Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Collecting Student Assignments with Spreadsheets

 Collecting and managing student Google files can be overwhelming.   Teachers are always asking me about ways to simplify this process.  It is difficult or near impossible for a teacher to embrace online assignments if the management of these files can feel paralyzing.

During the Inspired Writing Cohort Workshop (which is a PD opportunity for teachers to see how process writing can be leveraged by technology) I used a different method to collect work from teacher participants.  Not because I was trying to show them a new way, but because it seemed to be the easiest way for me to collect assignments.   I did not think this approach was very different, but  multiple teachers asked how I did this.

So I created a video to share
This video is intended for beginner to intermediate teachers not ready for scripts like Doctopus

Teacher Responses:  Why using one spreadsheet per class/content made sense to them.
- I won’t need to look for which student did not turn in their work.
- I won’t need to create and link to additional Google forms to collect additional assignments
- It can be private or collaborative depending on how students share their work
- There is a revision history incase something gets deleted or moved
- I can add general comments easily

Learning curve for students on how to:
  1. Share their Google Doc.
  2. Copy URL Link on their Google Doc.
  3. Past URL Link in Spreadsheet

There are platforms districts can purchase to manage files, (  but with school budgets being so tight, teachers more often then not need to find a free way to do this.

12/14 - Thank you Google Classroom!!!


  1. Have you ever tried using the Doctopus Script by Andrew Stillman? It'll change your life. Here's a good tutorial:

  2. Thanks for your feedback. I have personally used Doctopus, but know that not all teachers are ready for scripts. This solution is for teachers who are beginners-intermediate and comfortable with Google Docs.

  3. Can the students see the other students's assignments? Can they click on them and open them? I guess I am really curious about privacy.

  4. I am at a new Google school using Chromebooks this year and was concerned that all the "technology" would be hard to manage across 5 classes. I am going to share this with my English teacher cohort so we can practice and see if this reduces the angst we are feeling as techno-newbies. Thanks for posting this on linked-in.