Google Classroom is yet another player in the learning management system industry. This platform provides most of the basics that are expected in a lms. This post is not a critique of Google Classroom. Rather, the focus here is on how to use it. It is better for you to decide for yourself about the quality of Google Classroom.
In this post, we will learn how to set up a class in order to prepare the learning experience.
Before we begin it is assumed that you have a Gmail account as this is needed to access Google Classroom. In addition, this demonstration is from an individual account and not through the institutional account that a school would set up with Google if they adopted tGoogle Classroom.
Creating a Google Class
Once you are logged in to your Gmail account you can access Google Classroom by clicking on the little gray squares in the upper right-hand corner of your browser. Doing so will show the following.
In the example above, Google Classroom is the icon in the bottom row in the middle. When you click on it you will see the following.
You might see a screen before this asking if you are a student or teacher. In the screen above, Google tells you where to click to make your first class. Therefore, click on the plus sign and click on “create class” and you will see the following.
Click on the box which promises Google you will only use your classroom with adults. After this, you will see a dialog box where you can give your class a name as shown below.
Give your course a name and click “create”. Then you will see the following.
There is a lot of information here. The name of the class is at the top followed by the name of the teacher below. In the middle of the page, you have something called the “stream”. This is where most of the action happens in terms of posting assignments, leading discussions, and making announcements. To the left are some options for dealing with the stream, a calendar, and a way to organize information in the stream by topic.
The topic feature is valuable because it allows you to organize information in a way similar to topics in Moodle. When creating an activity just be sure to assign it to a topic so students can see expectations for that week’s work. This will be explained more in the future.
One thing that was not mentioned was the tabs at the very top of the screen.
We started in the “stream” tab. If you click on the “students” tab you will see the following.
The “invite students” button allows you to add students by typing their email. To the left, you have the class code. This is the code people need in order to add your course.
If you click on the “about” tab you will see the following.
Here you can access the drive where all files are saved, the class calendar, your Google calendar, and even invite teachers. In the middle, you can edit the information about the course as well as additional materials that the students will need. This page is useful because it is not dynamic like the stream page. Posted files staying easy to find when using the “about” page.
Google Classroom is not extremely difficult to learn. You can set-up a course with minimal computer knowledge in less than 20 minutes. The process shared hear was simply the development of a course. In a future post, we will look at how setup teaching activities and other components of a balanced learning experience.