Assignments

Today we are going to take a look at Assignments in Google Classroom. Assigning work is super easy, and it has many benefits both for you and your students:

  • Students access all their assignments in one place. There are no lost papers or forgotten instructions. Everything is right there.
  • You don't spend time at the copy machine. Instead of making multiple copies of assignment or project instructions, you create it in a Google Doc and share it in Classroom. Made a mistake that would require you to throw out all those copies you made and do it all over again? No sweat! Just make the change in the Google Doc and the kids have it.
  • Have a multiple choice quiz on paper that you would otherwise (again) have to spend some time at the copy machine, pass it out to the kids and then have to correct it! Not anymore. Turn that quiz into a self-grading Google Form and the work is done in no time.

There are more examples, and I could go on, but you get the picture. Using Assignments in Google Classroom is only going to help you. Any work that you put in on the front end will be paid back to you in dividends later.

Assignments

Any assignment that you give is created in the Classwork tab. Remember in Getting Organized we talked about organizing assignments and material in Topics? Well here is where that comes into play. 

PRO TIP: Visit the Google Classroom Help website for more instructions and how-tos: https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/answer/6020265?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop#zippy=%2Ccreate-an-assignment

So, go to Classwork and click on "Create" then "Assignment". Enter the title and any instructions. You can attach docs, slides, drawings, PDFs, and more. You can add anything that is relevant to the assignment. For many types of files that you attach to an assignment, you have three options for how the student interacts with the file:

  • Students can view file - this is useful for instructions where they can view the file, but not edit it.
  • Students can edit file - this is useful if you want all the students to edit the same document; great for group work and collaboration
  • Make a copy for each student - this is probably the most common selection. Each student gets their own copy of the Docs, Sheets, or Slides file with their name added to the document title. Both you and your student can edit the document. When they turn it in, they can't edit it anymore until you return it to them. Careful with this, too, because this option is only available BEFORE you post the assignment. If you forget to select this option, you'll need to remove the original assignment and re-post it with this option selected.

When you are done, keep going to post, schedule or save your assignment.

Managing Assignments

To Post this assignment, you have the ability to post it to one or multiple classes, so if you have multiple sections of the same class, and they each have their Google Classroom, you can easily do that from this page.

On the other hand, if this is an assignment that you have to give to just an individual or a small group of students in one class, you can also post to individual students.

Once you've decided who to post the assignment to, give the assignment a grade category. This is different from topics in the Classwork tab. Grade categories organize assignments in your gradebook, and can apply different weight values in calculating averages and grades. Going along with this, you'll want to give the assignment a point value or select "Ungraded".

  • By default, an assignment has no due date. If you want to set a due date, select the date and time that you'd like it due by. Note that students can still submit work after the due date, it is marked "Missing" after the due date, and then "Turned in late" as soon as it is turned in after the due date.
  • Next you can add your Topic to organize it in the Classwork Tab.
  • And a rubric if applicable to this assignment.
  • To Post the assignment, click "Assign" to immediately post the assignment.
  • To schedule the assignment to post later, click on the down arrow next to "Assign" and choose the date and time. At the time of this recording, you can only schedule assignments posted to a single class. This is expected to change.
  • Alternatively, you can save the assignment as a draft. Again, click the down arrow next to "Assign" and choose "Save draft".

Some other tips related to this:

  • You can edit assignments after they are posted. Keep in mind that if you made a copy for each student, and edit the original, students will NOT see the edit on their version. There are ways to make this happen, but it usually requires an add-on or an extension.
  • You can add class comments to assignments. This is useful if you keep getting the same question asked over and over and want the whole class to know the answer to the question.
  • You can reuse assignments. This is useful if you want to schedule assignments for later use in multiple classes, and if you want to use the assignment in another term or school year.
  • You can delete assignments. If you end up needing to delete an assignment, you can do this too.

That's it for the basics on assignments. Go on and dive deeper into Class Comments and Communication in the next section.