Streamline Your Grading with Google Classroom

The new Google Classroom update has a snazzy interface for grading your student’s assignments.



From this screen, you can click to open each student’s assignment, make comments, and enter a grade. Then you can ¨return¨ the assignments, either one at a time, or all at once when you have finished grading them.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful interface. All of my students can receive prompt, specific, personalized feedback, and they can get it when I am at home in my pajamas drinking coffee. Best of all, no trees had to die for this assignment.

But let’s be honest: Opening each assignment separately can be time consuming. Especially if you have over 150 students or your network connection isn’t very fast. As teachers, we all know the importance of prompt, specific feedback on student work. But sometimes we just need to scan the assignment and give credit for completion. Or maybe we don’t even need to grade the assignment at all.

There is a quick and easy way to view your students’ assignments. Before I tell you about it, I have to warn you. You will be traveling into the ¨Forbidden Land¨ (or, for you fellow Trekkies, the ¨Neutral Zone¨) of Google Classroom: The Classroom folder itself, located in My Drive. (If you want to unlock more secrets of this mysterious ¨Classroom¨ folder, I recommend reading Alice Keeler’s Blog.)


20150906cxFirst, locate the Classroom folder on My Drive. Ordinarily, you don’t really want to poke in here unless you know what you’re doing, because this folder contains all of the inner workings of your Google Classroom account. But don’t be afraid, as long as you don’t delete, rename, move, or edit any files in this folder, you should be fine.

Open the folder that contains your class. (This might be tricky if you have ever changed your class’s name, because the folder will still have the original name you used when you first created the class at the beginning of the year.

Inside, you should find a tidy set of shared folders, one folder for each assignment you have pushed out to your students. Find the folder for the assignment you want to look at, and open it.

Select all of the assignments you want to look at. Right-click (two-finger click on a Chromebook), and choose ¨Preview.¨


A dark Preview window should appear. You can now look at each student’s assignment. Use the small pointer buttons on the left and right sides of the window to switch between assignments. Remember, you’ll only be able to view your students’ work. From this window, you can neither add comments nor assign a grade.


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