How to Manage Group Assignments in Google Classroom
Over the last decade, there has been a multitude of research to support the use of student groups and student collaboration for class assignments. Early online learning environments forced teachers to become creative in assigning and collecting collaborative work; however, current systems offer more options. The most recent updates to Google Classroom expanded the possibilities for students and teachers in regards to grouping assignments. Assigning lessons to groups of students in Classroom involves only a few simple steps and opens up possibilities which were not formerly available for teachers and students.
Step 1: Create Group Documents
The first step in assigning group work in Classroom is to create an assignment document (Doc, Sheet, etc.) and make a copy for each group. Be sure to add the group name or number to the end of the file name to assist with organization. Save group assignment documents in Drive where they can be easily located. Saving documents in the Classroom folder is acceptable.
Step 2: Create Group Assignment Topic
On the Classwork tab, select the Create button and choose Topic. Give the topic an appropriate name relative to the group project.
Step 3: Choose Students
Select the Create button and choose Assignment. In the Assignment dialogue box, click the student dropdown menu, uncheck “all students” and choose the students who will be in the first group. This step will be repeated later for additional groups.
Step 4: Create Assignment
In the Assignment dialogue box, give the assignment an appropriate title which includes the group name and/or number and provide any additional instructions. Remember to select the Topic for the group project. Next, upload assignment documents for the initial group, and be sure “Students Can Edit” is chosen as the document option instead of making a copy for each student. Don’t post the assignment yet – save as a draft until all groups are created.
Step 5: Reuse Assignment for Additional Groups
Using the “Reuse Post” feature helps teachers avoid the need to retype information for each group assignment. First, click the Create button and choose Reuse Post. The Reuse Post dialogue box will appear. Select the post to be duplicated and click Reuse. Finally, edit the assignment as needed for each group. Ensure that the group members are adjusted using the student dropdown menu and that the group number is changed in the title and instructions (if needed). Also, remember to remove the assignment documents for the prior group and upload the documents needed for the new group. Save additional group assignments as drafts (don’t post yet).
Step 6: Post All Group Assignments
Once all group assignment draft are complete, the final step is to post the assignments so students can begin working. Drafts of group assignments will appear under the group topic created in Step 1. Click the triple dot menu and select Edit. The Assignment dialogue box will appear in order for the assignment to be posted. Repeat this step for each group.