May 7, 2020

Teacher Cheatsheet: Transition to a Full Digital Classroom with Google Classroom

GoGuardian Team
Teacher in a classroom full of computers with students learning from home

As distance learning has become the new normal for millions of students and teachers all over the world, teachers must quickly learn new technologies to reach their students. One popular platform for online learning is Google Classroom.

This free online tool is ideal for assigning work, giving tests and quizzes, and interfacing with your students. At GoGuardian, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate new technologies during school closures. We’ve created this comprehensive guide so you can learn how to properly use Google Classroom with your students.

What Is Google Classroom?

Google Classroom gives students and teachers their classroom experience online. This is a free tool for schools integrated with G Suite Education that teachers can use to share files, send announcements, assign daily work, and more.

As the majority of schools across the nation are closed due to COVID-19, teachers are turning to the digital classroom experience. Google Classroom allows teachers to easily reach students, continue lessons, and provide a sense of consistency during these difficult times.

With Google Classroom, teachers can easily integrate existing Google documents and make them accessible to everyone on their roster. Google Classroom was designed to streamline tasks like grading, providing student feedback, and assigning appropriate coursework. Although this platform is simple to use, there is a learning curve for those who are unfamiliar with Google Classroom. Our informative tips and easy how-tos are meant to guide educators learning how to use Google Classroom for the very first time.

How to Set Up a Class in Google Classroom

Establishing your classroom with the correct students is an essential first step when using Google Classroom. Before we begin, ensure that your school is integrated with G Suite for Education and you’ve already signed up for Google Classroom. Follow our easy steps below to create your class:

  1. Navigate to the “Classes” page on Google Classroom.
  2. Click the “+” symbol to add a class. A drop-down menu will appear. Choose “Create Class”.
Google classroom - create classroom

3. From here, you will be able to choose a name for your class. You can even assign a subject, class section, and room during this step.

Google classroom - create class name

4. After you’ve filled out the appropriate fields, click “Create”.

Once your classroom has been created, Google Classroom will automatically generate a class code that you can use to invite students.

How to Create Assignments and Quizzes in Google Classroom

Keeping your students engaged and learning at home is important to make sure they don’t fall behind. Also, it’s important that your students are familiar with this platform before creating your first assignment. We recommend setting aside time for a class tutorial on Google Classroom before diving in head first.

How to Create an Assignment

To create an assignment in Google Classroom, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to your Google Classroom.
  2. Choose the particular class you’ll be assigning this work to. Then click “Classwork”.
  3. At the top of the page, you’ll see a button labeled “Create”. Click “Create”.
  4. A drop-down menu will appear. Choose “Assignment”.
Google classroom - create assignment

From here, you will be able to easily create coursework for your entire class. On this page, you can give your assignment a title and include details that explain how to successfully complete it. You can also easily add attachments (like rubrics, visual aids, and helpful examples) from your Google Drive or desktop that could be helpful to your class.

Additionally, teachers have the option to post a new assignment to more than one class. To do this, choose “Class” in the upper right-hand corner, and a drop-down menu will appear displaying all of your available classes.

google classroom - multi class assignment

Teachers can also choose to assign tasks only to certain students. Select “All Students”, and a drop-down menu will appear that will allow you to: assign to all students, assign to certain small groups, or assign only to select students.

Google classroom - assign to student

Next, before submitting this assignment to your class, add a grade category and choose a point value. To choose a grade category, simply choose either “Test”, “Quiz”, or “Homework” from the grade category drop-down menu. For this example, we chose “Homework”.

Google classroom - homework assignment

To give your assignment a point value, simply enter a new value in the “Points” drop-down menu on the right hand side of your assignment screen. Please note that all assignments will be set to 100 points by default, so be sure to double check this portion before submitting.

Google classroom - point value

Finally, teachers should assign a due date for students before giving coursework over to them. In Google Classroom, no assignment will have a due date by default; you must add this. Giving a due date to your assignment is easy: just click the drop-down menu under “Due” in the right hand side of your screen. From here, you can choose a date and time from the calendar that will appear. If students do not turn in their assignment before your chosen date and time, it will automatically be marked “Missing” in your Google Classroom.

Google classroom - due date assignment

How to Create a Quiz

Creating a quiz in Google Classroom is similar to creating an assignment. Quizzes utilize Google Forms, which makes navigating digital quizzes easy for students. To create a quiz in Google Classroom, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to your Google Classroom.
  2. Choose the particular class you’ll be assigning this work to. Then click “Classwork”.
  3. At the top of the page, you’ll see a button labeled “Create”. Click “Create”.
  4. A drop-down menu will appear. Choose “Quiz assignment”.
Google classroom - quiz assignment

Once you’ve followed our steps above, you can enter the necessary information for completing this quiz. We also recommend turning on “Lock Mode” so that your students are unable to open additional web pages while taking a quiz. To do this, simply move the toggle labeled “Locked Mode on Chromebooks” to the “On” position. Additionally, you can automatically import your quiz grades to your grade books by moving the toggle labeled “Grade Importing” to the “On” position.

Teachers can also modify the class or students this quiz is assigned to, the total point value, and due date by following the same steps above for homework assignments.

How to Archive Assignments

Once your assignments have been created in Google Classroom, there may be situations in which you need to delete them. This process is simple but irreversible; you cannot undo the deletion of an assignment. To delete an assignment in Google Classroom:

  1. Navigate to your Google Classroom.
  2. Choose the class the task was assigned to. Then click “Classwork”.
  3. Find the assignment you’d like to delete. Next to the assignment name, you should see three dots sitting in a vertical line. Click these dots to view more options.
  4. Choose “Delete”. A confirmation message will appear. Choose “Delete” again to confirm this action.

Your assignment has now been deleted. Students will still have access to any attachments from the deleted work in the classroom Drive, but will not be able to view the actual assignment.

How to Add a Co-Teacher to Google Classroom

If you have a co-teacher also working with students in the classroom, it’s important to make sure they’re also added to your Google Classroom account. Inviting your co-teacher is easy to do, and you’ll have full control over what your co-teacher can and cannot do within your Google Classroom based on the default permissions set. To add a co-teacher to your classroom:

  1. Navigate to your Google Classroom.
  2. Choose which class you’d like to add your co-teacher(s) to.
  3. At the top of your screen, select the “People” tab.
  4. Click “Invite Teachers”. Here you will have the option to add teachers based on their name or email address.
  5. After you’ve added all of your co-teachers, simply choose “Invite”, and an email will be sent notifying the teacher they’ve been invited to your Google Classroom.  
Google classroom - invite co-teachers

It’s important to note that co-teachers do not have the same permissions as classroom owners. Co-teachers will not be allowed to delete a class, remove, or mute the primary teacher. Once the co-teacher has been successfully added to the classroom, the primary teacher or owner will still own all files in the classroom Drive, but the co-teacher will have full access to them.

Educating the students of the world has its challenges, but teachers now face new unknowns teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have more questions about navigating Google Classroom, check out the Google Classroom Help Center for more information. For additional classroom management resources for teachers, head to GoGuardian to learn all about what we’re doing to help our educators and young learners navigate their distance learning programs.

All images sourced from Google Classroom Help Center.