University of Wisconsin–Madison

05.06.16 Google Drive for Course Docs with Tanya Buckingham

Tanya BuckinghamTanya Buckingham shares how she used Google Drive, a collaborative cloud storage service, to organize both her course resources and student assignments.

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Tanya’s Google Drive Story


  • There are MANY uses for Google Drive / Docs! — personal life, calendars, gift ideas, national / international organizations, project management, tracking hours on various client projects, etc.
  • Advantage: Drive and Docs are accessible and editable anywhere – phone, internet, etc.
  • Constant updates with Google (and all software now) requires a new approach to course organization — you and students both need to roll with changes and updates, and evolve more quickly.
  • Course was organized into a narrative/syllabus of linked documents, but she also suggests a level of course folder organization (vs flat file structure).
  • The collaborative nature of Google Docs/Drive should also extend to students, to increase their sense of course ownership. Let them comment, edit, and even collaboratively create course content and policies.
  • Over 95% of Wisconsin K-12 schools are Google schools, so undergraduates are generally already familiar.
  • Course docs can be “live” and change with student/class needs. Be sure to set expectations with students and communicate changes and reasons.
  • Linking between and within Google Docs is super useful! (e.g. Table of Contents feature)

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