“The Global Achievement Gap, Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need — and What We Can Do About It” –Tony Wagner
In a global economy that runs on innovation and curiosity, our schools still teach to standardized tests.
Wagner identified seven skills to meet the challenge of a global economy and begin to close the global achievement gap:
Critical thinking and problem solving — Teachers spend many hours on practice questions, test-taking strategies, and helping students memorize facts to prepare students to pass multiple-choice tests. In a workplace more complicated than ever, solutions to real life problems are not multiple-choice.
Leading By Influence — Students spend most of their school time learning in isolation. The world of work now requires employees to work in teams to accomplish company goals. Students must be prepared to present their ideas to others and advocate their position in developing a solution.
Agility and Adaptability — There is only one right answer in school. In the world of work, there is no perfect answer. Often, the answer is quickly invalidated by rapidly changing technology. 21st century employees need to be flexible, adaptable, and lifelong learners.
Initiative and Entrepreneurialism — The business model has changed. It is no longer a top-down institution with bosses in command. Employees are expected to bring skills to the workplace that allow them to figure out how to overcome obstacles. The teacher-as-boss model used in school teaches learners to focus on the assigned task but ill-prepared to think beyond the assigned task.
Effective Oral and Written Conversation — Most of the time in the classroom is direct instruction with the teacher talking and the students listening. Students need more focus on developing the written and verbal skills required to make clear and precise presentations.
Accessing and Analyzing Data — While students have limited data in the classroom: a textbook, lecture notes, and the web, the unlimited data from computers and smartphones make it essential for students to discern valid information from misinformation.
Curiosity and Imagination — The ability to ask good questions is the number one skill employers look for. 21st century employees must have the ability to think fast and develop imaginative solutions to problems in a rapidly changing world.
Professor John Hattie’s Visible Learning framework needs no introduction to educators.
It has been used in schools across Australia for years now to deliver consistent, evidence-based learning outcomes and is the culmination of synthesizing more than 1,500 meta-analyses comprising more than 90,000 studies and 300 million students around the world.
Visible Learning helps educators to not only structure a lesson effectively (e.g. through learning objectives and success criteria), but also understand the extent to which different factors influence a student’s education (e.g. socioeconomic background, teacher efficacy and so on).
One factor that has gone under the radar is the effect remote or distance learning will have on the learning outcomes of Australian students, and Hattie addresses this critical topic in a recent online blog.
To begin, Hattie asks: “First, does it matter that students are not in the physical place called school?”
Hattie highlights that, although no meta-analysis exists on the effect on the length of a school year, traditional reviews show the effect to be “tiny”. Also, both Australia and the US have some of the longest school days and school years across all of the OECD countries, meaning we have some room to give.
“If we take out one term/semester of 10 weeks, [Australia and the US] still have more in-school time compared to Finland, Estonia, Korea and Sweden, which all outscore Australia and the USA on PISA,” Hattie says.
Hattie also mentions that data exists on the effect of teacher strikes and “lengthy shut outs”. He contends that the effect on student learning is very low before the middle years but increases “after middle school, especially in math”.
The education expert also refers to his experience as an advisor to the Qualifications Authority that oversees senior high school examinations in New Zealand. During the devastating earthquakes of 2011, Christchurch’s school system was severely disrupted and there was “a cry for special dispensations for high school examinations”.
Hattie argued the opposite, basing his judgement on “strike research, which showed no effects at this upper school level, with positive effects in some cases”.
“Sure enough, the performance of Christchurch students went up, and as schools resumed, the scores settled back down,” he says.
“Why? Because teachers tailored learning more to what students could NOT do, whereas often school is about what teachers think students need, even if students can already do the tasks.”
In summary, Hattie urges teachers and parents to not panic if students miss out on 10 weeks or so of face-to-face learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also recommends no meaningless “busy work” over the period and giving students sufficient opportunities to learn things they do not know.
After all: “It is not the time in class, but what we do in the time we have, that matters.”
The bigger challenge
Although Hattie asserts that time away from school does not result in devastating learning outcomes, he cautions that equity is a far more concerning factor.
“Students who come from well-resourced families will fare much better than those from lower resourced families: The effect of home resources is powerful (d = .51),” he says.
“I have rarely met a parent who does not want to help the child, but some do not have the skills. Remember, we made schooling compulsory because teachers are better at teaching than parents.”
There are, however, other aspects of the home that can be controlled and do have an effect on learning. These include parental involvement (.43) and particularly parental expectations (.70).
Hattie highlights that the effect size of technology has been low for the last 50 years, and remains so.
“The effect of distance learning is small (.14) but that does not mean it is NOT effective – it means it does not matter whether teachers undertake teaching in situ or from a distance over the internet (or, like when I started in my first university, via the post office),” he says.
“What we do matters, not the medium of doing it.”
Although some forms of technology are highly effective, such as interactive videos (.54), others such as laptops (.16) and mobile phones (-.34) have a minimal or even negative effect. However, Hattie explains these effect sizes have been undertaken in classrooms and are therefore “not so relevant in this crisis”.
For Hattie, social media is perhaps one of the best technological assets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Marie Davis (2018) has explored asking students to use social media, such as Edmodo, to have students send questions and talk about what they do not know,” Hattie says.
“They are more likely to do this on social media than directly to the teacher. What an opportunity to exploit in the current situation!”
Some final thoughts on distance learning
In summarising his approach to best exploit distance learning during this pandemic, Hattie emphasises several key points:
Optimising social interaction between peers and teachers
Listen to student feedback carefully as you do not have the usual classroom cues to look out for
Balance “precious knowledge with deep learning”
Understand what it is to be a learner online
Question how you can know your impact as an educator from afar
Collaborate more with other teachers to share ideas, observations and tips
Finally, Hattie recommends that educators (and parents) acknowledge that the world is going through a difficult though temporary period and schooling will not look the same.
“Engage with parents to realize we as educators have unique skills and expertise (and are happy to share them), and not get upset if students are not spending 5-6 hours every day in the belief that school at home is but a mirror of the typical school day.”
Self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) is an instructional approach designed to help students learn, use, and adopt the strategies used by skilled writers. It is an approach that adds the element of self-regulation to strategy instruction for writing.
Create tests/quizzes in your Schoology course to assess your students’ grasp of the material or evaluate their preparedness for class. Each test/quiz is automatically graded (unless you’ve included a subjective question, such as a short answer/essay), providing you with instant and powerful feedback that can help guide your upcoming lesson plans.
You can manually override grades, add comments, and customize a wide array of settings for each test/quiz.Important Notes:
If you use Schoology Enterprise and there is no Test/Quiz option in your organization, please reach out to your Schoology representative.
The option to create a Test/Quiz is no longer available on Schoology Basic. Learn more here.
Read this article in its entirety, or use the links below to jump to guides on specific aspects of using tests/quizzes in your Schoology course.
Published to Students to display or hide the test/quiz from student view. Note: Using Published determines whether students see the test/quiz on the course Materialspage. This is different from the Allow Attempts option in the Settings tab of the test/quiz, which determines when students can begin taking the test/quiz.
Enabling Grade Statistics displays the statistics for the test/quiz to students
Enabling Comments allows students to comment on the test/quiz:
Copy to: Test/Quizzes can only be copied after all questions have been created and finalized.
Note: There is a limit of 200 questions per test/quiz.
Add Questions from Question Banks
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:
Create a test/quiz, or click on the name of test/quiz into which you’d like to add questions.
In the Questions tab, click Add Question and select From Question Banks in the menu.
In the Import from Question Banks window, select Individual Questions.
Click the Question Bank from which you’d like to import questions.
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.
Using Auto-select (optional): To insert a set number of randomly-selected questions from the bank:
Enter the number of questions you’d like to add to the test.
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.
Enter a point value in the field to the right of each question to set the number of points each question is 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.
Click Add Questions to complete.
To add a random selection of questions from one or more question banks to a test/quiz:
Create a test/quiz, or click on the name of the test/quiz into which you’d like to add questions.
In the Questions tab of the test/quiz, click Add Question.
Select From Question Banks.
In the Import from Question Banks window, select Random Questions.
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.
Click Select Question Banks.
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.
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 test is alike. This is helpful in maintaining the validity of your quiz results.Pro Tip: Having a question bank strategy and strict labeling system can separate good tests from great ones. Think about how your random tests 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:
Click Add Question.
Select Import Test/Quiz.
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.
Click Next, and select a file from your computer.
Click Import to complete.
Click Settings 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. Use the Rich Text Editor tools to add multimedia content or attachments to the instructions.Submissions: Specify if students are able to take the test or quiz, and when they have access to it. This is separate from the publishing feature on the test/quiz profile:
Enable: Students are able to open and take the test.
Enable until: Students can take the test until the date and time you specify in the Until field that displays.
Enable from…until: Students can begin the test after the date and time indicated in From and before the date and time in Until.
Disable: Students can not take the test.
Note: The default setting for test/quiz availability is Disable. If your students can open the test/quiz but the Start New Attempt button is not available, you may need to switch this setting to one of the Enable options.
Time Limit: Set a time limit for the entire test/quiz.Note: The Time Limit setting does not control setting a time limit for individual questions.
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, use the Grade By menu to select how to grade the test/quiz.
Randomize Order: Randomizes the order of the questions on each student’s test/quiz, enabling you to give students a different version of the same test/quiz. Selecting Yes ignores page breaks, and students will see one question per page.
Paging: A quick way to set one question per page. Or, you can determine where page breaks fall in the test by inserting your own using the Add Question and selecting +Page Break. Then, on the test/quiz Settings page, select Using Page Breaks from the Paging dropdown.
Language Keyboard: Select Spanish in this menu to provide a keyboard in the browser that includes Spanish accent marks that students can select while answering short answer and fill-in-the-blank questions.
Question Review: If enabled, students can see an overview page at the end of the test/quiz where they can review their answers before submitting.
Resumable: Enablesstudents to resume an incomplete submission.
View Submissions: Enablesstudents to view their submissions (and whether they answer questions correctly or incorrectly) after submitting the test/quiz.
Hide point values: Enablesyou to hide the point value for each question. If you choose to display the point values and enable the View Submissions setting, the total point values display 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. 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.
You can preview the quiz from the Preview area. This feature enables you to check your questions and settings before you make the test available to students.
Once your students take the quiz, the results are immediately cataloged for you under the Results tab of the quiz. This area enables you to view student submissions by student or by question. Use this in conjunction with View Stats to understand how your students performed on the test.
The default view of the Results tab 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:
To grade the overall test, click on the asterisk, and enter a score.
To grade student’s test/quiz submission, click the View Attempts option to the right.
If your test/quiz allows for multiple submissions, each submission displays under the selected student’s name. To view a particular submission, click the gear to the right, and then select View/Edit from the menu.
Enter a score for the subjective question, and adjust other automatically graded questions if needed.
Click Save Changes.
Click different student names to toggle to their submissions.
To grade a test/quiz from the View by Question area, follow these steps:
To unsubmit a student attempt from the View by Student area:
Click the View Attempts option next to the student.
Click the gear icon next to the attempt.
Note: Unsubmitting an attempt cannot be undone. If you have deleted an attempt and need to restore it, contact Schoology Support.
View Stats provides key statistics for a Test/Quiz including:
# Grades: The total number of grades recorded.
Max Points: Total points possible for the quiz.
Highest Grade: The highest grade achieved.
Lowest Grade: The lowest grade achieved.
Average: The average for all grades achieved, or the Mean.
Standard Deviation: The amount of grade variation.
Median: The ‘middle’ grade.
Mode: The most common grade.
View Stats includes a graph that visualizes Average and Standard Deviation across the grades for the Test/Quiz.
Both students and educators need to communicate their achievements and to reflect on what they learn. Portfolios provide them with the ability to quickly and easily collect, organize, and share their work with others.
To access portfolios:
Click your name in the upper right corner and select Your Profile.
Navigate to Portfolios from the left menu under your profile picture.
Note: By default, all Enterprise users have permission to access portfolios. Your System Admin can enable or disable this feature.
System Administrators can enable the permission for users to create Portfolios with the following steps:
Select User Management.
The Portfolios permissions are in the Users area of this page.
Check the box corresponding to the permission Create Portfolios to enable Portfolio creation for the selected roles.
How to Create a Portfolio
Click your name in the upper-right corner of any page in Schoology.
Select Your Profile.
Click Portfolios in the left menu.
Click New Portfolio to add a new portfolio to your account, or click on an existing portfolio on the page to edit it.
Click to change the cover image for the portfolio. This is the image that displays for the portfolio on the main Portfolios page.
Click to title the portfolio. Your title displays below the cover image for the portfolio on the main page.
Click “What does this portfolio mean to you?” to add a description for the portfolio. This text displays when you hover over the cover image for the portfolio on the main page.
Click Portfolio Items to open the menu, from which you can select:
Files from your computer. You may attach any file type with a size limit of 512mb.
Added items display in the panel below the add button. Click and drag items to re-arrange them in your portfolio.
The timestamp in the upper-right shows when the portfolio was most recently saved. To the right of the timestamp is the Undo button . Click it to undo your most recent action – for example, if you accidentally delete an item from your portfolio, click Undo to add it back. Note: The Undo button is a “single-level” function and cannot undo actions previous to the most recent one you completed.
The number below the Undo button shows how many items are in the portfolio. The items number displays in the lower-left corner of the portfolio on the main page. This portfolio, for example, contains 12 items.
Click the circle in the lower-right to publish the portfolio and make it viewable for other Schoology users. See the section Sharing Your Portfolio below for more information.
Adding Items to a Portfolio
After you add a portfolio, you can begin to build it with content added from your assignments submitted in Schoology, from your computer, from online links, and from web pages created directly in your portfolio.Note: Items housed in your Resources cannot be added to Portfolios.
You can add files from your computer to a portfolio by dragging and dropping one or more files onto the field below the Portfolio Items button. Alternately, you can click Portfolio Items and then:
To add Schoology assignments you’ve previously submitted in a course:
Click Assignment Submissions.
Select the course in which you submitted the assignment.
Select the course in the list and then click Add Submission.
You can also submit an assignment to a portfolio from the assignment itself by clicking the Submit to Portfolio button in the Submissions area on the right side of the page.
Note: Assignment Submissions that were submitted through the Google Drive Assignments app or OneDrive Assignments app are not supported in Portfolios. Instead, students can export the document and add as a file or add the direct URL shareable link using the instructions below.
To add files from your computer:
Click File and browse to the location where you’ve saved the content.
To add the file, highlight and then click Open, or just double-click it. The portfolio item automatically takes the filename as its title, but you can edit the title by clicking into the text box.
To add web links:
Click Link/URL to open the Add a Link window.
Paste a URL to add a web page.
Paste a video embed code to add an embedded video—for example from YouTube or Vimeo. The portfolio item automatically takes the webpage or embedded video’s name as its title, but you can edit the title by clicking into the text box.
To add a web page:
Enter a Title and Description for the page.
Use the Rich Text Editor to design a page within your portfolio. Use the Insert Content tool to add multimedia, links, items from your Schoology Resource Apps, and more to your Page. Click here for more information on the Insert Content tool.
As you build your web page, click the Preview button in the upper-right, above the Rich Text Editor, to see how the page will look when published.
Note: Your Portfolio automatically saves once you have completed an upload, or once you have finished typing and clicked your cursor out of the text field. However, note that if you are experiencing poor Internet connectivity, auto-save may not function correctly. Check the auto-save timestamp in the upper right of your Portfolio item to ensure it is saving as you work.
Editing Items in a Portfolio
After you’ve added items to your portfolio, click on the content card to open it and add details or make changes.
Click on any level in the breadcrumbs to return to that area. For example, click on Portfolios to return to your main Portfolios page, or click on College Admission Samples to return to that portfolio.
Click to change the cover image for the portfolio item. This is the image that displays for the item on the main Portfolios page.
Click to title the item. Your title displays below the cover image for the item on the main page.
Click to add an item description. The description displays when you hover over the cover image for the item on the main page.
The item’s full page view display is how the item looks in your portfolio after you publish it.
Portfolio items also have a time stamp showing when your portfolio was last saved and an Undo button to undo your most recent action.
A Replace button is also in the toolbar to change files you’ve added to your portfolio. To replace a link you’ve added, highlight the link in the URL text box below the description and paste in the new link.
Use the arrows on either margin to browse through the other items in your portfolio.
Sharing Your Portfolio
From a Portfolio’s More Options menu you can generate a private link that enables anyone to view your portfolio even if they are not logged into Schoology (or don’t have a Schoology account). For example, if you have a Portfolio for a college admissions application, you can generate a link to share with admissions counselors.
You can also download a ZIP archive of your portfolio, so you can still access your work and materials from your local computer (if you don’t have an internet connection for example) or if you no longer have access to your Schoology account.
Sharing Your Portfolio from a Private Link
You can share your Portfolio using a private link that will allow the recipient to view your portfolio even if they are not logged into Schoology (or don’t have a Schoology account).
To generate a private link for your Portfolio:
Go to your personal profile.
Click Portfolios on the left side of your profile.
Click the lower-right corner of your profile cover.
Select Share Portfolio.
Use Command + C (Mac) or CTRL + C (Windows) to copy the link to your clipboard, and paste into a Schoology Message or email to send to the recipient.Note: Anyone with the link will be able to view your portfolio, even if your portfolio is Unpublished, and regardless of the privacy settings on your personal profile and/or whether or not they are logged into Schoology. The link overrides all privacy settings configured at the system or account level.
You may reset the URL that points to your portfolio to prevent anyone who previously held the link from continuing to access your Portfolio.
To reset your private link:
Go to your personal profile.
Click Portfolios on the left side of your profile.
Click the lower-right corner of your profile cover.
Select Share Portfolio.
Click Reset Link.
Sharing Your Portfolio from Your Personal Profile
The System Admin at your school manages the privacy settings for your personal profile, which includes your portfolios. Depending on how your Admin configures these settings, your published portfolios may be viewable by:
Everyone: Anyone who has the URL may view the portfolio.
Schoology users: Anyone with a Schoology account may view the portfolio.
District: Any Schoology user in your district may view the portfolio.
School: Any Schoology user in your school may view the portfolio.
Connections: Only Schoology users to whom you’re connected may view the portfolio.
No One: No other Schoology users may view the portfolio.
These settings affect who can view your portfolios by navigating to your personal profile and clicking Portfolios on the left menu. You may also choose to further restrict the sharing permissions for your Portfolios. For example, if your admin has set portfolio-sharing permissions to District, you may choose to adjust your own settings to School, Connections, or No one.Note: These settings apply to all of your portfolios. You can not choose different privacy settings for different portfolios.
To change your sharing permissions:
Click the arrow next to your name in the upper-right corner of any page in Schoology.
Select Privacy from the list.
In the Portfolios row, check the box for the group with whom you want to share your published portfolios. You can only select columns at or below the sharing permissions set by your System Admin.
Instructors and students can export their Schoology Portfolios as ZIP files so they can archive their work and continue to access it even if they no longer have access to their Schoology accounts.
From the More Options menu, select Export to ZIP to download a copy of your portfolio that you can access from your computer even if you don’t have an internet connection, or if you no longer have access to your Schoology account.
The export process may take some time to complete; you can monitor its progress by hovering your mouse over the down arrow.
Download in process
Unpack the ZIP file and click the Index.html link from the root folder to open a webpage with all the items in your portfolio listed. Click any item in the list to open that item in a new page.
A: Although you cannot currently organize Schoology portfolios into sub-folders, you can create as many portfolios as necessary and organize them on your main Portfolios page.
You can review all your portfolios at a glance and quickly re-arrange them by drag-and-drop functionality.
Q:Why is the content of a web page I added to my portfolio not displaying?
A: Content from some popular web sites – including Wikipedia and Schoology.com – may be blocked in your portfolio due to perceived security risks from your web browser.
If this happens, when you open the link in your portfolio the contents of the web page will not display in the item pane. Different browsers indicate this issue in different ways; Chrome and Firefox, for example, display a gray shield icon in the URL field, while Internet Explorer shows a lock icon.
If your content still doesn’t display in the pane, Schoology provides an “open in” icon in the link pane .
Click the icon to view the web page in a separate tab in your web browser.
Q: How do I view someone else’s portfolio?
A: To view another user’s published portfolio, go to their personal profile page and click Portfolio in the left menu. You will be able to see all of their portfolios that are published and shared at a level at which you have access.
To send a message about the portfolio to its owner, click Send Feedback in the upper-right corner. A System Admin for your school manages the messaging permissions for your profile; review this article for more information on sending messages to other Schoology users.