Revision History in Google Docs

WHPS Tech Tip

Collaboration is Key!

Collaboration in the classroom is a necessary skill that all students should be expected to use and master. Having our students work together is great, but what happens when they fail to be good team players? Google Docs is an amazing online word processor, that has many tools for students and teachers to work with, including several that can aid in collaboration.

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Using the “Share” feature, students can collaborate and share documents with ease, and even work together, simultaneously, within the same document. Do teachers have the ability to track student work and ensure that all students will be fairly graded on what was completed? The answer is yes!

A Classroom Tale as Old as Time

How many times have you been placed in a group, only to find that you are doing the majority of the work, and your partners are getting the same grade? Not only does this make individuals not want to participate in future group work, but it also allows those students who “slipped by” to not want to put effort into their future projects. What is a teacher to do? Use Google for group projects, as Google remembers EVERYTHING!

Accessing Revision History in Google Docs

Google Docs has a revision history link, that will display just about every change that took place within the document for as long as the document has been created. If a teacher would like to see which students have worked on a project, and exactly what each student has added, s/he simply needs to click on the File menu at the top of the document and select See revision history.

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A list will appear on the right with a time and date, showing exactly who made changes, and what the changes were. It also assigns each person who worked on the document a color, so it is very easy to determine who was working on the document. A teacher can now see in detail, how the students split up the work, and which students actually completed the assignment.

How Revision History Helps Teachers and Students

Clicking on any of the dates and times, will show a previous version, and color coding will allow you to see who did the work.

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The revision link is also a great tool to help students when changes were made accidentally. Anyone with edit access to a document can click on any one of the revision dates and restore the document back to that particular date. This would be very helpful if you have that one student who deletes everyone else’s hard work with the click of a mouse.


Source: Documenting Student Work with Revision History

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