Save Paper – Create Electronic Assignments in Google Docs

Posted by: on Mar 12, 2012 | No Comments

Since we became a Google Apps school a couple of years ago, I’ve envisioned my classroom with 25 students all working on their own computers completing activities and assignments in electronic format. Now that my district is nearing our 1 to 1 computer to student initiative, I really see this as reality. I have now been moving toward becoming “mostly” paperless in my room.

The biggest hang-up I have had with creating assignments in Google Docs is that I wanted to retain the original format from my Microsoft Word or PDF document. I now understand that my assignments are just going to look different than before. Believe it or not, my biggest problem was that I wanted lines for their answers! Finally asked myself, “Why would I need lines for writing when they were going to be typing their answers?” The answer to my solution was to use tables.

Tables allow you to separate the assignment text from student responses which is something I like because then their responses won’t alter the overall layout of the document. It also allows you to quickly copy certain formats to multiple areas of the document. This is important because I like the students’ answers to be a different color than the black text of the document.

The images below show a simple book summary sheet I’ve used in Microsoft Word format, and its counter part in Google Docs.

For a quick tutorial on how to set up tables for a student assignment, watch the video below.


For help on grading these assignments, check out the Assessing Google Doc Assignments article.

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