Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Take the Hassle Out of Students Turning in Assignments

Take the Hassle Out of Students Turning in Assignments

image from animationfactory.com

Updated Note: This script works with old Google Sheets. Click Here to make a copy of a blank Google Sheet that is the old version. You will want to connect your Google Form to the old style spreadsheet. In the new Google Sheets there is an Autocrat add-on, however it will not merge the document upon form submission. This means you will need to take an additional step to run the Autocrat script after your students submit the form. Using Google Classroom will alleviate many of the issues listed below and is a possible alternative to using this workflow.  

Some of the problems with students turning in their Google Docs to the instructor is they

  • Do not put a correct header on the document
  • They do not name the file according to the class nomenclature
  • They forget to share the document with the teacher
  • They forget to turn the assignment in

I have a workflow that will solve this issue.  The autocrat script allows a user to fill out a Google Form and have the form fields be merged into a document and shared with the person who filled out the form.  If you have not used the autocrat script before here is a document that walks you through setting up autocrat for creating lesson plans.

Step 1: Create a Google Doc that only populates the header.  Make sure you put in generic merge tags such as <<first>> and <<last>>.

Step 2: Create a form that asks for the header information. Make sure one of the questions asked is for the students email address.

Step 3: Post the link to the generic “create an assignment” form on your website.

Step 4: In the spreadsheet view of the form insert->script->autocrat.

Step 5: Run the initial configuration (see link to autocrat lesson plan directions above).  In the settings choose that an editable Google Doc is created and to run the merge upon form submission.

When the student fills out the form a Google doc is automatically created that has a correct header.  The Google doc name was pre-set by the instructor so every students assignment is named correctly.  The document that is created is editable by the student and saved to a folder that is accessible by the teacher.  The document is already turned in so the student can not forget.

As an added bonus since the document is immediately turned in and shared with the teacher, the teacher can jump in and insert comments and help the student with the assignment before it is turned in.

Try it out fill out this sample form and check your Google Drive.

2 thoughts on “Take the Hassle Out of Students Turning in Assignments

  1. This sounds really good but in HS algebra what would an assignment look like? What type of “work” did you have students turn in using rhis method and was your class truly paperless and all feedback computer delivered /corrected?

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