Grading & Assessments

Hi, and welcome back! Built into Google Classroom is a simple grade management tool. You have the ability to set up grading categories and weights, and allow students to check up on the grades they earned as well as their overall average. Although these features can be really nice, sometimes they duplicate systems you already have in place, like your school’s SIS.

To get started, I’ll give you an overview of what is possible in terms of grading in Google Classroom, and then I’ll give you my recommendations for your setup. 

Grading Overview

In grading, you can choose “Total points” or “Weighted by category” grading. In both of these, grades are calculated for you, and you can let your students check their overall grade for the class. If you don’t want to use a grading system, you can choose No overall grade. Grades won’t be calculated and students can’t check their overall grade (in Google Classroom).

Additionally, you can organize your class work into grade categories. We talked about this briefly when we discussed Assignments. Remember categories are different from assignment topics in that topics organize your assignments on the Classwork tab, while categories organize your assignments based on grading. For example, you can setup categories like Assessments, Homework, Discussion, etc.

If you choose to calculate grades, grades are calculated for the duration of the class. So, if you want grades to reset each term, you’ll have to create a new Google Classroom for each new term.

For more details on setting up your grading, visit the Google for Workspace support article here: https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/answer/9184995?hl=en 

OK, so now for my recommendation. Having grades in two different locations can get confusing for parents and students. My recommendation is that you choose “No overall grade” for your grading system in Google Classroom. The reason for this is that your school’s SIS should be the one stop shopping place to have updated information about grades. When students or parents can see overall grades in both the SIS and in Google Classroom, often they will notice a discrepancy because not all grades are recorded in both places. You should keep your SIS as the holder of information for all the grades.

I do recommend, however, that you use grading categories. I think that is helpful to be able to quickly glance at the various assignment types you have in Google Classroom. When possible, it’s best to have the grading categories in Google Classroom match whatever format you tag or categorize assignments in your SIS.

Creating Assessments

Related to grading, let's slightly switch gears and talk about assessments. Not really a Google Classroom specific feature, Google Forms is a great tool to use to create self-grading assessments. In addition to being self-grading, Google Forms will report the results of the assessment to the grading section of Classroom.

To get started, create a Google Form. At the top of the form, click “Settings” and turn on “Make this a quiz”. An optional step is to also collect email addresses by going to “Responses” click the down arrow and turn on “Collect email addresses”.

Once you set that up, you can add your questions, make an answer key, assign points, and give automatic feedback. The most straightforward questions to assess automatically are multiple choice questions. You can also set correct answers in short answer text, but sometimes extra characters ($) and capitalization or spelling errors can mark an otherwise correct answer incorrect.

When you are done creating your quiz and give it to the students, you get automatic reports based on the responses to the assessment with charts and graphs. You can then share the results with your students and display them within Google Classroom.

For more specific instructions related to Google Form assessments, check out this help article from Google: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/7032287?hl=en