How can we control tasks with Drive documents from a Moodle platform?

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More than once I have explained that Moodle is an LMS (Learning Management System) with many options and very complete. However, the amount of parameters and options it has makes it a complicated environment to learn in. Yes, the latest versions have improved, but it still falls short of what is meant by ease of use. For this reason, in centres that have the G Suite for Education environment with all its services (Drive, Sites, Mail, etc.) and where teachers do not take advantage of Moodle, where they only use it as a file repository, I am more in favour of using Classroom because of the ease of integration with the rest of the G Suite services and because of the ease of use.

But what about schools where teachers do take advantage of Moodle? Schools where the teachers have been trained and use questionnaires, the grader, the workshop tool, etc. In these cases, I firmly believe that Moodle should continue to be used, but that integration with Drive should be worked on. How does a student deliver a Drive file with Moodle? They can do it through the link or, if it has been enabled, through the Google Drive repository for Moodle.

The problem is, however, that once it has been delivered, even if the task has been completed, the student can still modify the file in Drive. And, although teachers will be able to consult the version history, the facility that Classroom has to limit editing permission when the student submits a file, is missed.

In this respect, Google has for some time now produced what is technically called an LTI, a system that allows different learning tools to be connected. Google called it Google Assignments.

I will not now make a manual of how to enable it in Moodle. If there is an administrator interested, the following link is perfectly explained. I will only tell you how to use it from the point of view of the teacher who uses Moodle.

The teacher will have to add an activity, just as they do with homework, surveys, materials, etc. And he will have to choose the External Tool.

In the configuration of parameters, there are only 2 aspects to be highlighted. First, you must choose Google Assignments as Type (or the name given to it by the administrator).

The second aspect is the Select content button. When you choose it, you must first link your G Suite for Education account.

Once done, a screen very similar to the Classroom task setup will appear. You can indicate the score, the due date, add a rubric. Unlike Classroom, you cannot add links or query files. Moodle already has elements to do this. What you can do is add files with the only option of creating a copy for each student. This option, which is not available in Moodle, can be very useful.

Logically, we can also not add any file and it will be the student who will link one of the files he has on his Drive.

As we said, the advantage of Google Assignments is that it will manage the issue of permissions. When the student submits the assignment, he will lose the permissions to edit the document and will only have read permissions. When the teacher returns the assignment, he will get back the editing permission.

When the student accesses the assignment from Moodle, they will see the following button

When the student clicks on Open task, a new tab will open, much like the one you have in Classroom when you submit a task.

Once the assignment has been submitted, the teacher, if he enters in the assignment from Moodle, will see the submissions made by the students.

And, just as if you were in Classroom, if you click on one of the students, the task viewer will open, Classroom style, where you can see the document, indicate comments, grade the task and return it to the student.

For those centres that use Moodle and also have the G Suite for Education environment, Google Assignments can be a good tool to take advantage of both platforms in a simple way.


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