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Click to Delete

There are many ways Google Classroom has been a game changer for teachers with remote students. On the other hand, after using it for almost two semesters, I can say that the Google approach to app development — build the bare minimum set of features to impress first-time users — leads to horrors. (Horrors, I tell you.)

Yet until now, I’ve kept my mouth mostly shut. After all, it was better than the alternatives. Mouth shut no longer.

Scenario: Suppose I want to delete all assignments from the fall semester. (I won’t go into why this is very important. Trust me; it is.) 

Question: How many mouse clicks does that take to accomplish this?

Answer: Here’s a back of the envelope calculation.

  • To delete a single assignment takes 3 clicks.
  • Multiply that times the number of assignments in a typical week: 4×3=12 clicks.
  • Multiply that times the number of weeks for the semester. 16×12=192 clicks.
  • Multiply that times six classes. 6×192=1152 clicks.

More than one thousand clicks to delete all the assignments. And of course there’s the scrolling that you have to do between every 3 clicks.

Google has no solution to this. And I have no plan to add some plugin from an unknown developer to automate this for me — all you have to do is give said unknown developer write-access to your Google Classroom. Not going to happen.

So many clicks, so little time.