School IT Blog

Using G-suite to assign, monitor and receive work from students

Mon 13 July, 2020

The central tool of the G-suite education package is Google Classroom. This tool allows you to create a "Classroom" space for each of the classes you teach.

Your students can then join the relevant classroom using a unique code that they only need to enter once.

Stream and Communication

Once in the classroom students will first land on the stream section, this area gives a running thread of updates, a little like a social media feed. You can use this area to "share" with your students in the same way you would on social media platforms such as Facebook.

You can give pupils updates or reminders on tasks and assignments. Students can also comment or respond to your posts, which offers an ideal tool for communication with the class as a whole. If you set a task or assignment it will also automatically generate an update in the stream so students will be alerted to new tasks as you set them.

Assignments and Resources

The next tab along from the Stream is the Classwork tab. Here you can create assignments, add resources, and manage deadlines. This area also provides easy access to the class Google Drive folder, this is a dedicated folder on the school’s Google Drive which can only be accessed by students and pupils in that classroom. This adds to the control the teacher has in monitoring information and data shared with students.

Pupils will be able to see the assignments set in order of due date and unit/topic. They also have easy access to the class Google Drive folder and their student Google Calendar, which will include details of all their lessons and assignments from each of their classes.

When setting an assignment there is the option to add resources and links. This could include resources directly from the class Google Drive folder or videos you have uploaded. You can even link in resources from across the web, including the option to search for and link YouTube videos without leaving the classroom.

We have found that many teachers don’t realise they can schedule assignments in this section, which means that students will only be notified once the assignment goes live. This has led to many students being confused about what work is expected of them, with some doing all the assignments for a whole week in one day in a panic. By scheduling task/assignments, it allows you to plan and create assignments ahead of time and then schedule their release so students are not overwhelmed with a huge list of outstanding assignments.

Feedback and Marking

Once your students have completed work you can use the feedback tool to mark and review their work. In the classwork section, teachers can view set assignments and see how many students have submitted their work back for marking. By clicking on this section teachers can access the "student work" section. Here you will find a list of pupils with their work attached, if work has been turned in it will be shown in green ready for marking.

By clicking into each of the submissions you can then review, edit and mark the work, you can add notes to a section of the work by highlighting it and adding comments in the text box that appears. The system also remembers your frequently used comments so by using a hashtag and then starting to type your comment you can add common notes from the list offered. For example, #ad might give you the comment "add more detail". This speeds up marking, helping teachers to deal with their large workloads as effectively as possible. You can then add a grade/mark which is shown to the student individually and the teacher in the overall scores.

Once work is marked it turns from green to grey so teachers can at a glance see which submissions are completed and which are still waiting to be marked.