Wondering how you can use Google Docs or Google Slides within Otus? You've come to the right place!

There are various ways to use Google Docs/Slides in Otus; see the table below. Each option has a section in this article containing more details and links for additional information.

Although this article refers to Google Docs, any of the processes below can be done with Google Slides as well!


Making Individual Student Copies

Graded or Ungraded

Individual copies of Google Docs can be made using a Rubric Assessment.

💡 Tip from the Otus Team: Don't let the word assessment deter you. In Otus, the term "assessment" is used to indicate the collection of student work; you don't have to include the results in the gradebook!

Rubric Assessments

When is this the best option?

  • When you need Otus to automatically make a copy of the Google doc for each student and have it accessible within Otus.

Details:

  • The rubric assessment can be excluded from the student's grade*.

  • Teachers can give students continued access to the Google Doc by using the Allow Multiple Attempts setting. Using rubric assessments this way will allow you to assign an ongoing assessment/activity.

  • The Google Doc will appear in the student's Google Drive, as well as within the rubric assessment in Otus; they can access and edit it in both places.

  • The Google Doc will also appear in the main teacher's Google Drive.

  • A notification appears on the student's and family's home page when an assessment is assigned.

*Excluding from the student's grade:

  • Points Gradebook - you can exclude assessments from calculating into the student's grade from the Assigned Assessment settings, or from the gradebook itself.

  • Standards Gradebook - to exclude the attempt from the standards gradebook, the assessment will need to be created without standards attached.

❗Insider Tip - Individual Student Copies in an Otus Lesson

There is a way to distribute individual copies of Google Docs through an Otus Lesson, but those copies will only live in the students Google Drive. They will not be visible within Otus. For more information on how this can be done, check out this article.


Grading

There are two ways students can submit Google Documents to be graded:

See below for additional details and links.

Rubric Assessment

When is this the best option?

  • If the Google Doc represents the entire assessment.

  • If you want students to have continued access to the Google Doc.

Details:

  • Teachers can give students continued access to the Google Doc by using the Allow Multiple Attempts setting. Using rubric assessments this way will allow you to assign an ongoing assessment/activity.

  • The Google Doc will appear in the student's Google Drive, as well as within the rubric assessment in Otus; they can access it in both places.

  • Google Docs can be made as editable or view only, or can make a copy for each student (see the section above).

  • A notification appears on the student's and family's home page when an assessment is assigned.

Advanced Assessment

When is this the best option?

  • When the Google Doc is to be used as part of a larger assessment where there are other questions involved.

  • When you do not need to make an individual copy for each student. Advanced assessments allow you to embed an editable or view only copy of the document.

  • If the student needs to attach their own Google Doc as part of a larger assessment.

Details:

  • Advanced assessments allow for a wide variety of question types.

  • Students can upload other types of attachments such as PDFs, Word documents, images, and others.

  • A notification appears on the student's and family's home page when an assessment is assigned.


Distribution

There are four effective ways to distribute Google Docs to your student that do not need to have individual student copies and/or do not need to be graded;

See below for more details and links.

Lesson

When is this the best option?

  • If the Google Doc is to be used in a series of activities.

  • If you want to see when students have marked the Google Doc as complete.

Details

  • Teachers are able to track student progress of lessons.

  • Students can mark when a lesson activity has been completed.

  • Only students have access to lesson content.

  • A notification appears on the student's and family's home page when a lesson is assigned.

Class Board

When is this the best option?

  • If the Google Doc is part of a classroom announcement.

Details

  • Both student and family accounts can see the announcements the Class Board.

  • You can enable or disable student commenting on the post.

  • Students and parents are sent a notification when a class board post is made.

  • You can pin a class board post to the top of the page.

Bookshelf

When is this the best option?

  • If the Google Doc is to be used as a resource or reference item that you'd like to add to the student's personal library.

Details

  • You can share resources on the bookshelf with entire classes, groups of students, or individual students.

  • Both student and family accounts have access to the content on the bookshelf.

Blog

When is this the best option?

  • If the Google Doc is to be used as part of a conversation with the students.

Details

  • Both student and family accounts can see the announcements the blog.

  • You can enable or disable student commenting on the post.

  • Students and parents are sent a notification when a blog post is made.

💡 Tip from the Otus Team: The major difference between the Class Board and Blog comes down to the layout and structure of the page itself. Make sure you check out the style of each, so that you choose the one that best suits your needs!


Student or Parent Communication / Announcement

There are three effective ways to distribute Google Docs as part of parent communication or an announcement.

See below for more details and links.

Mailbox

When is this the best option?

  • If you want to send the Google Doc as part of an email message.

Details

  • Messages sent from the Otus Mailbox will go directly to the recipient's email inbox.

  • Family members and students can reply back to your message; the reply will go directly to your email inbox.

Class Board

When is this the best option?

  • If the Google Doc is part of a classroom announcement.

Details

  • Both student and family accounts can see the announcements the Class Board.

  • You can enable or disable student commenting on the post.

  • Students and parents are sent a notification when a class board post is made.

  • You can pin a class board post to the top of the page.

Blog

When is this the best option?

  • If the Google Doc is to be used as part of a conversation with the students.

Details

  • Both student and family accounts can see the announcements the blog.

  • You can enable or disable student commenting on the post.

  • Students and parents are sent a notification when a blog post is made.

💡 Tip from the Otus Team: The major difference between the Class Board and Blog comes down to the layout and structure of the page itself. Make sure you check out the style of each, so that you choose the one that best suits your needs!


Documentation

If you want to use a Google Document to store student information that is only accessible to teachers, you'll want to add it as an attachment to the Student Profile.

Student Profile

When is this the best option?

  • If the Google Doc is not something the students or parents need access to but still needs to be associated with that student (for example, a list of IEP accommodations).

Details

  • Attachments added here are not viewable by the student or families.

  • Attachments here can be seen by any of the student's teachers.

  • Anything added here will stay with the student from year-to-year, unless it is removed.


Highlight Work or Accomplishments

If you'd like to use a Google Doc to highlight student work or special accomplishments, you'll want to add an attachment to the Student Portfolio.

Student Portfolio

When is this the best option?

  • If the Google Doc is intended to highlight noteworthy student content, achievements, or milestones.

Details

  • Both student and family accounts can access the information on the student portfolio.

  • Items here will travel with the student from year-to-year, unless they are removed.

  • Students and teachers can leave comments on items in the portfolio.


Next Steps

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