How to Make an Assignment in Google Classroom

By James T. Cains

You know that students just love homework, and with Google Classroom, you, as the teacher, can quickly make assignments that include attached materials. After you post the assignment, your students receive an e-mail notification of the assignment, after which they complete it and turn it back in. The cool thing is that, after students turn in the assignment, they lose edit access for that assignment, which means they can’t change it. You can then grade the assignment.

Here’s how to make an assignment to your class:

  1. Log in to your class and click the Stream tab, if it’s not already displayed.

  2. Click Assignment.

  3. Type in the title of the assignment and an optional description. The description is a great place to add instructions for the assignment.

  4. Click the due date to change it if you need to.

  5. Click Add Time to add the time of day on the due date that the assignment is due.

  6. If you have materials to add to the assignment, click the appropriate icon:

    • Paperclip: This option attaches a file to the assignment. Here, you can upload the file from your hard drive, which will be stored on your Google Drive.

    • Google Drive: This option also attaches a file to the assignment, but takes you right to your Google Drive to find the file.

    • YouTube play button: This option enables you to attach a YouTube video to the assignment. When you click this button, you can search for the video on YouTube or copy and paste the YouTube video URL. When you search for a video, YouTube results display right in the same window, and you can preview the video as well, so there’s no need to visit the YouTube site.

    • Link: You can click the chain link button to paste in an external URL to the assignment.

  7. For documents you upload or choose from Google Drive, you can assign permissions for what the students can do. Click the drop-down list to allow students to do the following:

    • View only: Choose this option if you want all of your students to read the same file but not change it. This is good for reference materials only.

    • Edit: Choose this option if you want all of your students to make changes to the same file. This is good only if students are expected to collaborate on a single assignment.

    • Make a copy for each student: Choose this option if you want each student to have his or her own copy of the assignment. Students can make changes and turn in the assignment separately. This is best for typical homework assignments in which the student is responsible for his or her own work.

  8. When you’re finished, your assignment may look something like Figure 1. Click Assign.

The assignment is made, and each student receives an e-mail notification of the assignment. The assignment shows up on the class’s Stream page, where you can monitor how many students have completed the assignment.

Although you can certainly upload files created in non-Google applications, such as Microsoft Word, it’s better to use Google Drive’s applications for creating documents if you’re going to be sharing them in this way. Google Docs, Sheets, and so on, are fully integrated into Classroom, and your students won’t have to jump through hoops when completing their assignments. For example, if you upload a Microsoft Word document, the student has to download the document to complete it, re-upload it when completed, and reattach it to the assignment. Or they have to open the file in Google Docs to complete it and reattach it to the assignment. Creating the document in Google Docs to begin with eliminates most of those steps.

At the bottom of the assignment on the Stream page, teachers and students can comment on the assignment. You can provide additional explanations here, or students can give general comments about the assignment or ask questions, which are visible to all of the other students.

Figure 1: Make an assignment to your class.

Figure 1: Make an assignment to your class.