Easily promote student collaboration with Google Assignments in Blackboard

Google Assignments is an add-on application in Blackboard that helps you distribute, analyze and grade student work with Google Workspace for Education. The tool makes Google Docs and Google Drive compatible with Blackboard for file submissions — it even locks the Google Doc so that students can’t change it after submission! You can use Assignments to save time distributing and grading student work, and analyze student submissions with originality reports to ensure authenticity. This is a great option for instructors who have students working in Google Docs in collaborative projects, but it also supports uploading regular Word files as well.

There are three main benefits of using Google Assignments:

  1. Distribute personalized Google Drive templates and worksheets to students
    • Assign and collect virtually any file type, including Google Docs and Microsoft® Word files.
    • Automatically distribute a personalized copy of assignment files for each student.
    • Each distributed copy will be labeled with a student’s name and organized in a Drive folder.
  1. Spot missed citations and possible plagiarism with originality reports
    • Assess student work for originality without leaving your grading tool.
    • Searches hundreds of billions of web pages and 40 million books.
    • Help students learn to support their ideas by letting them scan their work for missed citations up to three times before submitting.
  1. Save time grading while providing rich feedback
    • Prevents students from editing their work while you grade.
    • Grade with rubrics to keep grading consistent and transparent.
    • Give rich feedback and suggestions on student work using the features of Google Docs, including margin comments, strikethroughs, and highlighting.
    • Easily reuse frequent margin comments with a personalized comment bank.
    • Grades save to Blackboard’s Grade Center.

Locate Google Assignments in Blackboard by following the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to your Blackboard course.
  2. In any of your course folders, navigate to Build Content > Google Assignment Tool in the navigation bar.
  3. Google Assignments will then launch, prompting you to link your UIC G Suite account — please note, you must use your UIC Gsuite account in order to use Google Assignments. Click Link to link your account and begin creating your assignment.
  4. A second prompt will appear, confirming that you agree with sharing your UIC contact information. Click Link.
  5. Google Assignments will launch the Assignment Workflow (see below).

Google Assignments Workflow

  1. Instructor creates an assignment — The instructor chooses to use Google Assignments when adding new course material, and configures assignment settings, including:
    1. (Required) Setting the point value
    2. (Optional) Setting the due date
    3. (Optional) Adding a grading rubric
    4. (Optional) Attaching assignment files to make a copy for each student to edit and submit
    5. (Optional) Enabling originality reports
  2. Students submit their assignments – When a student opens the assignment in their LMS, the student can attach files from their Google Drive to their submission, including:
    1. Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, and Drawings
    2. Microsoft®️ Word®️, Excel®️, or PowerPoint®️
    3. PDF
    4. Image files
    5. Text files
    6. Video files (WEBM, MPEG4, 3GPP, MOV, AVI, MPEG-PS, WMV, FLV, OGG)
    7. Students can also upload files from their computer.

Tip: If a student submits a file unsupported by Docs or Drive, the instructor can download and view the file in the corresponding application. For more information, go to Files you can store in Google Drive.

When a student turns in their work:

  • They no longer have edit or comment access to their original file.
  • Assignments makes a copy of the submitted file and saves it to the student’s Drive.
  1. Instructor grades and returns assignments – The instructor can open the assignment to their LMS to review submissions, give feedback, and assign grades. When an instructor returns work:
    1. Ownership of the file returns to the student.
    2. Assignments archives a copy of the graded file and saves it to the instructor’s Drive.
    3. Grades are saved to the LMS gradebook.

For more details, go to How instructors and students share files. For particular questions or help to get started with Google Assignments, request an appointment with one of CATE’s Instructional Designers at https://go.uic.edu/IDappointment.

Visit the Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence (CATE) website for more information regarding teaching in general or teaching with technology in particular.

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