Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

GroupDocs: A Copy Per Group

Group Docs
GroupDocs: A Copy Per Group
Create a doc per group group docs

GroupDocs Add-on Randomly Assigns Students to Groups

In the modern world collaboration and getting along with a team is essential. Assigning students to group work can sometimes be tricky. Use my Add-on GroupDocs to assign students to groups and give each group a copy of a collaborative document.



  1. Make a copy of the template.
  2. Set the group size.
  3. Copy and paste class roster.
  4. Use the Add-on menu to “Show sidebar.”
  5. Authorize the script.
  6. Click “Make random groups.”
  7. When prompted, select a Google Apps file (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc…) from your Google Drive.
  8. After script has run share the spreadsheet as VIEW ONLY with the students.
  9. Students find their name on the spreadsheet and what group they are in.
  10. Students click on the link to the group’s copy of the collaborative document.

After making a copy of the template choose your group size in cell C1. Paste the student roster with email into columns A to C. If you are a Google Classroom user, use the Class Roster chrome extension to get names and emails.


Save The Spreadsheet

After going through the effort of copying and pasting the roster onto the spreadsheet, save this as a template. This will make it easy for you to copy for next time you wish to create new group documents.

Create a Google Slides

Go to slides.new and design a template for students to work collaboratively on.

Suggestion: Include in the layout a rubric for each student to fill out for their roles and what they agree to. Sample template.

Google Slides template for collaborative group work.

Note: you can choose any document for student collaboration including a spreadsheet or text document.

Add-on Menu

Use the Add-on menu to choose “Group Docs Maker.” Select “Show Sidebar.”

Make Random Groups

Group Docs Maker will automatically assign students to random groups. Click on the “Make Random Groups” button in the sidebar.

Choose a Document

You will be prompted to locate a document in Google Drive to copy per group. Use the template you just created.

Wait for It

Group Doc Maker automatically determines how many groups you need. It will create a copy of your template per group. Group members will be explicitly shared on the groups copy. Group member names are added to the document title. This can take a few minutes, be patient.

Accessing Collaborative Document

Because Group Doc Maker specifically shares the documents with members of the group, only group members (and you) have access to the document.


Students are assigned a group number and the link to the group document is placed in the spreadsheet near their name.

Group docs being created

Share the Spreadsheet

Since non group members can not access the group document, simply share this spreadsheet with view access to the students in the class. Students find their name and open the collaborative document from the link.

Teacher Access

You created and own each of the group documents. Simply access from the spreadsheet to view student progress or the final result! You can also access from Google Drive!

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