Google Classroom Integration

05/22/2019

 

Over the last few years many of our customers have adopted Google Classroom.  Currently instructors double-enter data into Google and the TeacherEase gradebook, which is cumbersome and suboptimal.  To improve their experience, we’re adding features to TeacherEase to make the products work better together.

 

This is especially helpful in a standards-based learning environment.  Google Classroom isn’t standards-aware, and linking it with TeacherEase helps manage standard-based resources and data.

 

We’re working on a three-phase Google Classroom project and wanted to share an update.

Phase I – Single Sign-On with Google (2018)

Last year we released single sign-on to allow TeacherEase users to login with their Google accounts. This has been well received and simplified account management.  It is a foundation that later work is built upon.

Phase II – Assignment and Roster Integration (soon)

The upcoming integration makes some nice improvements for users.  It moves data automatically between the systems. Roughly it allows you to:


  1. Link classes in Google Classroom to TeacherEase

  2. Once classes are linked, TeacherEase will

    1. Automatically push students into Google Classroom rosters

    2. Automatically pull assignments and scores from Google Classroom into TeacherEase

  3. We offer a diagnostic screen to understand any errors, and fix manually

 

Normally setting up rosters in Google Classroom is tedious. Instructors give a PIN to students, who use it to manually join the class. Once you link Google Classroom with TeacherEase, we’ll push rosters into Google Classroom, automatically adding students to those classes.

 

Since there are edge cases that prevent the automation from functioning properly 100% of the time, we show helpful error messages when there’s a problem.  It helps users troubleshoot and manually remedy setup issues. For instance, if students in TeacherEase don’t have accounts in Google, we can’t add them to the roster.  We give a nice message to suggest possible fixes.

 

For traditional grading, the process of pulling assignments/scores is typically seamless.

 

In standards-based grading, it’s more complex since Google Classroom is not standards-aware.  To pull assignments into TeacherEase, instructors need to add learning targets. We provide a nice UI to align these assignments to targets and pull them.  In this way, TeacherEase adds SBL support to Google Classroom that was not previously available.

 

Phase II is currently working in house now.  It will take some time to test and release. Look for it sometime soon.

Phase III – Google Apps Inside TeacherEase (next)

While phase II integration is a nice improvement to the status quo, we don’t think it’s the optimal solution.  It requires users to use both Google Classroom and TeacherEase portals. Students and parents may be confused where to find information

 

Phase III will integrate Google Classroom functionality inside TeacherEase, allowing users to access SIS, gradebook, and Google Classroom from one portal.  Users will get the power of Google Classroom, but inside the friendly and consistent TeacherEase wrapper. What will it do (in addition to phase II)?


  1. Users can spend the majority of their time inside TeacherEase, and access Google Classroom resources as required.  There’s one primary user interface.

  2. When instructors create TeacherEase assignments, Google Classroom assignments are created and kept in sync.  GSuite apps can be added as resources. Scores flow back and forth between the systems.

  3. Students use TeacherEase to find, complete, and hand-in assignments.  There are buttons within TeacherEase to directly launch GSuite apps and do their work.

  4. Teachers find and assess completed student work from inside TeacherEase.  They can launch the Google Classroom grading page from within the TeacherEase gradebook.

  5. TeacherEase wraps the Google Classroom technical infrastructure and gives you a unified way to access its functionality.  Underneath you’ll see the familiar Google file structure inside your account.

 

Phase III will start development after phase II has been released.  Look for future updates on our News page.

 

We hope you’re as excited as we are about our new integration. Hopefully this will make using Google with TeacherEase frictionless, letting you focus on your class instead of the tools.