Park pride Schoology notifications harm community

Alerts Interrupt learning environment


Sadie Yarosh

Students receive Schoology notifications relating to #parkpride: Purpose, Relationships, Inclusiveness, Dependability, and Excellence. Notifications can be sent out multiple times throughout the day.

Colin Canaday

Every day, at seemingly inconsistent times, hundreds of Park students receive Schoology notifications designed to recognize their accomplishments in five specific areas: Purpose, Relationships, Inclusiveness, Dependability and Excellence.

Although this program was clearly created with good intentions, its desired effect of creating an inclusive community is directly overshadowed by the irritating amount of notifications each day, in turn devaluing Schoology notifications as a whole.

Designed to specifically recognize accomplishments, each notification falls in to one of the five themes of Purpose, Relationships, Inclusiveness, Dependability and Excellence (PRIDE). The issue is that these notifications don’t exemplify the community in any of these categories, and in some cases actually harm it. Each notification contains three predictable parts: The name of the student or teacher given a shout out, the reasoning behind their shoutout and what category of PRIDE it demonstrates.  The predictability of these messages takes away from the little enjoyment that came from reading them in the first place. Plus, the notifications simply aren’t that groundbreaking. Similar to the format stated above, each message, which is meant to be unique and individual, follows a similar theme.

The sheer amount of notifications per day, reaching upward of four per day, devalues the Schoology notifications as a whole and takes away the meaning of what they say. Students use Schoology notifications to keep in touch with teachers, and stay on top of assignments. Before Park pride notifications, there was the universal expectation that if you got a message on Schoology, it would be important. With Park pride notifications, this expectation is ruined and the entire system is devalued. Every notification in the future, along with content, will carry the nagging thought of  “does this really matter?” and “is this going to be important?”

While the idea of a platform displaying this community’s accomplishments is not inherently flawed, the execution of Park pride notifications most certainly is. In order to rejuvenate the system they currently have, several changes need to be made regarding the timing and format of the messages. First, the timing needs to be more uniform. Having a set amount of notifications per week, and uploading them at consistent times, on consistent days. Second, the format of messages needs to have more variety. Having every message look exactly the same takes away from the special feeling experienced when receiving a shout out. By adding individuality to the messages, it creates a better experience for every party involved, removing the monotony of the process.

At the end of the day, while Park pride notifications have good intentions of sharing the helpful acts of our community, they fail due to their poor execution. Through the simple changes noted above, Park pride notifications can become both useful and beneficial to the Park community.