Monthly Archives: October 2014

Submitting work – or why Google Classroom is not yet fit for Higher Education

Using paper it was always clear when students gave their work to their Teacher/Lecturer, it was physically handed over.  When online submission started the virtual world imitated the real one students attached their files to a submission point and when they clicked submit they could no longer change the files.

Things have moved on – both in what’s technically possible and in the kind of assessment that people are happy to attempt online.  This week I have helped a couple of people who were doing some sort of peer assessment online (one formative the other summative), this makes the transfer of control or possession of the submitted files more problematic as they need to stop being accessible to one student (group of students) and become accessible to another to mark the work.

Of course with Cloud tools you have the ability to share a piece of work so it is under the control of several people at the same time (which was a benefit for the peer group assessment) but this opens up the possibility of people editing after the submission deadline.

Now we have peer assessment tools in Blackboard, and Assignment submission tools, we have Google apps, and wiki’s (both inside and outside  the Blackboard course) so we have a wide choice of solutions.

Turns out for this kind of process the best thing is to ask at each stage who can see/edit the work and who “Owns” it.  Then you simply select the tools that provide what you want.

If you are interested – for the Group essay that is peer marked and then the marking is marked by a lecturer we planned this route.

  • Initial collaborative creation – Google Doc (owned by work group)
  • Submitted group work – downloaded to word and submitted to the Group Assignment tool on Blackboard (owned by Lecturer)
  • Peer Marking – Lecturer extract all files from the grade centre and uploads them to Lecturers Google Drive.  Shares each file with marking group with comment rights only (owned by Lecturer, marking group can see/edit)
  • Final Marking – Lecturer downloads to word the commented files and attached them as feedback to the original groups submission (optionally with additional staff marking on original script) together with their grade for doing the work.  Also attaches files to marking group in the “Peer” column together with the grade they get for doing the marking (owned by Lecturer, marking group can see, working group can see)

Why wouldn’t Google Classroom have been easier?  Well mainly because when you provide grades in Classroom the file immediately becomes editable to the original student again(the working group in my example).  So students can edit their work after they have received a grade – which is fine for some formative work but completely the opposite of the HE model of retention of summative work “here is the work exactly as you submitted it”

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by msabba