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OneNote Class Notebook

OneNote Class Notebook
Koen Timmers
by Koen Timmers
Educator - Author - Keynote speaker - Global Teacher Prize 2017 finalist

OneNote Class Notebook allows one to use OneNote in a classroom situation. Teachers can add students to a classroom and then distribute quizzes, handouts and homework to studetnts. Certain documents can be edited by the students. Some are read-only. Students' works can be reviewed in a blink of an eye. Via OneNote Class Notebook a teacher can make digital textbooks accessible via the Content Library and students can brainstorm & collaborate in Collaboration Spaces

There is just one condition: your schools needs to have an Office 365 account and your students need to have an email address, part of this account. 

There are 2 options to create class notebooks: using the website or using the Class Notebook add-in. We prefer the add-in since it allows to work directly in OneNote 2016. You can do both at This add-in is also available for Mac (read more).

After downloading and installing the add-in, a new tab will appear in OneNote:

Hit Create Class Notebook. You will be referred to your browser. 

STEP 1: creating a Class Notebook

Enter the name of your class (notebook):

Hit Next (2 times). 

You are now able to add an additional teacher (other than yourself) to a group. This is optional. 

Hit Next

You are now able to add students to your class. While entering the names, the browser will show all relevant students.

Hit Next

So now you are able to choose what should be inside the class notebook: handouts, class notes, homework, quizzes and more. Now it's time to decide what will be the purpose of this notebook. Will you share coursewarewill you share assessments, assignments, additional , do you want students to collaborate in spaces, 

Hit Next and Create.

Hit Open in OneNote. You will now be automatically referred to OneNote 2016. 

STEP 2: the structure of a Class Notebook

Let's take a closer look at your window:

STEP 3: Content Library and Collaboration space

1/ Content Library (yellow): this is a read-only notebook where teachers can share handouts with students.

Hit Content Library and enter some text, insert images, audio, video, hyperlinks, draw via your digital pen, etc. This notebook is read-only. This suits for the best to share courseware. 

By hitting you can go back to the overview. 


‚Äč2/ Collaboration Space (yellow): this is a notebook for every student - part of your class - to share, organize, and collaborate.

Take a look at this example in which students are brainstorming about one subject:

STEP 4: Distributing quizzes, handouts and homework to students

3/ Student Notebooks (red): these are private notebooks shared between the teacher and each individual student (Dirk Plessers, Jos Nys, Koen Nys). Teachers can access every student's notebook, while students can see only their own. All student notebooks contain 4 sections: handouts, class notes, homework and quizzes.

Hit on one student's name:

You are now accessing this student's personal notebook containing 4 sections: Handouts, Class notes, Homework and Quizzes. Each section can contain several pages. Only the teacher and students can both read and write. 

Let's add a quiz!

This quiz can be accessed by this one student in particular. But in a class of 21 students, we are not going to create quizzes for each student in person. Let's distribute this one quiz to all students. 

Hit Distribute Page and then Quizzes. The quizz is now available to all students!

By hitting Individual and Group Distribution you can even choose which students you want this quiz to be distributed to. 

Same procedure for homework and handouts!

STEP 5: Review student work

Time to review our students work. 

Hit Review Student Work > Quizzes. A new window appears at the right side. 

Hit Quiz 1 and a student's name. You are now able to review and grade your student's quiz.

The student can take a look at your feedback while you are reviewing! Consider adding audio to offer personal feedback. 


STEP 6: Add/remove students/teachers at all times

You are able to add or remove students or teachers at all times. You're also able to create new class notebooks. 


As you probably already noticed, OneNote Class Notebook allows schools and teachers to use OneNote as a Learning Management System (LMS). You can distribute homework, quizzes, notes, courseware, digital textbooks, handouts, documents to your students in a blink of an eye. Students can edit - or not - the documents you want them to edit. And the reviewing student work function is a time-saver. 


Interesting application: using Office Lens you can digitalize textbooks, assignments and other paper documents. Office Lens is a free app which automatically exports scans to OneNote. 

Want to know more? Take a look at this 2 minute video.


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