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Using Google Assignments in Moodle

Google Assignments is an alternative to the Moodle assignments activity. It is recommended for instructors who prefer Google Docs to Microsoft Word and desire more robust editing/commenting features and/or a plagiarism detection system when grading assignments for their course.

This tutorial is broken down into 3 sections: Creating a Google Assignment Activity, Submitting a Google Assignment Activity (for students), and Grading a Google Assignment Activity

Creating a Google Assignment Activity

STEP 1: Turn on editing in your course and select “Add an activity or resource” from the bottom of the section you wish to add your assignment:
STEP 2: Select “External tool” from the pop-up:
STEP 3: On the next page, name your assignment and select “Google Assignments” from the “Preconfigured tool” dropdown. If you wish to add an activity description to your course page, click “Show more” and describe your assignment in the “Activity description” box (not required). Click the dark gray “Select content” bottom directly below the “Preconfigured tool” drop down to move to Step 4 :
STEP 4: Link your Google Drive account to Moodle. Select your account and click “Continue”:
STEP 5: Fill out the necessary assignment details. You can attach files (like a document you want students to read), toggle to enable plagiarism detection (you are allowed to use this feature on 5 assignments per class), assign points, add a due date, and add a rubric (more below). When completed, click “Create”:

A NOTE ON RUBRICS: Rubrics can be created from scratch from the Google Assignment page (above), adopted from a previous Google Assignment (from any of your courses), or imported from a spreadsheet. If assistance is desired, please submit a help desk ticket.

Once you’ve added your Google Assignment to your course page, it will also be added to your Moodle gradebook. While the grading interface is different (see “Grading a Google Assignment Activity” below), grades will transfer from Google to Moodle instantaneously.

For students, submitting work to Google Assignments is straightforward.

Submitting a Google Assignment

STEP 1: Click on the assignment from the course page:
STEP 2: Link your Google Drive account to Moodle. Select the Google account that includes your assignment and click “Continue”:
STEP 3: On the next page, click the blue “Open to attach and submit.” On the assignment description page that follows, you can add a file from your Google Drive or upload a document stored on your device. You can also create a new Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide (they will save to Google Drive automatically):
STEP 4: Once you’ve attached or created your assignment document, you may have the opportunity to run an originality report to test your paper for plagiarism before submission (your instructor has the option to turn this on or off). When you’re ready, click “Submit” to hand in your assignment:
NOTE ON SUBMISSIONS FROM GOOGLE DRIVE: Once you submit work from Google Drive, the version provided to your instructor is “locked” from you – so changes made to the document in your Drive will not appear on the submitted version.

Grading a Google Assignment Activity

Grading in Google Assignments is a totally different interface than Moodle assignments, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult! It harnesses the power of the editing features in Google’s suite of tools while adding a grading sidebar. Here’s a short list of the benefits to using Google Assignments:

  • The ability to generate originality reports to check for plagiarism
  • The benefits of Google tools’ superior editing and commenting capabilities
  • Comments are “remembered” by Google and can be easily reused when grading other papers. Simply start typing a comment and “suggestions” (from yourself!) will appear
  • Grades are seamlessly added to your Moodle gradebook – no different than grading a Moodle assignment activity

This tutorial will not address editing and commenting in Google tools, but will instead focus on grading and “returning” work to your students.

STEP 1: To grade an assignment, begin by clicking on the Google Assignment course link:
STEP 2: Scroll down to the list of submitted assignments. You’ll notice originality report flags and the submission status next to each student’s name. Click on the student you plan to grade:
STEP 3: Edit, comment, and grade the assignment. Everything you type (on the paper, in comments, and on the grading sidebar) will be automatically saved, but (importantly) not viewable by students until you click the blue “Return” button at the top right of the page:
STEP 4: After you click “Return,” the paper will be returned to your students’ Google Drive (with your comments) and their score will be added to your Moodle gradebook.

For Moodle help, contact the NMC Technology Helpdesk at 231-995-3020

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