Yes, students should be collaborating. G Suite is designed around collaboration so this makes students working together a lot easier. Weirdly, Google Classroom is not designed for group work. So we have to hack it. Students can not turn in work they do not own. Also, I don’t want the same thing submitted four times, I want it once. Here are some hacks for you to consider:
Link to a Google Form to Submit
Reflection is an important part of the learning process. After students complete a group project it is a good idea to have them reflect on the process and to report on how the collaboration went. Google Forms are perfect for this. Since the information from a Google Form can go to a single spreadsheet you can then use the spreadsheet to record scores and observations. Copy and paste for group members.
Only Link to Form
If you click on that paper clip, drive icon, YouTube video, or link icon when creating the assignment (other than to add the Google Form) then the assignment will NOT automatically “Mark As Done” when the students fill out the form.
Another way to handle group work is you COULD create an assignment for a select group of students and attach a file as “Students can edit file” which gives that group access to that document. But honestly, not my favorite hack. You then have to repeat this per group. If you have 6 groups you have 6 of the same assignment in YOUR Stream. Students only see the one they are assigned to in their Stream. Students can not see who is included in the group just by selecting certain students for the assignment.
Link in Private Comments
I have an Add-on Script I made to create a copy of a document per group. On the first tab write the group names. Such as Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, etc… use the “Create Copies” menu, next to the Help menu. This will create a copy per group. You can attach into Google Classroom as “Students can edit file.” See blog post for more directions.
Group Docs Maker
Group Docs Maker kicks it up a notch and shares the copy of the group doc with group members. You only need to link to the spreadsheet with group members listed and the link to their collaborative document. Students only need to mark as done in Google Classroom. See blog post for more directions.