This is part 2 of a three part guide. View part one and part three.
Google Classroom is one of Google’s newest, most useful, and least understood products. My inbox is constantly filled with questions on how to best use all of the features Classroom offers and often times I don’t know the answers. That was until a very knowledgeable reader graced me with this massive guide on everything one needs to know to get started on Google Classroom.
Last week I posted part one of this guide, covering logging in to inviting your students. Now I present part two, which goes even deeper into Google Classroom and details such tasks as setting comment rules all the way to posting and grading assignments. There is still one more part to come of this in depth guide, but don’t wait to dig into this second installment and explore all that Classroom has to offer.
6. Setting Student Comment Rules
If you just invited students to your class you should still be in this student screen. In that screen there is a button in the middle of the page that will initially say: Students can post and comment.
When you click on that it will give you three options.
1. Students can post and comment – No restrictions, basically Google Classroom’s version of Facebook.
2. Students can only comment – Students can only comment on your post.
3. Only teacher can post or comment – No student comments at all.
7. Student Commenting – Teacher Knows All
I always make sure the students know that you as the teacher see all in Google Classroom. You can see any posts they make – EVEN IF THEY DELETE THEM –
8. Options on a Student Comment
On a student post click on the action button at the right side of the post (3 dots). This will give you three options.
1. Move to top – This will move the post to the top of the stream page in Google Classroom.
2. Delete – Erases comment completely
3. Mute – Removes the student’s ability to comment at all in the stream or on your posts. (This does not remove their capability to do assignments or answer questions.)
9. Stream Tab
The stream tab is where everything happens once you get your classroom up and running. Think of it like Facebook. Anytime you post anything it will go to the top of the page. Announcements, Questions and Assignments are all posted from here. The fourth option is to reuse a previous post. Below you will see what the stream page looks like when you first set it up. You have to click on the + button in the lower right hand corner of the screen to display the options.
The stream is where all comments show up from students as well. Take notice of the three boxes on the side.
The above screenshot is from an active class. It is the work due soon box in the upper left hand. It gives all users a quick glance view of what due dates are coming up.
Earlier I mentioned the teacher could see all comments, even the deleted ones. The middle box is where you do that.
The last box is another place you can show students the class code to join the class.
10. Creating an Assignment
This is where the everyday use really gets going. When you click on the “create an assignment” button the following screen appears.
You then fill in the details.
-Top line is the Title of the assignment.
-Second row is the description* (Optional)
*I usually use this to include the directions for the assignment.
Click on the due date to select when you want it due.
You can even be as specific as setting a time.
Select the files you want to attach. If you look at the bottom you have several options for file types.
If you use the 2nd button, which is Google Drive, you have even more options.
1. Students can view file
1a. Use for a document you want the students to see, but not edit.
2. Students can edit file
2a. All the students would edit the SAME document. This is great for class discussions.
3. Make a copy for each student.
3a. This puts a copy of the attached document in their Google Drive and allows them to edit it and then turn it in. This makes the process totally paperless.
Next to the attachment section you will see the class name with a down arrow. If you click on that it will show you all the classes you have created. Then click on each class you want the assignment in, which makes it so you don’t have to rewrite the assignment for each class.
11. Adding Forms in Google Classroom (New as of 10/8/2015)
Until recently, it was hard to link to Forms into Classroom. Google for EDU has just released an update to solve this. When you attach a Form (usually an online quiz or survey) the student receives a link that takes them straight to the Form. They click submit to finish the Form/quiz and it automatically marks them as done in Google Classroom.
Click HERE for animation on the process.
12. See the Student’s Work During the Whole Process
One of the greatest things about Google Classroom is you can monitor the student’s work during the whole process. After you assign it, the student clicks on the link to open it. This creates the document in their Drive, if you selected that option, and then shares it with you within classroom. You can then do a quick check to see who has done what.
13. Assigning a Grade
As you can see above in the view of the student’s work, you can also assign a grade. After you view their work, go to the other side of the screen and add their grade.
You can change the point value for the assignment up top. It has preset values and you can enter you own value as well.
When you are ready to return the assignment click on the student you want to return and click the return button above. This will trigger an email with their grade being sent to them and a copy of their assignment.
Click Here to go to Part 3.
UP NEXT: Deprovisioning in Office 365: Your Security Depends on It
I’ve said many times that Google Forms is the greatest thing since sliced bread. If you are not using Google Forms, check out my directions for using Google Forms for Formative Assessment. The best way to distribute a Google Form to your students is through Google Classroom. Here is how to do that.
Google Classroom Update
Note: Google Classroom has updated how you attach Forms. Simply create your Form in Google Drive. In Google Classroom use the Google Drive icon to attach the Form from Drive. Google Classroom automatically distributes the live view to students.
Still Good Information about Google Forms:
Create a Form
Go to http://drive.google.com and create a Form using the “New” button. Note that when you create a Form you are in EDIT mode. If you look at the END of the URL it says /edit.
Do NOT share the /edit URL with the students.
You want students to fill out the live view of the Form. From the edit screen there is a button in the toolbar that says “View live form.” You want to click on this button. Alternatively you can click on the blue “Send form” to copy the live form URL.
When looking at the live view of the Form you will want to copy the URL. I use Control L to highlight the URL and Control C to copy it.
Notice that the end of the URL says /viewform. Double check that this is the URL you have copied.
While you made the Google Form in Google Drive, do NOT attach the Form from the Google Drive icon in Classroom. The Form in Google Drive is the EDIT screen. You do not want students to edit the Form, you want them to fill out the Form.
If you try to attach the Google Form using the Google Drive icon you will get an error message: “Oops! You can’t attach Google Forms directly. Please add a link to the form.”
Link to Form
Click on the link icon when creating an assignment or announcement in Google Classroom. You will paste the link to the live view of the Google Form. Click “ADD” to add the link to the assignment.
The Google Forms data goes into a Google Sheets spreadsheet. You can access this spreadsheet in Google Drive. I encourage teachers to have the spreadsheet open as students submit the Form to see the answers come in live.
Another way to access the spreadsheet is to open the Google Form that is linked in Google Classroom. You would be looking at the live view form, just like the students. If you are the editor of the Form and you are signed in, you will notice a black box to “Edit this form” in the upper right-hand corner. Students will not see this option since they do not have editing rights.
Click on the black button. This will take you to the edit screen of the Form. Click on the “View Responses” button in the toolbar to open the spreadsheet.