Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Google Classroom: Updated Group Docs Maker

group docs maker
Google Classroom: Updated Group Docs Maker

group docs maker

If you are having students do work in small groups the activity may require a collaborative document for the students to work on. Manually creating documents for each group can be challenging.

Group Docs Maker Template


To make the process of assigning students to groups and getting them going on editing the group’s template easier I coded an Add-on script: Group Docs Maker. This allows you to copy and paste your roster of students into the spreadsheet and automatically create a copy of a template for each group. Each group members name is automagically appended to the document title.


  1. Create a copy of the Group Docs Maker template above (it’s a spreadsheet).
  2. Copy roster from Google Classroom.
  3. Paste roster into the Group Docs Maker spreadsheet.
  4. Optionally, set a code to designate which group each student is in.
  5. Use the Add-on menu and choose “Group Maker.”
  6. In the sidebar menu are 2 buttons. Choose to make random groups or nonrandom groups. Press the button.
  7. Attach the spreadsheet as “Students can view file” in Google Classroom assignment.

Using the Group Docs Maker you do NOT need to individually attach the students’ group documents. The students can find their name on the spreadsheet and click on the link next to their name to open the group document. They do not need to turn in the group document since you are the owner and can easily locate all of the group documents from the spreadsheet. The documents are only accessible to you and the specific group of students. If a student in group 3 tries to open another group’s document they will be denied permission.


If you’ve used Group Docs Maker in the past, I have made some updates to the Add-on script.

  • Instead of asking for “Name” it allows you to enter First and Last name. This allows you to copy and paste your roster right from Google Classroom.
  • The first and last names are collapsed into a single column automatically.
  • You can now pick your document you want to copy for each group. No more having to obtain the document ID. (WAY EASIER)


YouTube video

9 thoughts on “Google Classroom: Updated Group Docs Maker

  1. This is wonderful, Alice!

    I wonder, however, if the following is possible.

    I have a stock market project (Google form for purchases and sales), and I’d like to use your app for copying it to specific student groups. On the Form Responses sheet, however, I’d like to protect it from editing so that I and 1 other teacher would have edit access but students would not.

    When I used your app to copy the project, it removed the edit access for the other teacher (I tried it twice).

    Is it possible to do what we’d like?

    Thanks very much,


    1. Can you add the co-teacher as a group member to each group? Did you try using comma separated email addresses with the co-teacher and a student in each group? Can’t you add the teacher individually? If the documents are in a share folder with the teacher, would that not give the teacher access?

  2. I tried using this add-on and it did create groups and make copies but then each student got a screen telling them to request access. Not clear what I did wrong. I wonder if I should have shared the spreadsheet before I shared it using the add-on??

      1. Now it makes sense. My students don’t have email access so I used my email address. Thank you so much for responding. Every day I learn a little more!

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