Issues with Schoology: One Student’s Critique

For the past twelve weeks, we’ve been using the virtual learning system Schoology. Schoology is where we access all our classes and important information while we aren’t in person; however, Schoology is not without its flaws.

One of the biggest issues I’ve had with the virtual learning program is the lack of communication between teachers and students. This isn’t necessarily the fault of either party, but more so a fault of the website and just how virtual learning works. I’ve found it hard to know what to do for some assignments because the instructions weren’t very clear or because there just wasn’t enough instruction. And emailing a teacher doesn’t always work. If you have a last minute question for example, the teacher could miss your email. Or if there’s some kind of error and the message doesn’t even get sent in the first place. Now, we have live instruction, so this can completely negate the issue, but it’s one of the things that has caused me the most trouble. 

Student’s view of Schoology. Screencap taken by the author.

Another problem I’ve had is time management. Some assignments are posted at different times, some are due at different times, tests have to be taken during a class period, and it overall makes for a bad experience. Last year, all assignments were posted at 8am I believe, and all assignments were due at midnight. The tests also were open all day. It was much easier to keep track of and complete assignments. If they could at least make all the assignments due at the same time, 6pm for example, it would be much easier to keep track of than it is now.

The site’s design is not easy to use. The design and interface don’t look good and aren’t easy to navigate. The way that the overdue/upcoming assignments tab in particular works is horrendous. Most of the assignments in the overdue section I’ve either done or don’t have to be turned in. There’s so many “overdue” assignments that I have to scroll down to see current assignments. I wish there was a way to hide assignments or only show today’s assignments. 

Another problem that I have with the website’s design is the layout of the entire website. The folder system in courses feels awful to use and navigate, and that can also be said for literally the rest of the website. The bad design of the site makes it so painful to use on a daily basis.

The site seems to be down a lot, which makes getting work done difficult. I don’t really know how to talk about this point because I think this is just an unfortunate side effect of being online. It’s kind of inevitable that a site or service will go down at some point.

When asked what his biggest complaint with Schoology was, Sophomore Lucas Johnson said “The UI [user interface] has been one of the most frustrating parts. It’s very outdated, clunky, and just inconvenient to use.”

All of these problems plus more make for just a bad overall experience with virtual learning, in this writer’s opinion.

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