Thursday, 2 May 2013

Assignment Submission at the start of an assignment.... A new way of thinking.

Hey, don't wait till the assignment is due. Get students to submit the assignment on day 1 via an embedded Google form. Make sure the form includes the following:

  1. Student details (auto collect if you share the same domain as your students)
  2. Assignment name
  3. Due date
  4. Assignment URL. Clearly this only works if the assignment is being presented as a Google doc or other web based resource.
  5. Make sure the assignment is permissioned to you ( the teacher ) as editor and you may or may not want the class viewing anyone elses.
As you can see from the image, insert the form on the left of your site page and the underlying data sheet beside the form. That means as students submit, you get to see their names and you get to test that you have access to their file.

Great questions... So here are the reasons why you might want to change to this method.
  1. You can see the assignment as it unfolds.
  2. You know exactly where the file is. You just come back to this page and click the link on the right. You don't care how the student saved it to their Google drive or where they saved it.You have the link and it never changes even if the student moves it to a different folder.
  3. You know from the onset that you have permission to read and edit (rather than chasing students around after submission) and if  you don't have access, you get the student to change permissions throughout the course of the assignment.
  4. You can leave comments at any time OR co-author the document.
  5. You have access to the full revision history. 
  6. And when it comes to the due date, the student makes you the owner and themselves a viewer.


  1. Hi Robie

    Great Post! The variation I have on this uses the amazing Doctopus script.

    Rather than relying on students correctly setting sharing - I simply create the blank document (perhaps including the assessment outline) and then include students as editors.

    As per your wonderful blog post you have the ability to monitor student work during the task and provide ongoing feedback.

    At the end of the task you can then use Doctopus to "embargo" the task to prevent further student editing.

  2. Hi Matthew and Robie,

    What is Doctopus? (I will google it also....).


    1. Hi Sam

      Doctopus is "A script to give teachers the ability to auto-generate, pre-share, and manage grading and feedback on templated Docs for group and individual projects"

      Here's the site with everything you need to learn about it:

      Do you think your teachers would warm to this? Scripting is a powerful Google service.... It would be great to have a few people in the diocese getting into it.