Class Folders in Drive

Caveat: I have only tried this on a limited basis, so it's possible we'll run into problems when you try it. Don't worry, you can't break anything, the worst that can happen is that you might create some folders you don't want, which we can then delete.

These instructions describe how to automatically (well, with a little prep work) create folders in Google Drive for all the students in each of your classes. When you are finished, you will have created a folder for each section. Within that folder will be:
  • a "View" folder - all students in the class can view and copy any docs in this folder, but not edit the original
  • an "Edit" folder - all students in the class can view, copy and edit the original
  • "Dropbox" folders for each student - you and each individual student will have edit rights to this folder (a place for students to turn in assignments - note that it is not a true dropbox as students will still be able to edit documents after putting them in here - but the edits will be time-stamped)
Here's an example of what this looks like for two test classes that each only had one student in them (thanks Anne and Maura for letting me experiment with you as my students):

You would, of course, see all the students in your class. (So, for example, if you had 34 in your first period class, you would see 34 folders under P1, one for each student).

Here's what each student sees (of course it would be your class name):

You would use this procedure at the beginning of each semester, although if you have year-long classes that have very little student turnover for second semester, you might just manually add/subtract any changes at the beginning of second semester instead of creating all new folders. You will also have to manually create folders for any student who adds your class after you follow this procedure (unfortunately, this process does not continually check IC for updates).

While these directions look long and complicated, they really aren't (I'm just wordy). Depending on your comfort level, these should take less than 15 minutes total (and as few as 5 minutes if you're as good as I am - as if).
  1. In Google Drive choose Create-->From Template

  2. In the Template Gallery search for gClass. You should find AHS gClass Folders. Click Use this template. (Special thanks to Bjorn Behrendt who created this template.)

  3. It should open up a Google Spreadsheet titled "Copy of AHS gClass Folders." Rename it something useful for you and file it somewhere if you wish.

  4. You can manually enter information in the spreadsheet if you wish, but most likely you are going to want to export the information out of Infinite Campus. If you want to manually enter information, go ahead and do that and skip to step 17.

  5. Login to Infinite Campus.

  6. You will need to know your staff # in IC. If you don't know that number, the easiest way to find it is to generate a roster and you'll see your staff number on it (you don't actually have to print it). Click on Roster, then Print Options, then generate. You'll see your staff number listed on the same line as your name. Make a note of it.

  7. Now we'll export the information out of IC. In the left-side navigation, click on the plus sign next to Ad Hoc Reporting to expand it, then click on Filter Designer.

  8. Click on the plus sign next to AHS Teacher to expand it. If you scroll down a bit you should see three filters that begin with "GClass Folder." Copy them one at a time. Select the first one, then click Copy. It will copy it into your own folders with a name of "Copy of . . ." (you can rename it later if you wish). Repeat that for all three filters. (Next time you can skip this step as you'll already have the copies in your filters.)

  9. Now you have two choices, you can export all of the students you have in all of your classes for the current semester - including student assistants, independent studies, etc. - at one time. Or, if you don't want to do this for all of your students, you can export them out one section at a time (and only do the sections you want).

    1. If you want to do this for all of your students in all of your classes, then choose either the 1st Semester or 2nd Semester filter (depending on which semester you are doing this for). You should be working on your copy of the filters, not the AHS Teacher copy.

      1. Click edit.

      2. Click Next.

      3. Change the staff number value to your staff number.

      4. Click Save.

    2. If you want to do this for one section at a time, choose the "by Section" filter.

      1. Click edit.

      2. Click Next.

      3. Change the staff number value to your staff number, and the course number and section number values to the course and section number you want to do this for.

      4. Click Save.

  10. In the left-side navigation, now click on Data Export, then select the same filter you just saved (either 1st semester or 2nd semester or by section).

  11. On the right where it says pick an export format, choose Delimited Values (CSV), then click Export.

  12. Save the file with an appropriate name and in an appropriate location (probably on the desktop).

  13. Navigate to where you saved the file and open it (it should open in Excel).

  14. Now you may - or may not - want to modify the data slightly so that its "cleaner" when you create the folders in Google Drive. Here are a couple of things to consider:

    1. In Column D you'll see your course names. The course names in IC may or may not be what you want to display for you and the students in Drive. If you want to change those names, do it now (use Find & Select, choose Replace, and then replace the current name with whatever you want - repeat for each section you want to change the class name for).

    2. In Column E you'll see the period number. That's fine, but you may want to change how that appears in Drive as well. For example, I would change all the 1's to P1, all the 2's to P2, etc., but that's a personal preference.

    3. For both of these, keep in mind not only what you will see, but what the students will see (so name things well).

    4. Note: you could also do the entire semester export and manually remove just a few students from the spreadsheet - for example, student assistants - if that's all you wanted to get rid of (instead of doing section by section exports).

  15. Once you have done any of the changes in the step above, you'll want to copy all of your data except the first row (student.firstname, etc.). Highlight all of your data and choose Copy. Switch back to Google Drive where you have the Copy of AHS gClass Folders (or whatever you renamed it) still open.

  16. Position your cursor in the first open spot under Student Fname (should be A2), then choose Paste. Your data should populate the appropriate columns.

  17. Now under the gClassFolders menu, choose Step 2: Sort Sheet. Wait (it could be a few seconds or minutes, depending on how many students you have). When it's finished, the sheet should be sorted by class. (Note: the first time you run this script - or the next one - you may get a warning. If you do, click to allow the script, but then you'll need to choose it again to actually run it.)

  18. Now under the gClassFolders menu, choose Step 3: Create Folders and Shares. Wait (it could be a few minutes, depending on how many students you have), and then it should come back and fill in Column G showing you that the folders have been created. (If you are anxious and can't wait, open a new tab and open up your Drive and you should hopefully see the folders start appearing as they are created.)

    Note: Sometimes we've found that if you have a lot of students, this will time out and not complete all of them. It will come back with that error message, and then you'll see on the google spreadsheet how many it was able to complete. You can then either delete the ones it's completed, or copy the ones it hasn't to a new template, and then run it again. If it stopped in a middle of a class - which is likely, you'll have to manually "merge" the two because it will create two sets of folders. If that doesn't make any sense, and if this happens to you, come see me and I can help.

  19. If you now look in your Drive you should see the folders, organized by class name, and then Student Dropboxes (organized by period), Edit and View folders underneath.

  20. You will want to have students go to their Drive and organize the folders they see. There are several ways to do this, but I would recommend having them create a folder for this class. Then they need to click "Shared with Me" and drag the three folders you created for them into the class folder they just created for themselves. That way they'll be able to easily access it in their Drive (instead of having to click "Shared with Me" every time).

  21. You're done. Just a final reminder, though, that if any students add to your class you'll have to manually create and share their dropbox folder, and then add them with the appropriate sharing rights to the Edit and View folders.