Classroom Gets Cooler with Single View of Student Work

Once a class gets going, there is a great deal of information that moves back and forth between teacher and student. Google has made it easier to keep track of all this communication for both teachers and students with the new single view of student work.

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Single View for Teachers

Navigate to the Student tab where the roster of students is displayed. Clicking on any student will open the single view screen for that student, displaying a list of all of the assignments that you have currently assigned and the status of each for that particular student. In addition to the name of each assignment and its due date, this view shows information on:

  • The number of attachments in each assignment.
  • The number of private comments that have taken place between you and the student.
  • The current status of each assignment.

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You can use the filter tools to the left of the window to only show assignments of a certain status (turned in, returned with grade, or missing). Unlike the To-Do tool (formerly called ‘Work’) which showed the status of student work by assignment, this view gives teachers an overall picture of the status of each student.

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Navigate to the About tab in a class. Note that the shortcuts to the Google Drive folder and the two Calendar views for the class have been moved to a box in the top-left corner of the page. A new tool has been added called ‘Your work.’ Clicking on this will open the single view screen and list all of the assignments that have been posted. Much of the information displayed in the teacher single view is also available in the student single view, including filters to show assigned, returned with grade, and missing. Students can also access this screen from the Classroom home screen by clicking on the icon in the bottom-right corner of each class card. When paired with the ‘To-Do’ tool which gives an overall view of their academic responsibilities across all of their classes, these two views provide students multiple ways to check and evaluate their status in each of their classes.

Single View for Mobile Devices

Where the single view really shines is for accessing this information on a mobile device. While students can access their To-Do tool from the Classroom mobile app, there is no tool for teachers. And as I stated above, the the single view for both teachers and students provide a wealth of information and filtering options even on the mobile device.

single view mobile devices

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Classroom Gets Cooler with Grade Importing from Forms

gClass&gForms shake handsFirst Google improved the communication between Google Forms and Classroom so that, when a student submitted the Form they would see an option to TURN IN the assignment (more info. here). Then Google introduced the “Quiz” feature to Google Forms with point values, pre-written feedback options, and the ability to decide when student grades would be released to them. Now, Classroom and Forms are shaking hands once again, allowing us to important grades from a quiz-enabled Form directly into a Classroom assignment.

  • When you add a Google Form to an assignment in Classroom using the Drive icon, a note and toggle switch will appear at the bottom of the window. The note explains how your Google Form quiz will be configured in order for grade importing to be carried out successfully.

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  • Once the assignment has been posted, students have submitted their answers, and their responses have been assessed then you are ready to import the grades into Classroom.
  • Open the assignment, and in the top-right corner click on the IMPORT GRADES button.

Import grades from Forms2Classroom

NOTE:

  • Importing grades in this fashion will overwrite any grades previously entered.
  • If you neglected to enable grade importing before posting the assignment, then you can still use the traffic light icon (i.e. 3 vertical dots) to ‘Edit’ the post and turn on this feature.

Because this feature was announced literally just yesterday I haven’t had time to go through the process yet with one of my classes. However, I do have an assessment ready to go and will be posting it later today. And then, we’ll see what happens!

Please refer to the Google Education Help Article and look under the Grade and return an assignment to a student section for more information.

Classroom Gets Cooler with Class Cards Reordering

I’ll admit it, I love being organized…a lot. And when it comes to Google Classroom there is no exception. I like my class cards setup so that they are in the order that my classes run at the start of each week. This meant creating my classes in reverse order so that the last class that I made would be listed first on the Classes screen. If I made a mistake then, oh well. That is, until now!

At your Google Classroom homescreen (called Classes), you will see the cards for all of the classes you’ve either created or joined. Click anywhere on a card to drag it to its new location.

THAT’S IT!

Students can reorder their class cards too, so that they are no longer locked into the order in which they join their classes each term.

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Classroom Gets Cooler with Class Code Display

At the start of each new term I create a new class in Google Classroom and then copy the class code to paste it into a Google Slides deck. This way, when students arrive for our first meeting together I can project the code on my presentation device large enough for them to transcribe it into their devices. Now Google has made this process even easier.

Display class code menuUnder the Student tab you will find the join code for your class. Clicking the disclosure triangle to the right of the code displays a drop-down menu with the new option to ‘Display’ the code.  This will enlarge the code and display it boldly in the browser window. Clicking on the box in the bottom-right corner of the code window will enlarge the code further to fill your entire browser window.

Class join code displayed

 

Classroom Gets Cooler with More Notification Options

Classroom_sidebar_menuI love Google Classroom. All of the notifications that I tend to get from Classroom, not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate some of the notifications I get, for example when students re-submit assignments because they are challenging themselves to improve upon their work and demonstrate mastery of the standard(s) being assessed. Thankfully, Google Classroom has expanded their notification settings so that we can decide which types of notifications we want to get.

From the home screen inside of Google Classroom, click on the hamburger icon in the top-left corner to reveal the menu sidebar. Scroll down to the very bottom of the list and clicking on Settings.

Now, in addition to turning on/off all Classroom notifications, you can now customize Classroom notifications based on comments, activity in classes that you’re enrolled in (i.e. a student) and classes you teach.

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I still have a filter rule in my Gmail for all email notifications from Classroom to bypass my Inbox and drop directly into a label. However, these improved controls will help better manage those notifications that I want to receive, especially from the Classroom app on my mobile device.

#FirstDayofClassroom

As the summer break comes to an end and educators begin preparations for the return of students (and with some already in session), now seems like a good time to chat about the benefits that Google Classroom can have on your class. Google has been hard at work during the summer hiatus listening to the feedback they’ve received from educators like you and have introduced significant improvements to the app. We will spend the next weeks going over these changes, some of which are very, very cool!

To begin, Google has announced a new resource for educators called #FirstDayofClassroom, which has a little something for everyone.

  • If you’re new to Classroom, then check out “The Basics” with YouTube videos that cover setting up your class, adding students, assigning work, and grading assignments inside of Classroom.
  • If you’ve tried Classroom before and are looking for the next steps, then check out the “Teacher’s Lounge” with videos on tips, tricks, and best practices from fellow educators.

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  • Do you prefer documents over videos that you can print out and have in-hand at a moment’s notice? Then scroll down to the “Handy Guides” section.

screenshot of 3 PDF guides available for download

If you or someone you know is new to Google Classroom then this site is definitely bookmark-worthy. If you are familiar with Classroom or perhaps even a veteran, then check back often for news and updates as additional resources and support materials are in the works.

 

Adding Shared Items to Google Classroom Error

ADD button in gClassroomOne of the many features found inside of Google Classroom is the ability for students to ‘ADD’ additional artifacts to an assignment. This is a valuable tool as it allows students to demonstrate their understanding and ability to meet the standard(s) using a wide variety of tools and then attach the artifacts to the assignment. This option is so important that the first assignment I give to my students is to practice using this tool by ADDING a screenshot of their favorite Chromebook app.

The effectiveness of this tool came into question recently when a student attempted to ADD a Google Doc that was shared with their partner. The student who created the gDoc, (i.e. the owner) was able to successfully ADD the shared file to the Classroom assignment. However, not only was their partner (i.e. with ‘Can edit’ access) unable to ADD the shared file but could not even find the gDoc, even though they confirmed that the file was in their Google Drive.

What the Google is going on?

Thanks to some ingenious troubleshooting by a pair of 6th grade students, we discovered that a student may only ADD a file to an assignment in Classroom if they are the owner of that file. So, this is what the girls did:

  1. Student A, who created the gDoc, navigated to Google Classroom and used the ADD tool to attach the file to the assignment.
  2. She then went to the gDoc in Drive and used the Share tool to transfer ownership of the file to her partner, student B.
  3. Student B, now the owner of the gDoc, navigated to Google Classroom and used the ADD tool to attach the file to the assignment.

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Now, some may say that this is only a minor inconvenient issue. However, not knowing why both project partners cannot attach a shared file to an assignment has caused frustration for several of my students. Plus, I can’t help but brag just a little bit for the two students whose independent troubleshooting solved this mystery for us.