With Course Kit, students and teachers can use Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides with existing school software. Ahead of the new semester, the service is now called Google Assignments, with Google also introducing Originality Reports.
With Assignments, Google’s productivity editing apps can be used alongside a school’s existing Learning Management System (LMS). An LMS is a portal where teachers can post assignments and other announcements for students. In turn, those in the class can upload and submit homework.
Given that educators and kids today work inside Google Docs, Assignments helps both parties retain familiar workflows. For example, when assigning new homework, teachers can just have the contents of an existing Drive file automatically be transferred to the LMS.
When completed, students can select a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide to submit rather than having to manually copy/paste or export as PDF. In turn, Assignments offers feedback tools in the native Docs experience, including a comment bank to insert frequently used replies.
Google Assignments is available for free as part of G Suite for Education. It can be used alongside or integrated with an LMS, as well as standalone. The Assignments beta is taking sign-ups today with invitations rolling out “in a few weeks.”
Google is also introducing originality reports to check submitted work against “hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books.” In the future, schools can create a private repository of past submissions to allow for student-to-student comparisons.
We’ve heard from instructors that they copy and paste passages into Google Search to check if student work is authentic, which can be repetitive, inefficient, and biased. They also often spend a lot of time giving feedback about missed citations and improper paraphrasing.
Reports are generated at submission with missed citations flagged, along with passages that are highly similar to existing text online. Students can be given the chance to run up to three originality reports before submitting.
During the testing period in both Google Assignments and Google Classroom (beta form), an unlimited number of originality reports can be created. At launch, a tiering system will be in effect, with unlimited access available for paying G Suite Enterprise for Education customers.
Once the feature is generally available, instructors will be able to access originality reports at no charge for up to three assignments in each course they teach. Schools that would like unlimited access can upgrade their instructors to G Suite Enterprise for Education.