Creating an assignment in Google Classroom
Assignments are the backbone of most lesson plans. Assignments can be products or projects. To create an assignment we click the circle with a plus symbol in the middle. This is located in the lower right corner of the Stream section page.
Hover your mouse over the circle to see the available options. We can create an announcement, assignment, question, and reuse a post. Click the icon to create an assignment.
An assignment box opens where we can create a variety of assignments that can include a variety of digital resources. Assignments can be distributed to all the students in the class or they can be distributed to select students. This provides opportunities for teachers to create assignments that target students in Special Education, Gifted and Talented, Limited English and many others. With specific lessons for individual students, we can provide differentiation and scaffolding for students at many levels.
A basic assignment includes a title for the assignment. I always tell my teachers that they should be as specific as possible in these assignments. Providing detail about the assignment helps when we need to go back to an assignment for any reason. For example, assignments shouldn’t be titled “molecule lesson 1”, “mass lesson 2”, “motion lesson 3” and so on. They should be more like “measuring the mass of a solid object with a balance scale”.
Below the title, we have a section for instructions. The section looks like there is just room for one line of instructions but this field expands to include a lengthy text box for instructions. Just keep typing.
Each assignment can include a due date. Clicking the disclosure arrow next to the due date will display a calendar so we can choose a date.
Next to the due date, we have a topic option. Topics are a great way to organize assignments. For example, we can include topics for assignments dealing with mass, motion, atoms, and molecules.
We can add a variety or resources to any assignment. The three icons at the bottom of the assignment box allow us to include attachments from our computer, media from our Google Drive, links to video on YouTube and links to Internet resources.
Media attached from our computer is uploaded to Google Drive and placed in that folder we learned about earlier. The same holds true for media selected from our Google Drive. A copy is placed in the folder instead of moved to that folder. That’s a useful point to keep in mind.
Media in assignments like Docs, Sheets, Slides, PDF documents and other similar media can be distributed in different ways. This media is to be viewable by students when it is added. This means students can only see the documents or media. This is useful when providing assignment detail documents or even rubrics.
The option can be changed so students can edit the document. This means that all students that receive the document will be able to edit the document. This is useful if the teacher wants students to collaboratively work on a document. At the heart of any Google Document is the ability to share and collaborate on Docs, Sheets, and Slides. For example, a teacher could set up a document with three sections for each student in a group of three to provide the information for that section. It can also be used with a Google Slide where the teacher wants each student with access to the document to create a slide with his or her information. The object of the assignment would be to have the students communicate and collaborate on a project or product.
The third option is for students to each receive a copy of the document. This means that a copy will be placed in the student’s folder and the student will be able to use the document for the assignment. This is typical when a teacher provides a series of questions for the student to answer. The student will be able to answer the questions in the document and return the same document within Google Classroom for review by the teacher and a grade. Each returned assignment by each student will be linked to the student’s account for a grade.
Assignments assigned to students take place in real time. This means that once the teacher clicks the Assign button the student will have access to the assignment.
Teachers can opt to schedule the assignment for distribution a later date. In that case, the teacher will click the disclosure arrow next to the button and choose the Schedule option. The teacher can also choose to save the assignment as a draft. This is useful if the teacher is still working on the lesson plan or gets called away during the creation of the assignment.
Scheduling an assignment is very useful for busy teachers. Google Classroom takes care of releasing an assignment on a set date and time. This is ideal for blended classrooms. Scheduling an assignment is also useful for teachers that are going to be out for one or more days.