Microsoft releases Class Notebook add-in for OneNote 2016, brings new distribution methods

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Here at WinBeta, we’ve been chronicling the evolution of Class Notebooks for OneNote. From Class Notebook availability through the Office 365 App Launcher to the automation of notebook and roster creations with new API’s, OneNote’s Class Notebook has been a growing dependency on more than 400,000 teachers and 3.5 million students worldwide.

Now, OneNote’s Swiss army knife-like utility for education is being expanded up with the introduction of a Class Notebook add-in that was designed by and built with actual teacher input. The OneNote team is set to introduce the customer preview of the Class Notebook add-in, which brings a set of most-requested features that the OneNote team received from both teachers using feedback sources and those the team met during virtual collaboration sessions.

Class Notebook add-in for OneNote features include:

  • Easy and quick distribution of pages or new sections to students in one or more classes.
  • Individualization through the distribution of pages to specified students or student groups.
  • Ability to distribute a single chunk of text, an image or an ink selection to all or specified students in a Class Notebook.
  • Easy and quick copying of sections to the Content Library of one or more Class Notebooks.
  • Rapid sequential reviewing of student work (homework, assignments, quizzes, etc.) in one or more classes.
  • One-click launch of the Class Notebook app, including Create Class Notebook, Invite/Remove Students, Add/Remove Teachers and Get Notebook links.
  • Quick links to useful Professional Development and community resources.

Of the features highlighted, the OneNote team is reporting an overwhelming excitement to the addition of distribution models as well as student work review by teachers worldwide.

With the new Class Notebook add-in, teachers can now “now can distribute a page to specific students rather than everyone in the class. Additionally, educators can define their own groups of students to differentiate the distribution.”  As for checking a student’s work, teachers can now do rapid sequential reviewing of student work, with a new side panel making it easier to navigate information.


I LOVE ‘Review Student Work’ because it allows me to see specific assignments instead of going into each student’s tab, then that assignment, backing out and repeating again. It’s MUCH more efficient.”

—Teacher feedback in Class Notebook add-in pilot survey

The development of Class Notebooks is still underway and corporate vice president of Microsoft Education Marketing Tony Prophet wants to continue to surprise educators with new and delighting educational experiences. Prophet also used today’s announcement to hint towards another announcement soon, saying, “we expect to share more in April, so stay tuned!”

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