I previously talked about Google Classroom’s new gradebook and it got me to thinking about other things that I would like to see done with Google Classroom. By and large, it’s an outstanding tool, but there are a few tweaks that could really make it more usable and efficient for me on a daily basis. I have two things that I would like to see addressed. One I think would be pretty easy and would make things quicker for teachers, the other I don’t think is going to ever happen.
1. Grading by submission type
Google Classroom does a good job of showing you which students submitted assignments and which ones haven’t. They have even done a better job of making them visually different, but what really drives me crazy is that I cannot quickly grade student work without going through my students alphabetically. Let me explain.
When you go into the student work area on each assignment in Google Classroom a list of students with their “status” will be shown on the right of the page.
- 1. You can sort students by status, first name, or last name. Status is defined by assigned (not completed) and graded (submitted or graded).
- 2. In the assigned area I can see which students have not completed their work. This makes it easier to address missing assignments with individual students.
- 3. I can see graded student work and quickly see what they earned on the assignment at a glance.
My problem with Google Classroom comes in when you actually have to grade student work. When you open up the grading page it defaults back to alphabetical order and ignores the status of the assignment.
I would like to be able to ignore the grading pages of students that I have already graded or the students who have not yet submitted the work, but this isn’t currently possible with Google Classroom.
I propose a solution like Instructure has done in Canvas.
In their grading page you go to a gear icon (universal settings icon).
Next you go to options which will allow you to change the default way that students are presented and better help you organize student assignments/grading into a method that works for you.
One of the sorting options allows you to sort by status. I keep mine set so that assignments needing grading are put at the top. When I have finished my grading, I am then given to an alphabetical list of students who have not yet completed the work. After all of the missing submissions, I can review students who have submitted and gotten graded. It’s a wonderful system that Google needs to adopt.
2. Integrate with SIS
Gradebook is great, but with not direct integration with a SIS system (student information system), grades are kind of useless in Google Classroom. By allowing integration with widely available SIS systems or setting up APIs for programmers to call in to, grades in Google Classroom become real.
Right now I can grade my students work in Google Classroom and then manually reenter all of the grades in my district gradebook that talks to our SIS and does things like report cards, eligibility reports, and a number of other things. If I could have a button to click to sync my two gradebooks I would be eternally grateful.
I don’t think this will happen at any point because of the complexities and the millions of different ways schools do things, but a guy can dream.