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Google Adds Tools for Grading, Plagiarism Detection

Google Assignments

This week, Google introduced Assignments, a revamp of its Course Kit toolkit (in beta last year), designed to streamline the process of collecting and grading student work.

Assignments combines the functionalities of Google Docs, Drive and Search, and can be used in conjunction with an existing learning management system or integrated within the LMS via the Assignments LTI tool. Features include:

  • Instructors can assign files and automatically send each student a copy;
  • Instructors and students can attach a variety of files to assignments, including Docs or Word files, spreadsheets, presentation slides, digital portfolios, Colab notebooks and more;
  • Any file type can be reviewed without leaving the grading interface;
  • Instructors can use Google Docs to comment and leave suggestions on student work, and grading work is automatically saved; and
  • A comment bank allows instructors to repeat the same feedback for multiple students.

In addition, a new originality reports feature checks student work against "hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books," according to a Google blog post, to identify possible plagiarism. The system can automatically lock student work when it's turned in, or allow students to check their own work to correct originality issues before submitting it for grading.

Assignments will be available in a few weeks as a free feature of G Suite for Education. A sign-up for beta access is available here on the Google site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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