The Situation:

To win RFPs edtech companies must integrate with a school’s tech systems (think LMS, SIS, and IDM). But the development team only has enough capacity to build 1 LMS connection before back-to-school season. Here’s what to know for a clear decision.

Why Consider Schoology?

PowerSchool acquired Schoology. This will help Schoology’s growth and adoption. With over 20 million users, Schoology is a very common name in the LMS space. And since Schoology requires payment, users are more engaged from the beginning.

  • Schoology currently holds some statewide contracts. These schools can opt-in to use the LMS – securing an even larger market share for PowerSchool.
  • Schoology supports LTI v1.1 and LTI v1.3 integration specifications. LTI integrations are regularly requested from schools.
  • Schoology focuses on K-12 education. If your product does the same, then the demographic makes leads even more qualified.

Common Schoology Integration Errors

We find it better to compare problems so edtech developers and their teams know what to expect. For a Schoology connection, the LMS doesn’t code errors like others. Instead, the LMS will give sentences. We typically see these:

  • “You cannot delete grading periods that are used by any existing assignments”

The developer would have to go back and update each assignment to make sure they don’t refer to the grading period they want to delete. Then the developer can delete the grading period by Schoology.

  • “You cannot delete grading categories that are used by any existing assignments”

Like the messages above, each assignment can’t refer to the grading categories the developer wants to delete. Then the developer can delete the grading category by Schoology.

  • Assignments cannot be created in a “parent” grading period.

Parent grading periods are created when a “child” grading period has been created under it. For example, developers can create a grading period called “2020”, with a child grading period called “Fall 2020”. The developer can ONLY add new assignments to the “Fall 2020”. Any grading period that has children CANNOT have assignments added to it.

  • Schoology assignments must be associated with a grading period.
  • The developer team will have to rewrite its error handling code if Schoology changes the wording of its error messages.

Why Consider Google Classroom?

Google Classroom is another aspect of the myriad of Google products. In a 2021 press release, Google Classroom notes the 150+ million users the LMS has grown to.

  • On the development side of making the integration, Google’s documentation is easy to follow and use.
  • Using Google Classroom also creates Google accounts, which allows access to other Google Workspace products (e.g. Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides, etc.). This access is a selling point for the LMS. And the edtech product’s future development can leverage Google Workspace.
  • Google Classroom lets users authorize third-party applications. And development teams and administrators both have access to the Classroom API. With the authorization and access to the API, implementation in a classroom (and not a district) is possible.

Common Google Classroom Error Codes

Like we said, Google’s documentation is pretty good, so there are fewer complicated errors that we face. But we do regularly see these 3:

  • ProjectPermissionDenied | The Developer Console project is not permitted to make this request.

This error shows up when developers try to modify an assignment in the Google Classroom API that they didn’t create. I.e., if a teacher uses the Classroom API to create an assignment, the company can’t update it.

  • INVALID_ARGUMENT | Developers cannot modify the attachment(s) for an assignment.

The API throws that error if the developer tries to modify attachments for a submitted assignment.

  • There isn’t a “global roles” concept.

Developers won’t be able to identify roles like “schools”. If developer teams need to define a school in a particular district, the district’s information will lump together.

Which One Should You Choose?

If developers build integrations themselves, no option is fast, easy, or ideal. We suggest to choose the LMS that the development team is more equipped to tackle.

  • Which LMS fits better with how the company sells the product?
  • Would the development team be able to figure out the complex implementation of the LTI standard?
  • Could the product easily support being contained in an iFrame window?

Read More on Integration

Here are other articles we’ve written on Google Classroom and Schoology to help you on your journey:

If you're looking for a partner who can help guide you through developing LMS integrations (like Google Classroom or Schoology), then let’s introduce ourselves. We’re Edlink!