Managing a Large Course Using Google Apps

Resource Title:
Managing a Large Course Using Google Apps
Technology Type:
Testing and Grading
Online Video Conferencing
Technology Tool:
CTools/Course Management System
Google Docs/Drive
Online Homework System
Online Video Chat
Pedagogical Goal:
Providing feedback to students
Course management
Answering student questions
Managing the instructional team
Course Type:
Academic Area:
Faculty Name:
Jeff Ringenberg
Online Collaboration Tool:
Google Docs
Google Spreadsheets
Google+ Hangouts
Google Forms

Professor Jeff RingenbergFollow this link to a short video describing these teaching strategies.

Jeff Ringenberg, School of Engineering, teaches Engineering 101 which has 675 students and an instructional team of approximately 25 GSIs, graders, etc. Due to the scale of the course, Ringenberg has employed a variety of Google Apps efficiently manage this large number of students and instructors.

ENGIN101 uses Google Docs to (1) create and update course policies for the instructional team, and (2) create and edit instructions for student projects and labs. The ability to collaborate asynchronously on the same document has been a particularly useful feature so GSIs can create the instructions, but Ringenberg can give feedback.

ENGIN101 uses Google Spreadsheets to track grading. Multiple users can edit the spreadsheet simultaneously, which minimizes the time and file management required for data entry. The spreadsheet for this courses has multiple tabs, one for each assignment, which are referenced by the master gradesheet to calculate the students' final grades. In addition, Ringenberg has written numerous formulas that allow for question-by-question analysis of students' performance on assignments.

ENGIN101 uses Google Forms in multiple ways. They are used by GSIs to submit detailed project grades that are automatically added to the grading spreadsheet. Forms are also used by students to submit their projects and to make requests for alternate exam times, which limits the amount of email to the instructional team.

ENGIN101 uses Google+ Hangouts to hold online office hours with students and to hold instructional team meetings.