Regular comprehensive Google Classroom audits are an important part of the K-12 system administrator’s workflow.
They help you catch up on the ‘bigger picture’, identify gaps and tailor IT support for teachers.
Only problem is, they’re time-consuming and sometimes the available Google Classroom admin functions may not give you what you’re looking for.
That’s why we’ve created this 10-item checklist to help you navigate through the trickier bits and audit Google Classroom like a PRO.
Now let’s dive straight in!
(Note: Google Classroom wasn’t built to completely substitute the physical classroom, so with increased Google Classroom reliance you may need the help of 3rd party tools to cover some essential blind spots.)
HOW TO AUDIT GOOGLE CLASSROOM USAGE?
If you’ve never performed a Google Classroom audit before this is where you’d want to start.
- Basic Classroom Usage auditing:
Simply log into the admin console and follow these steps.
From there you can do basic classroom reporting like view usage trends, active users of any classroom and check the available audit logs.
- Deeper Classroom Usage auditing:
Use Classroom Insights to see all Google Classroom classes on your domain, and get granular on class state, users, assignments, grades and classwork — ALL IN ONE VIEW.
HOW TO MONITOR GOOGLE CLASSROOM BROWSING ACTIVITY?
This is an indispensable part of any comprehensive Google Classroom audit report.
While it’s only achievable using a third-party Classroom management tool, it gives you vital information on students’ classroom engagement, and flags any suspicious or inappropriate behaviour.
- HOW TO BLOCK CERTAIN SITES DURING CLASS ONLY?
When auditing Google Classroom browsing activity you may notice some websites require more control (you don’t want to completely block, but would like to disallow students from visiting during class, or specific times).
Let’s take YouTube as an example — students may still need to use it for academic purposes, but you’ve noticed some are abusing it recently.
In this case you can use a tool like GAT Shield to block YouTube during certain times of the day ONLY. Alternatively, use Teacher Assist to block any given URL during class.
Teachers can then post an announcement in their Google Classrooms about when YouTube will be unavailable for students.
HOW TO MONITOR STUDENTS’ SCREENS IN REAL-TIME?
Speaking of where students might go on the web during class, a real-time student screen monitoring solution can work wonders for your Google classroom audit game.
With it teachers can monitor students’ screens during class, and push and/or block tabs to refocus students’ attention when needed.
HOW TO AUDIT GOOGLE CLASSROOM MEET ACTIVITY
Meet Audit Logs
You can find out more about Google Classroom Meet activity using the Meet audit logs in the Admin console. For example you can see when a user starts a meeting, where they’re joining meetings from, and who was in a meeting.
Meet Quality Tool
The Meet Quality Tool within the Admin console is an excellent place to check metrics, find and debug meetings, view network statistics, or view system (CPU) statistics.
Finally, you can also enable or disable Meet (independently of Chat) from the admin console based on your district’s requirements.
HOW TO AUDIT GOOGLE CLASSROOM SAFETY?
Google Classroom Safety Concerns
‘With great power comes great responsibility’
While Google Classroom is an incredibly powerful tool, k-12 district IT admins face challenges when it comes to addressing some classroom safety concerns.
These safety concerns are mainly related to behavioral acts you don’t have much control over in the admin console (like students posting inappropriate comments, using Docs, Sheets or Slides to share explicit content, or cyberbully each other).
There’s also internet safety compliance concerns linked to students’ exposure to malicious strangers online, visiting harmful websites and data safety concerns.
That’s why as an admin you need to:
I. SET UP CONTENT FILTERING FOR GOOGLE CLASSROOM
Setting up alerts for when certain search queries are entered or bad language is used in the classroom is a very smart way to boost the safety of your Google Classrooms.
This can only be achieved via a third party tool. It should also cover content shared in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
II. BLOCK INAPPROPRIATE/ OR RISKY WEBSITES
Block student’s access to dangerous web spaces to keep them safe online while connected to their Google Workspace school accounts.
*Learn more about becoming CIPA (Child Internet Protection Act) in Google Workspace here*
III. SET UP GOOGLE DRIVE DATA LOSS PREVENTION (DLP) POLICY
As both students and teachers rely more on Google Classroom, accidents are bound to happen.
For instance, a file containing personal data may be accidentally shared in the classroom, or via a class document in Google Drive.
To ensure better Drive DLP for your Google Classrooms you need to:
HOW TO AUDIT GOOGLE CLASSROOM GROUPS?
There are two types of Google Classroom email groups:
- Teacher Group Email – contains only teachers.
- Course (Classroom) Group Email – containing both teachers and students.
Both groups can be used for permissions ONLY (ex: to share calendars or files). However, they CANNOT be used to send emails to users.
Now as a k-12 admin you may want to find these Google Classroom groups, check their details and include them in your audit report.
HOW TO AUDIT ORPHANED GOOGLE CLASSROOM CLASSES?
Orphaned classrooms are basically the same as orphaned Drive files: the owner (teacher) of the classroom is deleted, so the classroom becomes orphaned (student-owned).
These Classrooms (just like unattended physical classrooms) can get messy and problematic if left unnoticed/ unattended.
For example, students can post fake announcements there, share unchecked content, etc.
- HOW TO FIND AND FIX ORPHANED GOOGLE CLASSROOMS:
- Identify Orphaned Google Classrooms — You’ll see “Unknown User” as the owner of these classrooms on the Classroom homepage, and in the Stream. You can use GAT+ to filter in Classrooms and find out if the owner was deleted.(You can also identify and delete unused Google Classrooms on your domain, here’s how).
- Reactivate the “deleted” owner account to be able to delete or change the ownership of these classrooms to any other teacher in your domain.
- You can then suspend or re-delete the ‘now previous’ owner account.
Make sure to transfer Classroom ownership before deleting the original owner’s account when offboarding teachers. Otherwise classrooms belonging to deleted accounts will be orphaned.
HOW TO AUDIT AND MANAGE GUARDIANS IN GOOGLE CLASSROOM?
Guardians like to receive Google Classroom email summaries on their children’s’ online learning progress.
As an admin you may want to audit and manage who can invite and remove guardians in the admin console (For instance allow verified teachers or only domain admins).
This is very important to avoid student summary reports from going to unauthorized parties, which can bring in unwanted student data privacy hazards.
You can also use GAT+ to add and update Google Classroom guardians in bulk for your peace of mind.
HOW TO VIEW AND AUDIT GOOGLE CLASSROOM CLASSWORK?
To generate comprehensive Google Classroom audit reports admins need a comprehensive view of Classwork details.
To audit the technical side of your Google Classroom classwork you need to view all courses created on your domain and check details such as:
- Course IDs and name
- Section and state (active or archived)
- Short description
- Created by who and when
- When it was last active.
Dig into Student Classwork Activity
There are times where you (or your school principal) may need to get more granular on student classwork activity and submissions. For instance you may want to report on:
- All student submissions in Google Classrooms
- Classroom Student summary report
- Students’ returned assignments in Google Classrooms
This would help your school understand the student engagement and progress side of classwork activity better.
HOW TO AUDIT GOOGLE CLASSROOM ATTENDANCE?
While there’s no direct way for admins to check Google Classroom attendance at the moment, you can get a good grasp of classroom attendance by:
- Tracking times where students were connected to their designated Classrooms using tools.
- Monitoring how long students stayed in the Classroom and how much time they spend on every site while browsing during Classroom sessions.
This gives you much better insights into Google Classroom attendance beyond the sign in/sign off checkmark.
At the moment this can only be achieved using a 3rd party tool.
Well admins, by covering the above 10 Google Classroom Audit items your reports will become a lot more comprehensive — awarding you the Classroom Audit PRO badge!
Got any specific questions about auditing Google Classroom? Feel free to drop us a message on our contact page. Our Google Classroom experts are always happy to help.
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