Copying Google Classroom Classes Copies All Attachments
First, a paradigm shift about Google Classroom: There are NO ATTACHMENTS! Nothing is attached. Everything is a link to Google Drive. When you “Copy attachments” you are actually copying items in your Drive and now you have confusing duplicates.
Do Not Copy Class
On the class tiles page you can click on the 3 dots More menu and choose “Copy.” DO NOT DO THIS!
This will copy all of your screenshots. Copies all of your directions documents. Copies all of your videos. Copies any student work you “attached” in the last class. Copies EVERYTHING! What a mess!
If you teach 2 periods of Algebra 1 and you copy your Algebra 1 class from last year, twice. You now have THREE copies of the syllabus! When you update the syllabus it does NOT accurately reflect in your classes.
Do Not Be Filing Cabinet Guy
In my teacher credential program we were warned against being “filing cabinet guy.” Don’t be the teacher who has everything pre planned out and photocopied before you ever even see the students. Your students and their interests should influence the lesson plans!Copying an entire digital class puts you at risk of being filing cabinet guy.
I have yet to teach the perfect lesson. Of course it can get better! One of the awesome things about teaching is a fresh start each year. A chance to do it better!
I have used Moodle in the past and have copied the whole class thinking I would update it. But push come to shove, it’s easier to just leave it. I’m tired and it becomes “good enough.” Constraints force creativity! If you can not just copy what you did last year, you will find ways to upgrade it.
Clean Out the Junk Drawer
There are 2 lines of thought when it comes to cleaning out the junk drawer. Do you remove things from the drawer, or dump the whole thing out and put things back? The latter will result in a cleaner drawer.
Rather than remove some things from your Google Classroom class, dump the whole thing out! Put back what is worth putting back. Add new things, it’s a new year!
Make a New Class
Always make a new class. Do not remove the students from last year and just put them into the same class.
Click on the Classwork tab and the Create button and choose “Reuse Post.”
Select last year’s class and find the assignment you want to reuse. Do NOT check the checkbox to “Create new copies of all attachments.” There are NO attachments, it’s just an invitation to make a disaster of your Google Drive. Click Reuse.
Assign to Multiple Classes
What is awesome about reuse post is it immediately opens to edit. This is your chance to consider the students you have right now and how this assignment can be improved to reflect the interests and needs of this years class.
The default is to assign only to the class you are currently in. Click the tiny triangle next to the “For” class title and assign to multiple classes.
Edit Not Copy
The “attachments” are not attachments. They are simply links to Google Drive. Click on the “attachment” links and update.
Name This Version
For not Google Forms, you want to use the File menu and choose “Version history” and “Name current version.” Name it the last school year 2018-2019 so you know what it looked like last year. Now update it to reflect what you want it to say for this year. ONE DOCUMENT! No copies!
Reuse Google Forms
To reuse a Google Form do not copy it. Open the Form and go to the Responses tab. If you want to save the responses from last year, make sure you have a spreadsheet.
3 Dots Menu
No need to copy a Form, simply delete the responses! Click on the 3 dots menu next to the spreadsheet icon and choose “Delete all responses.” Your Form is good to go to reuse for this year!
If you want a fresh spreadsheet choose “Unlink form” which more accurately should say “Unlink spreadsheet.” This allows you to click the spreadsheet icon and link to a new spreadsheet for this years responses.
TIP: Ask a multiple choice question in your Form if you have more than one class. “What period are you in?” Use the same Form for all periods. Sort the spreadsheet of responses by period.
Optional: Alice Keeler Level UP
I have coded a way to reuse assignments from previous classes. I am working on making the interface better but if you would like to see how I do it, here is a video.
- Start by making a copy of alicekeeler.com/classroomlevelup
- Wait for the code to load. Use the Add-on menu and choose “GC Level Up” and show the sidebar. Authorize the code.
- Click on Setup from the sidebar.
- Checkbox your CURRENT class.
- Click Set Class
- Click Import Class (even if you do not have students)
- Click on the Classes tab and unselect the current class (you’ve set it, it is saved) and select the class you want to REUSE from.
- Use the Add-on menu to go back to GC Level Up and choose “Create Assignments.”
- At the bottom of the list of assignment types you can add to Classroom is “List Assignments.”
- This will create a list of the assignments from the previous class.
- For assignments, edit the title and description in the spreadsheet if desired.
- Checkbox the assignmentS (you can do more than one at a time) that you want to reuse to your current class.
- In the sidebar (or go to the Addon menu and choose Create Assignments) select “Reuse Assignments.”
- You will be prompted if you want to post them as a draft. Say yes if you do. No if you just want them to go live.
Note: Currently Google Apps Script does not allow me to code materials or grading categories.