Google Classroom is one of the most widely used LMSs. Even though it is popular, integration with Google Classroom and Google Workspace (formerly G suite) can be challenging. Additionally, the Google Classroom and Google Workspace APIs have quirks that can present unforeseen challenges that aren't seen with the APIs of other platforms.
Unlike other major LMSs, Google Classroom does not support the LTI standard. Instead, edtech developers will have to use the proprietary Google Classroom API to integrate.
The Google Classroom and Google Workspace APIs
When a user creates a Google account, Google grants the user access to many of Google's products, such as Gmail and Google Drive. These are collectively known as Google Workspace. In fact, Google offers a tailored package for educational institutions for educators, called Google Workspace for Education. Google's Cloud Platform allows developers to implement API requests on behalf of a user's Google account and provide APIs for many of the applications in Google Workspace, including Google Classroom.
While the Google Classroom API can make requests on behalf of a user's Classroom account, developers will have to use other Google Workspace APIs to enable features that are necessary for complete integration. For example, onboarding an entire district that uses Google Workspace for Education might require edtech developers to implement the Admin SDK so they can retrieve an entire list of all users at a school. This cannot be done alone with the Google Classroom API. Understanding how the Google Workspace APIs work together is vital to understanding how to integrate applications with Google Classroom.
Rostering Through Google Classroom
Rostering accounts through Google Classroom can also be tricky to tackle. As mentioned earlier, developers have to implement other Google Workspace APIs to properly onboard an entire school. The Google Classroom API, itself, can only obtain roster information for individual courses. The good news is that many teachers will use Google Classroom for their courses and don't require admin-level authorization to use the platform.
Google Classroom is also unique among other LMSs because it requires users to have a valid email address. Since many third-party applications identify users through their email addresses, no workarounds need to be developed to implement the Google Classroom API to properly roster uses in the app.
Read More on Google Classroom
Here are other articles we’ve written on Google Classroom to help you on your integration journey:
- The Challenges of integration with Google Classroom
- Start a Google Classroom Integration
- Is Google Classroom an LMS?
- What Information is Available Through the Google Classroom AP?
- API vs. LTI Integration for Google Classroom
Want to Learn More about Edlink?
If you're looking for a partner who can help guide you through developing LMS integrations (like these), then let’s introduce ourselves. We’re Edlink!