Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Google Classroom: Let’s Make the Grade

Google Classroom: Let’s Make the Grade

Google Classroom Grading Assignments (2)

Google Classroom allows you to assign work and collect it. What Google Classroom does not have (thankfully) is a gradebook. This allows you to use Google Classroom with whatever gradebook system you have. Research shows that students value high-quality feedback over simply receiving a score or letter grade. Google Classroom makes it easy to quickly provide students feedback either directly on their document by inserting comments or by leaving a comment in the grading list.


For the assignment you are going to assign grades to, locate the assignment in the stream. Clicking on the assignment title will show you the list of all students enrolled in the class.
Google Classroom click on assignment title


Alternatively, you can click on the number of students who are “Done” with the assignment. This will filter the list of students to the ones who have turned in the assignment.
Google Classroom Click on the number done


Google Classroom defaults to 100 points for an assignment. Above the list of student names is the point value for the assignment. A drop-down menu allows you to change the points possible to 1, 20, 50, 100 or mark as “Ungraded.” Click on the point values allows you to type over the default value and insert a custom value. At this time, decimal values are not possible.
Point Values in Google classroom edit manually

Enter student points earned by clicking on the slot in each students row. Pressing enter does not go to the next student. Use your mouse to select the next student and type their grade.
Entering student points

Not a Gradebook

While Google Classroom allows you to enter scores for each assignment, there is not a grid where all of the assignments and points show up.

Export Points

You can export the points you enter in Google Classroom and upload them to your gradebook. Within the grading list, click on “Download” to create a CSV file that can be uploaded to your gradebook.
Download points to gradebook

View Student Work

In the grading list, each student is listed along with the work they have submitted. Click on the submitted attachment to open the document. Comments added in the grading list are private between the teacher and student. Students can privately comment back to the teacher. Google CLassroom click on student submission to view the work.

 View All Student Work

Student attachments are automatically saved in a folder in Google Drive. Above the list of student names is a button to link to the folder in Google Classroom that has that assignments student work. Student work is appended with their name to make it easy to identify their work in Google Drive. You can click on individual student assignments or use preview mode in Google Drive to view multiple students quickly.
Click on folder in google drive assignment


When students submit an attachment to an assignment the teacher becomes the owner of the document and the student loses editing rights. Returning work to students allows them to have editing rights. Check the checkbox next to each student you wish to return work to. This is done automatically if you insert a score for a student. Click the blue return button to return the work.

Assignment List

Instead of locating the assignment in the stream you can start by click on the Classroom main menu icon in the upper left hand corner. This is 3 lines stacked. From the menu, choose “Assignments” which is listed second under “Home.”
Google Classroom main menu



The assignment list shows all of the assignments. In the same way as if the assignments were listed in the stream you can click on the assignment title to view a list of all students or click on the number done to only view a list of students who have submitted the assignment. If you have graded or provided feedback to students you can click on the 3 stacked dots on the right-hand side of each assignment. This will reveal the option to “Mark as reviewed.” Marking as reviewed removes the assignment from the assignment list and moves it to the “Reviewed” tab.
Mark as Reviewed Google Classroom Assignment

Side by Side Grading

The trick to assessing student work in Google Classroom and entering scores in the gradebook is side by side windows. I created a Chrome extension “Gradebook Split.” This allows you to enter the URL of your web-based gradebook into the settings. See my previous blog post for directions.
side by side

Enter Google Classroom into Settings

Instead of entering the URL of your gradebook into the settings you can set the assignments page of Google Classroom. While viewing the assignments listing page, copy the URL. (https://classroom.google.com/ta/not-reviewed). Right click on the Gradebook Split Chrome extension and choose “Options.”
Select Options

Paste the URL to the assignments page for Google Classroom into the “Gradebook URL:” box. Click Save.
Google Classroom gradebook split paste assignments URL

Clicking on the Gradebook Split icon will now open you up to the assignments page to make it quick to start giving students feedback.

15 thoughts on “Google Classroom: Let’s Make the Grade

  1. My students have ipads. I have been sending them a PDF rubric as an assignment. They have to self evaluate in the Notability app and turn it back in to me. The problem I’m having is after I grade the student using the rubric and give feedback, I cannot figure out how to return the document to the student. The Google classroom is new to our school this year. Your website is very helpful. Do you have any ideas? From what I have seen even if I return it to the students, they can still edit the document so it would be important for me to keep a copy.

    1. Can I suggest a Google Sheets spreadsheet INSTEAD! It eliminates the back and forth so you know you always have the current version of the document. Also you can do spreadsheet magic with the data. win win.

  2. Is it possible to turn off the “turn in” option in Google Classroom. There are documents the students work on that I need to post for them but do not want them turned in.

    1. The issue is not “turn in” but rather the feature in Google Classroom to switch ownership and lock a student out of their own document. I am very opposed to this practice. Please send Google Classroom feedback to disable this “feature.” Instead, let the student remain owner of their own work always.

  3. Would it be possible to add an additional grading function from a numerical to an alphabetical as well. Vocational students need their assignments marked as a Pass Merit or Distinction, so even a P M D would suffice in the grade field, if possible.

    1. Please do not put grades in Google Classroom. The research shows this detracts from learning. I recommend making a new Google Classroom every 6 weeks.

        1. For your own sanity. NEXT year when you want to reuse posts (and NOT check the checkbox to make copies of attachments) how many assignments do you want to scroll through?

  4. Thank you for your feed! What is the most efficient way to grade-through classwork or through grades. Is this also true if you want to grade an individual’s work that is being submitted quickly because the work is late?

    1. I have a great workflow through Gmail, what you got to do is filter for the different kinds of emails that come into Gmail and delete those emails as soon as you deal with them.

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