Google Classroom is always evolving and Google for Education is always adding new features. The latest features added to the line up are Locked Quizzes and a Gradebook. Both of these features are in Beta, and you can sign up to participate in the beta here. I’ve been able to use it with my classes and I think that it makes managing grades in Classroom a lot easier.
In Canada the Grades feature is called Marks, so now that I have access to Marks I have a new button at the top of Classroom. My experience so far has been great! Marks allows you to:
- Work offline – just keep hitting enter and it moves to the next student.
- Quickly see which students have not completed an assignment.
- Weight assignments and show students an average based on the weightings.
Here’s an example of one of my classes that I’ve been using this feature with. We can immediately see that all of the marks are easier to view and all appear in one place.
One feature that I’m really excited about is the ability to add weightings. I’ve been trying this out in my Grade 11 class, and they now get to see a summary average (if you choose) along with the weighted average. I had to do some math as we have two different categories that our marks go into. Here’s how I did it:
|Category 1 (30%)||Category 2 (70%)||Category 2 Weighted (x by 0.7)|
|Tests – 30%||Tests (60%)||Tests (42%)|
|Quizzes & Classwork (30%)||Quizzes (21%)|
|Online Assignments (10%)||Online Assignments (7%)|
|30 + 42 + 21 + 7 = 100%|
This allows us to have the grades weighted properly in Google Classroom so that the students see a representative mark. The only obstacle that I have come up against is that we cannot currently split into terms or semesters. The only solution that I see is to make multiples of each category, which are all weighted by term or semester as well as by the category, which seems like a lot of work to me.
However, I’m enjoying the fact that students can see which category their work is in, and it’s really easy for me to assign a category when I create an assignment.
Once an assignment is graded and returned the students can see their average update straight way in their app, which they say is really useful for them to keep track of their overall grade.
As the Gradebook feature evolves, I’m confident that more features will be added, and it will become easier to export marks from it, and integrate it into other tools, but now that we can also import Forms marks into Classroom this is quickly becoming my go to tool for storing and calculating marks in my classroom.
Check out Google for Education’s newest EDU in 90 video to see all the features of Gradebook within Google Classroom and get a live demo.
Chris Webb is an experienced Math and ICT Teacher based in Montreal, Canada. As well as being a High School classroom teacher, he loves geeking out with Google Sheets, Apps Script and Awesome Tables. He is a Google in Education Certified Innovator, Trainer and Educator, and is also a member of the EdTechTeam Canada Extended Team.