Google Assignments

With Google Assignments, you can collect assignments and give feedback by integrating Google Drive and Moodle. What does this mean? You can harness Google’s rich feedback tools and grade within a Google Drive file, all while syncing the grades to Moodle. Discover how to use Google Assignments to simplify your grading, feedback, and student file management.

Register for the self-paced workshop: Google Assignments

Workshop Learning Outcomes

  • Discover rich feedback capabilities within Google Assignments
  • Compare similarities and differences between Google Assignments and Moodle grading panels
  • Create assignments in Moodle, using Google Assignments

How to Get Started

Step 1: Recognize the strengths of the Google Assignments tool to see if it is the right tool for your assignment

  • Feedback: Because Google files are at the heart of Google Assignments, you can use Google’s in-line suggestions/corrections and commenting features to give rich feedback on Google Assignments submissions, which is helpful for rough drafts and final submissions alike. Frequently-used comments can be added to a comment bank.   
  • Grading: You can create or upload and use a rubric within Google Assignments to grade a student’s work. You can adjust points for a given criterion to somewhere between two stated standard levels. For example, if “Excellent” is 4 points, and “Good” is 3 points, you could manually award a student 3.5 points for “Very Good.” Grades awarded in Google Assignments are synced with the Moodle Gradebook.
  • File Management: Google Assignments manages all permissions and file storage automatically for you and your students – you only have to interact with the Google Assignments item in Moodle, not your Google Drive. Here is a description of the file sharing/management process. 
    1. When a student submits a file to Google Assignments within Moodle, ownership of that file passes to you. The student retains ownership of a virtual “carbon copy” of what they submitted, and view only access to the original file that you now own. 
    2. You open the submitted file item to provide feedback and grade the work. With view only access, the student can see neither comments nor suggestions you are making until the assignment file is returned.
    3. You return the assignment file to the student with a simple click of a button. A virtual carbon copy of what you graded (with your comments) is saved in your Google Drive, but ownership of the original file is transferred back to the student. The student can see your comments and suggestions and their grade. You maintain “view only” access to the original file. The grade you awarded for the assignment is automatically added to the Moodle gradebook.    
  • Originality Reports: If you enable Originality Reports for an assignment, Google will perform a Google search on the text of the submitted file, as well as compare the file to a repository of past student submissions through Assignments. Students will be able to run up to three Originality Reports before submitting their work.

Consider these factors when deciding whether Google Assignments is right for you:

  • If you want to annotate (i.e. draw) on a student’s submission, the Moodle Assignment’s annotation tool is superior.
  • If students are submitting a group project, Google assignments will only assign a grade to one person’s Moodle gradebook – the student who owns the file that is submitted for the assignment. You’d have to manually assign grades to the other students in the group.

Step 2: If you are ready to use Google Assignments, follow the instructions for adding a Google Assignments activity to your Moodle space

Best Practices

  • Give your students instructions and low-stakes practice before assigning a high stakes Google Assignment. Provide instructions on using Google Assignments, including a practice activity in the “Start Here” section of your Moodle course.
  • Share and reuse rubrics to save time. You can download your rubric and to share with other instructors, and use previously uploaded rubrics for multiple assignments. See Google’s support documentation on rubrics, and find a useful rubric template here (clicking on the link will prompt you to make your own copy for editing).
  • Award intermediary points as appropriate. When grading with a rubric, consider awarding intermediary points. For example, if “Excellent” is 4 points, and “Good” is 3 points, you could manually award a student 3.5 points for “Very Good.”
  • Add to the comment bank for quicker feedback on common errors or strengths. See Google’s support documentation on giving feedback for instructions.
  • Use originality reports to help students learn about academic integrity. With originality reports activated, students can check their own work three times before submitting to correct any issues. See a tutorial video from Google (~ 3 min long) about originality reports, or Google’s online help documentation.
  • Provide your students with a template for their assignment. You can attach files to an assignment so each student receives an individual copy to edit and turn in. This enables a uniform naming convention for the assignment. You might use a template to provide a paper prompt, a worksheet, or a guide for an assignment. If you don’t include a template, students will simply create their own Google document or file to turn in.


Google Assignment Interface in Moodle

Instructor view

Screen shot of the Google Assignments window in Moodle. The example assignment displayed is a Resume Draft assignment. The window show total points, due date, originality report is enabled, how many files are provided, and a link to the rubric. Also shown is a list of students, when they submitted, and the status of their submission.

Student view

Screen shot of the student view of an example Google Assignments activity in Moodle. The example assignment is for a resume draft. The window shows total points, due date, a button to submit a file, files provided by the teacher, and a rubric. The status of this example is "missing" because the student has not submitted an assignment.

Grading interface (Instructor view)

Screen shot of the grading interface for instructors in Google Assignments. Shown is the right edge of the document with three comments to the right that the instructor has made. Another panel to the right shows the grade and the rubric where the instructor marks the paper, plus a window for overall feedback.


Help Documentation from DELTA

External Resources