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Schoology training course yields praise, grievances

The Schoology training course was organized into folders for student ease. Photo by Annabelle Owyoung

With the school year beginning with distance learning education on Schoology, a virtual learning environment system, the Nevada Joint Union High School District organized Schoology Module Training to better prepare students for the year and provide them with additional useful tools to make this format of learning easier. However, as Bear River High School has been using this same system for a few years prior to the transition to distance learning, some students felt that this course was more useful to incoming students rather than those returning.

Bear River Principal Roberts, in an email sent to all students the week before the beginning of the Schoology module training, further explained why this training was important for students.

“Distance Education requires that students complete their school work through a virtual platform,” he said. “… It will be important to provide training for our students not only in Schoology but with various tools and resources that will be made available to you so that you can be successful. Students will be required to show competency in the use of technology through Distance Education in a variety of ways.”

Multiple students commented on their thoughts on their experience with the course.

“I personally thought they were helpful, especially knowing what to do when we’re not at school,” said Senior Marco Davis. 

“I thought they were helpful with showing us things we may not have learned or known before and especially for the incoming freshmen,” said Brynna Vasquez, a sophomore.  “I learned a few new things about how to make it easier and cool ways to keep track of work and organize school work.”

“I think that the modules were well put together and held a lot of valuable information,” said Junior Ryan Potts. “Though many students already knew a lot of this info, there’s a lot who didn’t, such as incoming freshmen. I think it’s always nice to have a refresher course. Covid has changed school a lot and having students prepared and knowing expectations is important.”

Senior Geneva Hemmert had a contrasting opinion on the matter.

“I think this would have been a good thing to do with just the freshman and incoming students over that week,” she said. “It almost felt like an excuse to add more school days into the year … I think it was silly for all of the students to have to do all of the modules, especially over a week [time period].”

Many more students made known what they liked and disliked about the training modules, such as Junior Maya Cruz and Senior Nick Baltz who both focused on what they enjoyed seeing in the course.

“I think the modules were actually a really good choice,” said Cruz. “They definitely taught us a lot, and gave us plenty of resources and good information.”

“They really got everyone in the right place with online school,” said Baltz. “Everyone knows what to expect and how to overcome problems.”

Unlike the previous two students, Senior Noah Dunhower alongside Hemmert pointed out things that could have been improved.

“I thought the course was organized really well, and was useful for students who wanted more info about their school,” said Senior Noah Dunhower. “However, it was somewhat tedious for returning students and the quizzes were not very useful in my opinion.”

“I didn’t like feeling as if I was an idiot to a degree,” said Hemmert. “The modules were trying to be informational, but weren’t very helpful to anyone who already knows the school system [and] how Schoology works (basically everyone that’s not a freshman or incoming student) … It felt like nothing but busy work.”

Despite Dunhower’s note of uncertainty in the course’s relevance for most returning students, he mentioned that he was thankful for the resources it provided.

“Even though most of us didn’t like it all that much, I think it was a great idea by administration to give everyone this resource, especially for new students,” said Dunhower. “I’m also glad they included a lot of info related to college, since many of us seniors want that resource.”

Mr. Roberts reiterated that this course was put in place to better ensure a more productive and educational experience through distance learning.

“We’re here to make this the best experience possible for our students and their families,” said Mr. Roberts. “We’re all in this together and hope that you feel connected and comfortable as we move forward. We recognize that this isn’t an ideal situation for anyone. However, we’re dedicated to making this an incredible school year. Thank you for all you do and for your continued support.” 

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Schoology training course yields praise, grievances