I’ve been using Google Docs for a few years and have developed my own convoluted (but fairly functional) way of organizing all my student work into folders using the shared features. This year I thought I would give Google Classroom a try as I’ve heard so many people talk about the ways they’ve used or appreciated it. I am enjoying that I can keep all of my assignments posted in a few places and it allows me to see who is finished and has submitted the assignment. There are already a few drawbacks that I am seeing. However, Kyle let me know that Google often takes suggestions and tries to implement ideas to meet teachers’ needs, so I intend to do that.
I’m really just beginning my use and understanding of all of the ways that GAFE can be used. This week, I wanted to try out Google Forms as my new assessment tool. I wanted to use a tool that I could post within my google classroom.
Google forms is a productivity tool that allows you to create a question/answer response survey. You can choose multiple choice, short answer or paragraph answers. When going into forms, you are given the option of creating a form from following options:
I chose to create an exit slip. I wanted to create a quick assessment that my students would complete independently after they finished a water displacement lab related to volume and density. I asked three questions. Two of the questions I planned to use as a formative assessment to determine what the class perceived about the lab and density to know if I needed any further teaching. The final question related to an overall relationship between density, mass and volume which I’m hoping to use as summative as we’ve worked with the concept a great deal in class.
Once the students complete the survey, I can access it by going to my Drive or to Forms.
Within this format, my results are aggregated by question. It gives me all the results per question without student names attached. If my purpose is to look at class understanding of a concept – this gives me a great formative snapshot. I’m able to see what misconceptions there are, what I may need to reteach or if the students have a solid understanding of the outcome. If I find that there are just one or two misconceptions, I can turn the data into a Google sheet that links the responses to each student.
I did find that the spreadsheet is fairly convoluted as you can see below. You are able to follow the rows along to see each student’s response with each question listed in a column, but it’s a lot of data to look at at a glance.
If I just wanted to track a misconception or two, this may be okay, but if I am looking to get a child’s entire understanding, it’s a lot of information to scroll through. So, I thought to myself – Google is smart. Surely there is a way to create a document from this. Alas, there is. Google has created an add on called Save As Doc which you can add through the chrome store to your Google sheets.
Using this format, you can create a document per child (row), per column (by question) or for the whole class/document depending on what you highlight in the spreadsheet. It also gives you some options about how you would like it organized. An example of a whole class document is below.
While this format is a little more helpful, it doesn’t list the questions so you have to infer which question the student is answering. I am just experimenting with Forms and the add ons so perhaps there are more options available to organize the results of the data collected.
Overall, I really like the use of Google Forms. I found that it was very easy to create. It was very engaging for my students (far more than pen and paper despite the fact that it simply replaced it). My students can’t LOSE it!! I loved that it gave me a quick snapshot of student understanding to inform my teaching. Also, when attached to my classroom, I can see I am still missing 7 responses so Google classroom tracks who still needs to complete it.
On the negative side, trying to view the information for one student was a little more onerous as it wasn’t very neat and tidy.
To conclude, in How Technology can Change Assessment, Blair and Schwartz (2012) state “Assessment has a powerful effect on education, not only serving an evaluative function, but also shaping what is considered important for students to know. Expanding the scope of assessments from evaluating only end-state knowledge to evaluating learning processes themselves has the potential to transform what is taught and how” (p.11). Google Forms is a great tool for formative assessment to evaluate learning processes and determine further teaching.
I would definitely use this tool again. Have you ever used Google Forms? Your thoughts Any tips or tricks that you know of to help with the viewing of the spreadsheet?