Simplicity and ease of use were the two main features that characterized its Classroom upon launch—nothing has changed since then really. As a matter of fact, the company is continuing in the same line with the addition of more cute features that will make learning a lot of fun for both teachers and students.
“From the very beginning, Google Classroom focused on simplifying tech, so that teachers and students could spend time on learning. Today, we’re continuing that mission and announcing the biggest refresh to Classroom since its launch,” a Google blog post explains.
With a refreshing new look, and a couple of more additions, Google Classroom is forging ahead to improve the relationship between teachers and students.
A new Classwork page has now been added to allow teachers properly organize assignments into modules and units. What that means is that there will be more space in the Stream section when it comes to using it as a discussion board—a huge bonus for both students and teachers.
With a dedicated page for classwork, teachers can now take full advantage of Stream for all class-related activities. With little or no clutter, students can now enjoy discussions in the Stream to develop their online communication skills within their classroom community.
Learning is all about feedback, but even at that it has to be thoughtful and this requires providing the required tools. Google Classroom now boasts of a new tool built directly into the grading workflow, which will “encourage thoughtful engagement.” A common bank has now been added so instructors can easily save and reuse commonly used feedback. That aside, instructors can now easily and quickly toggle between student files and submissions when grading. This makes it even easier because they no longer have to open each file individually. Google says the new grading tool works with Docs Editors, Office files, PDFs, videos files, and more.
Teachers can now copy and reuse previous classwork without much stress. Same thing applies to educators who collaborate to design a class—all it takes is to copy all topics and assignments from one class to the other. Works can be copied as drafts, which allows teachers to make modifications before posting.
There is even more—you can now turn off specific types of notifications—for a given class as a matter of fact. This is quite encouraging considering the fact that getting notifications for all activity in a class can sometimes be annoying.
Other new tools added by Google include:
- Materials on the Classwork page: Teachers will be able to add Materials on the Classwork page. This tool will support sharing and organizing resources like readings or reference materials.
- Classwork page for existing classes: Moving forward, any new class that you create will automatically have the Classwork page. For any classes you created before the refresh, Google will soon provide a way to add the Classwork page to them.