How instructors and students share files
When you create an assignment, you can attach files such as Google Docs, PDFs, or other materials for students to work on. For example, you might include:
- A Docs essay assignment
- A PDF worksheet
- A reference image
After you publish the assignment, students work on the files and can add their own materials. When students turn in their work, you can review and grade their work and files.
As you exchange files with students, Assignments automatically transfers ownership and updates file permissions to View only or Edit access. When you receive student work, edit access transfers to you. When you return the work, edit access transfers to the student.
The workflow in action
Action: Instructor creates assignment, attaches files, and publishes assignment.
Result: Copies of attached files are made for each student. File ownership transfers to the student. Instructors can't view or edit the files.
Action: Student attaches materials or edits files and turns in their work.
Result: File ownership temporarily transfers to the instructor. Student can’t edit or view their files.
Action: Instructor grades and returns the student's assignment.
Result: File ownership transfers back to the student, and the student's editing rights are restored.
Action: Student sees their grades and feedback.
Optional: Student can edit and resubmit assignment.
1. Instructor attaches file and publishes assignment
- Instructor—After you publish an assignment, you can’t view or edit individual student files until they’re turned in. Also, after publishing, you can’t remove assigned files from an assignment.
- Students—After instructors publish the assignment, students have full edit access to the files.
2. Student completes and turns in assignment
- Instructor—After a student turns in an assignment, you have full edit access to their files.
- Students—After turning in their assignment, students can't edit their files or view your grading progress.
3. Instructor grades and returns assignments
- Instructor—After you return the assignment, file ownership transfers back to the student. A backup copy of every graded file is automatically created in your Drive.
- Student—Students can review and revise their files.
4. Student sees their grade and can edit
How do I make a copy of each file for my students?
Can students submit Drive files they don’t own?
What happens if I accidentally remove a student's file?
Can a student unshare a returned file?
How do I view a file I returned?
Why can't I edit my file?
- Check if your file permissions are View only or Edit access. With View only, you can’t edit a file. You get edit access when students submit files. When you return a file, edit access transfers to the student.
- Check that you have Editing selected on the toolbar. If you have Suggesting selected, your edits show in green text with suggestions in the margin.
What are file permissions?
|With this file permission...||I can:|
|Edit access||Make changes to the file. Create or delete content. Leave comments, suggested edits, or direct edits.|
|View only||View the file, but not make any changes.|
How can I check my file permissions?
How can I collaborate on a file before a student submits it?
How can I collaborate on a file before I return it?
- Open the student’s file in the grading tool.
- Under Files, click Open in new window .
- Share the file with the student, giving them edit access.