Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Google Classroom: Reply Notifications for a Question

replies in ask a question
Google Classroom: Reply Notifications for a Question

Reply Notifications on Ask a Question

I am mostly a fan of the ask a question feature in Google Classroom. I really wish responses were not listed alphabetically. It’s unfair for students whose names at the beginning of the alphabet to always get the most notice. The ask a question is a great way to do a check for understanding, exit ticket, or give all students in the class a voice.

3rd Option

In Google Classroom when you click on the plus icon in the bottom corner, the 3rd option is “Create question.” This is incredibly fast and easy for pushing out a question to the class.
Create Question

Type the Question

Virtually no tech skills needed, simply type the question you wish students to answer. Notice, however, the different question options you have. By default, the question is “Short answer.” Click on the tiny triangle and change to multiple choice if desired. Also by default, the question allows students to reply to each other. Click on the toggle to grey out this option if you do not wish for students to be able to reply to each other. I try to leave this option on as much as possible. You can also decide if you want to permit students to update their response after viewing the responses of other students. This is by default deselected.
Type the question


For short answer questions, you or fellow students can reply to responses. Notice the reply swoop under a student’s response. Click on this to reply. If a student has received a reply a count of the replies will appear. Click on the reply count to add a reply or to view other replies.
Reply to response

Note that if you have disabled “Students can reply to each other” the students can NOT view each others responses. You (teacher) are unable to reply to the student responses.
Student can not reply no swoop


As a teacher you can only tell that a student responded to the question by the Done count. View the number Done, Not done, and returned in the assignment in the Stream. Any student replies to your replies, or other students, do not notify the teacher.
Number of done responses

Students receive an email notification when someone has replied to their post. Students can see an indicator in the Stream on the assignment as to how many replies they have received. Teachers do not receive any email notifications for replies to questions.
Student replies in Google Classroom

Students can also find the replies by clicking on the About tab and choosing “My work.” Notice the “My work” list does NOT show the number of replies. It only shows Private Comments, which is different than a reply. Students will need to click on the assignment to reveal a list of the replies.
About tab my work

Replies to Replies

Students will only be notified of replies to their own response. If a student replies to another student, they will not receive notifications that there were replies to that reply.

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