Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Google Classroom: Grab and Update a Post from Last Year

Google Classroom Reuse Post

Google Classroom: Grab and Update a Post from Last Year

Google Classroom Reuse Post

Note: Google Classroom has updated since this post was created. It is essentially the same except you will find the “Reuse post” option on the CLASSWORK page under the CREATE button.

Reuse and Update Google Classroom Posts

Google Classroom users can reuse posts from previous classes. As you create your new classes there is no need to start from scratch. Grab and update assignments you gave last time.

Digital Filing Cabinet

I was warned as a credential student not to be “that guy” who has a filing cabinet where I just pull out the next assignment. It is very easy for digital courses and materials to be the digital version of this filing cabinet.

The Students You Currently Have

When assigning work it is important that the assignment reflects the students you currently have. Reusing unedited digital materials has the danger of focusing on curriculum rather than students.

The Genius of Google Classroom

When reusing a post (assignment) in Google Classroom you can only reuse one post at a time. While this may seem like a burden, this is genius. I have personally found it easy to say “oh, this is good enough” when duplicating a digital course even though I had every intention to update it. By updating assignments one at a time, I am given the opportunity to reflect, update and be intentional about each assignment.

Google Classroom Reuse Post

In Google Classroom, click on the plus icon in the bottom right. Choose the top option “Reuse post.”
ReUse Post Google Classroom

Choose the class you wish to reuse the post from. You can choose from the current class, other classes, archived classes or classes you are a co-teacher on.

Choose Post (Assignment)

Choose the post you wish to reuse. CAUTION: UNCHECK the checkbox that says “Create new copies of all attachments.” The beauty of Google Docs is only having one version of your documents. With extreme rare exception you do NOT want copies of your documents.
select assignment in Google Classroom reuse


After reusing the post, edit the post. I number all of my assignments so the first thing I need to do is to change the previous number to the current assignment number. Edit the description and update the links.
Change assignment number

Old Files

Rather than needing to duplicate Google Docs, simply edit them.

Click on the assignment title of the attached document.

click on the title in the attachment of Google classroom
Clicking on the document title launches the document. Rename the document to match the assignment number. Edit the document to make improvements and update the information from the previous time you assigned the document. Note it make take a few minutes for the edited document title to reflect in Google Classroom, but it will update.
Edit the Google Doc from Classroom

Reusing Collaborative Documents

In the case of collaborative documents, simply use the revision history to roll the document back the way it was before students edited it. You do not lose the student edits from previous semesters, they are located in the revision history also.

After reusing the post, click on the document title of the collaborative document. This launches the document. Use the File menu to choose “See revision history.” This shows a list of edits to the document.
file see revision history

Choose the revision that was BEFORE students edited the document. Click on “Restore this revision.” And your Google Doc is fresh and ready to go for your new class!
restore this version revision history google docs

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How can you make Google Workspace (Docs/Sheets/Slides) even better? You can create custom Add-ons with Google Apps Script. Wondering How to Get Your Google Workspace Add-on Published? Join Alice Keeler, Google Developer Expert, to learn the steps to get your Add-on officially published.

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