Google Docs Collections in the Classroom-Student Inbox
Managing a large number of Google Docs with a large number of students can be a challenge. With some work upfront we can set up ‘collections’ to share assignments with students and allow them to share their finished product back to the teacher.
You will need to make ‘groups’ for each class you have. You can learn how more about that process here:
Create a class ‘Inbox’ collection- Keep this collection ‘Private’
The collection will show up looking like this: (We will come back to this later)
Create a class assignment ‘collection’ - Share with class group to ‘View’
You will find the sharing options for a ‘collection’ by clicking on the triangle to the right of the name:
The top collection will be for the class: ‘English 1 Assignments’
Create new collections under the class collection for units you are planning. (5 paragraph essay and How to Procedural Essay) You can choose the ‘Create new’ as shown above to make a new collection, or you can create a new collection and then ‘organize’ it under the top collection.
The assignment documents you create will need to be ‘organized’ under the appropriate unit. Note, you won’t see them under left hand sidebar in the hierarchy tree view, but instead the document will be found in the center of the screen.
Since we have already shared the top level collection ‘English 1 Assignments’ we automatically share every collection and document we create underneath it. Also, if we make an adjustment to an assignment document it will be automatically updated for every student. We only have to manage the one collection in the teacher doc’s account.
In the students accounts
Students will need to create an ‘Inbox’ collection- Share only with teacher
Instruct them to name the collection so you can recognize it ‘Last name, First name, Class, Inbox’
When the student share this collection with the teacher it will appear in the teacher’s Doc’s Home under ‘Collections shared with me’
The collection will need to be re-organized to the class ‘Inbox’ collection. Use the triangle to the right of the name again and select ‘organize’
Then check the box of class Inbox you created
Student will need to look under ‘Collections shared with me’ to find the Class Collection (English 1 Assignments) of assignments. Because students only have ‘view’ rights they will need to ‘Make a Copy’ of any assignment document they need to complete.
When viewing the document go to ‘File’ -> ‘Make a Copy’ this creates an editable copy of the assignment with the ‘Copy of’ added to the beginning of the original title.
Once the assignment is complete (or right after they create their own copy) the student will need to move the document under the ‘Inbox’ collection. This can be done by simply dragging the assignment to the ‘Inbox’ collection.
Now, the teacher will only need to go to student name under their own ‘Block 1 Inbox’ to see what ever assignments have been added.
This set up does take time up front, but it could end up saving a great deal of time in the long run.