How to Collect and Correct Your Students’ Written Work | Google Drive for Teachers


Every classroom needs systems, and the online classroom is no different. I will show you how to set up a document collection system with Google Drive. Getting your systems in place in the beginning of the year will make your whole year easier.

This system works as well in a brick and mortar classroom as it does in an online one. As you become more confident navigating Google Drive, you will tweak this system to make it your own. In the meantime, this is a great place to begin.

Set Up Your Google Drive Account

When you log into Google Drive, you:

-Create a folder for assignments. You want to create a folder to share, where the kids can view what is in the folder, but not change the contents. Here is how:

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-Create a folder for student work. Use the same method as you did to create a folder for assignments, but this one will not be shared. When you complete your corrections and comments, you will save the doc into two folders, this one, and the student’s personal folder.

-Create an Assignment Form. Here is how to make it:

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When you have your students fill out a form, you can more easily and quickly “flip” through the papers, without having to open up each student’s folder and find the assignment. You simply go to your Drive.


Share These Google Drive Rules with Your Students

These are some rules that will make it easier for your students to work within Google Drive. While you are teaching them how to use Google Drive, explicitly teach them these rules. You could put them to music, share them on your whiteboard, have a cartoon characters do a dance around them…. Do whatever you need to do to help them understand that these rules are important.

  1. Everything they create will be in Google Drive. Instruct them to forget about Microsoft Office or Word. Have your students get used to creating all of the work right in the Google Drive word processor.

  2. Everything has to be put away. Digital chaos is every bit as real as paper chaos. Everyday, students must tidy their virtual desk.

  3. They must submit a form with their assignments. The form makes it much easier for you to correct their work. I do not correct their work unless I receive a form.

Help Your Students Set up Their Google Drive Accounts

Your students have to do a little work at the beginning to get their Drive set up and ready for the semester. Basically, they need to set up their folders and learn the system for submitting their work. These are some videos that I have created to walk my students through the initial setup. Feel free to use these videos with your students.

Make a folder to share with you. The students will make a folder with their name and you will have access to it. That way, their work is at your fingertips. All of their folders will appear in your drive. You should create a consistent naming scheme for your folders. For examples, your students could name their folders:

Last Name, First Name, Course, Period


Last Name, First initial, Class

Too much information is better than too little.

-Put their work in the folder and submit a form when they are done: When your students finish their work, they have to put it into the shared folder and submit a completed work form.

Correct Your Students’ Work

When the students submit their form, it appears in a spreadsheet. You simply need to open the spreadsheet from the main page of your drive, and click on the work.

You can read your students’ work and comment on it.

Last year, I wrote about making voice comments to correct essays. You can read the details here. In a nutshell, I create quick screencasts such as this one where I comment on my students’ work. I create them on YouCam6 and then I upload them to to share them. As I detailed in that post, you can also make comments right in Google, with an app called 121 Writing, but I prefer this method.

When you finish correcting the students’ work, you can put it into their folder by clicking here:

This is Just the Beginning!

There are so many great things you can do in Google Drive.

Caitlin Tucker sets all of her students up on Google Drive, and then systematically and continuously provides them with feedback as they are working, by using the chat box. Here is her explanation of what she does.

Jonathan Hardison uses Google Drive to facilitate peer editing and prepare students for the AP exam. He describes his four day lesson plan, here..

I teach an online course for young writers. I conduct the class from the WizIQ classroom and send my students to work in Google Drive. While they are working, I can remotely “peek” over their shoulders to provide them with encouragement and instruction.

The possibilities are endless.

Google Drive can help you keep your work organized and respond to students work all in one neat package.



I am a teacher, hiker, mother, dancer and home-maker. I have taught pre-school through SAT prep. I am exploring ways to create on-line learning communities for home-schooled middle school and high school students. In particular, I am starting a low-residency on-line middle school. I would like to help young people explore important ideas while enjoying their lives! You can learn more about my programs at

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