Zoom isn't the only educational app that's seeing a dive in review ratings recently. While that videoconferencing service's score is on the rebound following a bit of manual moderation, Google Classroom is also taking a hit, falling as low as 2 stars (at the time of writing) from a relative high of 4.3 stars just two months back.
Above: The app's current rating (retrieved 12:20 PM ET, 3/19/20). Below: The app's rating as of January.
Although there's sure to be at least some brigading from unhappy students, many of the negative reviews, in this case, appear to be legitimate, expressing genuine causes of frustration, potentially tied to a recent update or a drop in service quality over the last month or so.
A sampling of recent reviews, click to zoom.
With classrooms in many universities and schools now closed due to coronavirus, several have switched to solutions like Google Classroom to manage classwork remotely. While it's possible kids are being kids, simply raising a stink in the hopes of evading homework, it's also possible that the service isn't scaling adequately to the increase in demand. Several users claim they're unable to access their classrooms or log in with the app at all, and that uploads and downloads are too slow.
The app's rating over the last year, according to AppBrain.
As was the case with Zoom, the App Store version of the Google Classroom appears to be unaffected, riding a 4.4-star rating in the US. Although Google Classroom has fewer direct competitors than Zoom, other bigger names like Blackboard's various student apps and Canvas have yet to see a similar nosedive.
Given that many of the reviews offer more in the way of specifics (and less "some ass app," like Zoom saw), there may be more of a legitimate cause for Google Classroom's drop in rating. In the meantime, we've reached out to Google for their take on the change. But whether students are simply slamming the app to dodge a few assignments, or if the service's quality has actually taken a hit as a result of increased use, either way, coronavirus is probably partly to blame.