. To edit the name of the Course, click on the editing tool (the pencil) to the far right of the Course name.
To edit the name of the Section, click on the gearbox to the far right of the Section name and then click Edit.
Two: Archiving – confirm the accuracy of the grading periods
Your course will automatically archive after the last day of the grading period passes. If Quarter 4 is your last grading period and it ends on June 5, then your course will go to the archives on June 6. This keeps the active course list manageable and quickly accessible. You and your students can always go back and view an archived course including all homework submissions. Nothing is lost! Active courses remain displayed in the Courses drop-down menu, and courses that have passed their last day can always be found in the archives. “Schoology never deletes anything you don’t want it to. In fact, Schoology automatically saves all your past courses so you can access them later.“
Now it’s time to check the grading period of each of your current courses to make sure each course ends when the course is over. There are two ways to edit your grading periods:
- One way to check your grading periods is through your course listings page. Click on Courses in the top toolbar, then click on See All, then click on the gearbox to the far right of the Section name and then click Edit. Select the correct grading period(s), then click Save.
- Another way to check your grading periods is from within each course’s settings. Open the Course, click on Gradebook, then click on Grade Set Up. Your grading periods can be found within the section titled Grading Periods & Final Weights. Click Edit, select the correct grading period(s), then click Save. The one small drawback to this method over the first one is that you cannot see the actual dates of each grading period until you click the Edit
Three: Copy your section(s) for next year
You are going to make a copy of your course RIGHT NOW which is going to copy over all your folders, materials, quizzes, rubrics, badges, and your entire gradebook setup like categories and weights. It will NOT copy data related to last year’s class like students’ names, students’ grades, homework submissions, and class updates or announcements.
The best practice is to make ONE copy of your course right now. You can then add materials at any time throughout the summer. A day or so before school begins, you can then make additional copies of the course as needed. For example, if you teach T302 Principles of Engineering to three different classes, then you would copy your current course ONCE right now and name the section something like “MASTER COPY 2015-2016”. You can make changes to the course all summer at any time – new materials, quizzes, photos, etc. Then the day before school begins, you will copy your “Master” course three times for each of the three periods you teach and name each section accordingly: “2015-2016 Period One”, “2015-2016 Period Two”, and “2015-2016 Period Three”.
To copy your course, click on Courses in the top toolbar, then click on See All. For the section you want to copy, click on the gearbox to the far right of the Section name and then click Copy Section. Do NOT click Add Section!
You will be prompted to add the following information to your copied course:
- Course name (T302, M308, etc.) will remain the same.
- Section name needs to be changed. Again, use something that indicates it is for next year like 2015-2016 Master Course or 2015-2016 Period One.
- Section Code can be used if you want every course and section to be truly unique. In my high school there might be 15 sections of the same course. Each section has a unique number. If you want to be very specific then you can enter a number. I always skip this step, though. It is not required.
- Grading periods can be chosen at this time. If you want to divide your year into four grading quarters, then you should add four different grading periods to your course. You can skip this step and add your grading periods later but it’s recommended that you add them now. They can always be adjusted at a later time.