Here’s the Quick Tip

  1. Tell your students to make sure they can edit the file in Google Docs before sharing (especially if they’re uploading .wps and .doc files).
  2. Remind them to leave the “Convert to Google Docs format” option checked when uploading.
  3. Remind them to leave the “To Edit” option checked when sharing.

Here’s the explanation whyOne of the great things about Google Docs for grading electronice papers is that it eliminates the administrative headache of dealing with all of the different file formats. At least 1/3 of my students don’t use MS Word or Open Office, and sometimes even MS Word files wouldn’t play well with Open Office. I know it’s alleged that you can read and edit most Word Processing documents from one word processor in another, and that this shouldn’t be an issue – but in many cases for an academic using the comment features.

Google Docs has significantly reduced this, but there are still ways for students to share files with you that make it difficult to write comments. Students sometimes…

  1. Uncheck the “Convert to Google Docs” option when Uploading
  2. Uncheck the “To Edit” option  when sharing with you
  3. Upload file that doesn’t convert to Google Docs

These issues are rare when compared to the issues I had with students emailing attachments, so if you did nothing to prevent these issues, you would still be dealing with less headache.

But here’s what I suggest.

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