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August 29, 2013 / carlispina

Trying Out is a new class management tool that was recently released in beta. As the school year starts, they are hoping to offer a new way for teachers, particularly at the college level, to track their student’s assignments, grades and attendance. While it currently only offers a few simple features, I wanted to take a look to see what it has to offer.

The first thing that is noticeable about the platform is its focus on simplicity and a clean user interface. The platform is spare and, since it is built on Bootstrap, the site is completely responsive (though some of the navigational buttons do end up a bit squished in smaller windows), making it usable on any device. Because the platform currently only offers a limited number of options, those functions are very intuitive. For example, the process of adding students is straightforward, though you can only add a limited amount of information (name, email and, if desired, student ID number) to student profiles. Once you have added students, you can track attendance, tardies, and grades on assignments. The tool to add assignments allows you to include name, due date and a brief description of the assignment, but unfortunately, it does not allow you to upload copies of the assignments. In fact, that is one drawback for the entire platform; it does not offer a way to upload copies of your class materials, which will necessitate a separate system for tracking them. Once the entire class has been input, you can contact students as a group or individually directly from the platform, which makes it easy to keep in touch with a class. However, does not provide an inbox or a way to tie these messages to your own email address, so students will not be able to respond to messages sent through the platform. [Edit: See’s clarification on this point in the comments below.]

Overall, is an interesting new entrant in the classroom management tool market, but at this point its features are still fairly barebones. If the functionality listed above meets your needs, it is a nice new option and very affordable with free accounts available for those who only need to track one class and a premium account available for $5 a month that allows for unlimited classes. It will be interesting to see how continues to develop and which new features they opt to add to the platform.


One Comment

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  1. Shane Reustle (@reustle) / Aug 29 2013 12:48 pm

    Hey, thanks for the writeup! I just wanted to respond to this part

    > does not provide an inbox or a way to tie these messages to your own email address, so students will not be able to respond to messages sent through the platform.

    All messages you send from our platform are sent “from” your email address and the replies to those messages will go directly to your email account. We may build out the messaging feature more in the future, and would love to hear your feedback if it’s important to you!

    Let us know if you have any questions 🙂

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