Here's what you do at your end:
- Create the original document you want to share.
- Share that document to the group of students, and make sure to give those students View privileges only (not Edit privileges).
When the document arrives in the student's Google account, it is owned by you (the teacher), and the student has only View privileges. He can't change it. Here's what the student needs to do:
- Check the box in front of the document to select it.
- Click the "More" folder at the top of the window, and select Download from the drop-down menu.
- Take the defaults in the next window, and click Download. Wait until the download completes.
- Now, the student has a copy of this file in the Downloads folder on his computer. He owns this copy. He need to upload this copy back into his Google Docs.
- Back on his main Google Docs page, click the Upload button at the top-left, and choose Files from the drop-down menu.
- Navigate to the file that was previously downloaded to the student's computer, and click Open.
- Take the defaults in the next window, and click Start Upload. Wait until this completes.
Now, the student will have a fresh copy of the document (it may have the same name as the original), and this copy is owned by the student. The student can edit this copy, rename it if necessary, and share it back to the teacher when completed.
So, in summary, the steps are basically:
- Teacher shares a document to students with View privileges.
- Student downloads a copy of this document.
- Student uploads that copy right back into his Google Docs account.
EDIT: One thing that's important to remember is that when a person clicks a link to a shared Google Doc, it will to into any Google account that's currently logged in on that person's computer. Stress to your students to make sure they're logged in to their school Google account, before clicking the link to a shared document from a teacher.