Google Classroom was designed to make teaching, interaction, and grading easier for students and the teacher. However, you could be underutilizing some of its great features.
If you’re just getting used to Google Classroom, we’ve put together this guide to make it easier for you to maximize its features.
So, to help you leverage it as much as you can, here are ten Google Classroom tips to help you get the best out of it.
Tip 1. Organizing Your Stream
The Stream in Google Classroom is the landing page where students can comment and find announcements. The stream, which shows everything people post, is what students see once they join the classroom. It needs to be organized, or it could become rowdy and disorganized.
You can modify your Google Classroom Stream before students start commenting, and you can do this by going to the settings at the top right corner and clicking on it. Once you’re on the settings page, under the “General” section, you’ll find the “Stream” button; from there, you can organize what is seen on the class stream page and how students can comment on it.
When a class is ongoing, you may limit how students can comment and modify it when the class is ongoing, and you need to hear from them during the school year.
Under the class stream page settings, you can also modify how you want assignments to be submitted. Then, when students see the assignment on the stream, your settings will show how you want to receive them, either condensed or in detail.
Remember, you need to organize the stream settings before inviting students to the Google Classroom.
Tip 2. Managing Your Email
One aspect of the Google Classroom that many users find unpleasant is the email notifications system. You get notified about virtually everything happening in the classroom, most of which you don’t need.
You can modify your email settings to ensure you only receive notifications on necessary emails.
Click the menu icon on the top left corner, then scroll down to “Settings.” Next, click on it and scroll down to “Notifications.” You can then switch off the email button, and you won’t receive notifications anymore.
Otherwise, you may adjust the settings to switch off notifications for things that are not important to you.
Tip 3. Making Sure the Most Important Information Is at the Top of the Stream
You already know from the first tip that the stream could get rowdy and important information could get lost in the crowd. Getting the most important information at the top of the stream means students readily see it when they log into the Classroom.
To do this, click on the three vertical buttons adjacent to the items you want moved to the stream. You’ll find some options like “delete,” “edit,” and “move to the top.” Click on “move to the top,” and that particular item immediately moves to the top of the stream.
Once this is done, students see this information once they log into the classroom. Otherwise, it gets put into order as the stream gets full.
Tip 4. Increasing Student Engagement
What is a classroom without communication between students and teachers?
Google Classroom can be as engaging as ever. One way to do that would be by asking questions and getting answers from the students.
To do this, click on the “Classwork” icon on the top of the page, and many options are provided. Questions are ideal in this regard. Click on “Questions” and type in the questions you want the students to engage in the spacebar provided. Then, choose the mode of answer you prefer from the options provided for the class work.
Since you aim to get the students engaged, you can click on the button on the right-hand side showing, “Ungraded.”
While attempting to get answers to the questions in the class work, you can increase engagement by clicking the button “Students can interact with each other.” This allows for more interaction on the subject.
Tip 5: Emailing Multiple Students in the Class at Once
If you need to send a mail to multiple students, you can do that from Google Classroom.
Simply click on “People” at the top of the page, and then click on the button just above the list of students in your class. Three options are available: mute, delete, and mail.
To mail the students, click on mail, and all of them will be recipients of the message you’re about to send. You’ll be immediately redirected to your mail, with your students’ mail copied automatically.
You can remove any student from a mailing list by clicking on the button beside their name. Those student(s) selected won’t receive the mail.
Tip 6. Choosing Who Gets What
Sometimes you want to send a message to some, but not all students. Google Classroom allows you to easily differentiate the class and send emails to a specific student.
You can select who gets what information. Before sending information or an assignment to the stream, you can modify the recipients of that information.
If you click “send” on any information you post, Google assumes you want all students to see that information. If that’s not the case, you can select the recipients before clicking “send.” Simply click the “All Students” button to show the list of all students. You can then click to select the specific student or students you want that information passed to.
Once you send, only those students receive the information. The same could be done for an assignment as well.
Tip 7. Assign to Multiple Classes
If you’re teaching more than one class, you can assign multiple classes or pass information to multiple classes.
Following the same procedure from Tip 6, once you’ve typed your information or the assignment, click “Send,” and the message goes to the default class.
However, if you want the information passed to multiple classes you teach, click on the list of classes beside the list of students. It shows all your classes, and you can then select the ones you want the information passed to.
Once you send the information, the assignment is sent to the selected classes. This helps save time that would have otherwise been spent navigating different classrooms.
Tip 8. Reusing Assignments
In your Google Classroom, you’ll find all the work you’ve assigned to your students. There may be a need to reuse some. Instead of rewriting them, you can easily reassign them or make slight adjustments to each assignment.
Simply click on “Classwork” and then “create.” A list of options will show, and you can click on “Reuse post” to access previous posts, questions, materials, announcements, and assignments.
Pick whichever information, in this case, an assignment, you want to be reused, and click the “reuse” button at the bottom right corner.
The assignment pops up, and you can make slight adjustments if you wish and then reassign it to the (appropriate) students.
Tip 9. Using Rubrics
A rubric is an assessment tool that can mark assignments, class participation, or grading students.
You can create, reuse, and grade with rubrics for individual assignments.
If you’ve already created an assignment, you can click on “edit assignment,” and you’ll find one of the items on the right-hand side, “Rubrics.” You can create, import, and reuse a rubric, so once it is created, you can use the rubric again.
From then on, you can customize the rubric you create or have to indicate whether you’re using any scoring system and then add several criteria if needed.
Once you click the save button on the top right-hand corner, the rubric will attach to the assignment for your virtual classes.
Tip 10. How to Make Questions Mandatory in Assignments
When you go over to the Classwork page and create an assignment or a quiz assignment, a Google Form is created with it.
If you do not want students to skip any questions either by omission or otherwise in the assignment or quiz assignment, click on the Google Form and create your questions. Then go to the bottom right corner and click on the “Required” button.
That way, students can’t submit the assignment or quiz until all questions have been answered.