One request I am often asked about Google Classroom is how to create documents for small groups. If you create a copy of a document for each student then each group member receives a copy, which can be confusing. I have created a script that will assign students into random groups (or non random) and create a copy of a template document for each group.
To create random groups click on the “Make groups” button in the sidebar.
For each group a template document will be created for students to collaborate on. Create a Google text Doc, Google Slides, Google Sheets, or Google Drawing in Google Drive. Format the document to structure the group activity, or leave it blank.
Each group will have a group document created. The document will be shared with the members of the group. Other classmates will not be able to edit the document. The document title will indicate which group the document is for. Group members names are appended to the end of the document title.
Linked in Spreadsheet
The links to the group docs are placed in the spreadsheet. For each group the links are the same. Different group, different link. Students can easily find their groups document by clicking on the link in their row.
Post the spreadsheet in Google Classroom as “Students can view file.” Students can reference the spreadsheet to see which group they are in and can click on the link to start collaborating on the document. Optionally you can attach the group documents created into the assignment. Attaching the group documents gives all students viewing access to the projects. Group members retain editing rights.
Students can not submit documents they do not own. The group documents are owned by you, the teacher. Students will not add the documents into the submission screen. Instead the students will simply mark as done. The document is easily accessible from the spreadsheet for assessment. Open each group document from the spreadsheet and leave feedback in Google Classroom.
The list of students will be sorted by column C. Leaving column C blank will retain the order of the roster. If you wish to place students in groups place a code into column C. The script will sort the students by the code before assigning them to groups.
Note: The code for column C can be anything. Perhaps a number or letter to signify that students are in the same group. It may be a status level such as beginner, intermediate or advanced. The code may be a group name such as “chupacabras” and “coyotes.” The script will sort the students by the code before assigning to a group.