New updates for the OneNote Class Notebook add-in, including LMS assignment and grade integration

Since launching the OneNote Class Notebook add-in a month ago, tens of thousands of teachers have downloaded and started using it. The reaction has been tremendous and we have been hearing from happy teachers all over the world. We’ve also seen some amazing creativity from teachers who have already deeply integrated the add-in into their classroom pedagogy, such as this example from Marija Petreska from Macedonia.

Since the initial launch of the Class Notebook in 2014, one of the top requests we’ve had from teachers and schools was to allow Class Notebooks to integrate more deeply with assignments and grades, as well as the workflow of existing Learning Management Systems (LMS) or related systems. We have worked with our education partners around the world and we want to share the latest enhancements to allow even more integration with assignments and grades.

With today’s update, teachers can create and grade assignments in your Class Notebook that show up in their Learning Management System (LMS) or the new Microsoft Classroom. We are announcing over 25 partners that have committed to working with OneNote, with nine going live today and many more coming soon in future updates to the add-in. To see the current list of committed education partners, please visit our new OneNote Education Partners page. In addition to assignment and grading integration, based on feedback we’ve heard from teachers, we have many other improvements to make their lives a little bit easier. Watch this Office Mix by a teacher to understand how all these new improvements to Class Notebook work together:

Connect OneNote and your Class Notebook to your Learning Management System (LMS)

The first step is to connect OneNote to your LMS or related system. To do this, click the new Connections button on the toolbar. You will see a drop-down that allows you to connect to your LMS, as well as map your Class Notebook to a specific course. Choose your system and then put in the proper authentication mechanism. This might include username, password and optional URL. Step-by-step instructions can be found in our updated Class Notebook add-in getting started guide. You can also find detailed set-up videos for each LMS found at our new OneNote Education Partners page.

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If you don’t have the information you need, your IT admin should be able to help out. More details can be found in our Class Notebook add-in deployment for IT administrators page.

Create an assignment

Once OneNote is connected to an LMS, you can select a OneNote page and easily create an assignment entry into the LMS or system that you use. This allows the OneNote information to show up in the LMS assignment and calendar components and integrate with the workflow teachers are already using. In addition, when you create an assignment, the page will be copied to the section you choose for all student private notebooks.

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To walk through the full details of how to create assignments, see our updated Class Notebook add-in getting started guide. You can now easily push assignments from OneNote directly into your LMS or similar system. In the example below, you can see a simple diagram showing how the assignment starts in the OneNote Create Assignment dialog with a Problem of the Week page called #15–PoW. By creating the assignment in OneNote, you can push it directly into Canvas.

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Push grades from OneNote to your LMS

Another top request we’ve heard was to have the ability to push grades directly to the LMS or related system that a school is using. This allows a teacher to save time every day when entering grades. With today’s Class Notebook add-in update, you can now enter grades directly into OneNote that can be pushed into supported systems!

Using our #15-PoW assignment example, here’s how grades are entered:

  1. From the Class Notebook tab, select the Review Student Work drop-down and then select Homework. This is the section where the #15-PoW was distributed to for each student.
  2. The Review Student work pane is displayed on the right. Now that the Class Notebook add-in is connected to an LMS or related system, the Enter grades checkbox is displayed.
  3. Select Enter grades checkbox and a small field with ___/100 appears next to where each student’s name is displayed.
  4. When you click William Hunt, his assignment page in OneNote will open. You can mark Williams Hunt’s page in OneNote and then give a score in the grading field in the Review Student Work dialog as well. This process is repeated for each student.

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When finished, click the Submit button and the grades are pushed directly into your LMS. Here is an example of pushing grades from OneNote directly into Canvas and another example pushing grades into Brightspace.

Grades from OneNote to Canvas.

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Grades from OneNote to Brightspace.

Additional Class Notebook add-in improvements

In addition to assignment and grade integration, we received lots of educator feedback about improvements for the add-in. The latest update today includes the following improvements:

  • The ability to Undo (or “recall”) a distributed page that inadvertently went to your students.

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  • The ability to distribute new Section Groups to your students for scenarios like new units in class.

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  • The ability to distribute new sections into your students’ New Section Groups for a new project or lesson within that new unit.

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  • The performance of distributing new sections is much faster.
  • More icons—small section, notebook and people icons added into our dialogs.
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes, stability and setup improvements.
  • Ability for IT administrator to deploy a .MSI installation of the add-in across a school or district, rather than having individual teachers need to install the add-in.

We hope you enjoy these updates to the Class Notebook add-in and keep sending us your feedback!