Sunday, March 3, 2013

Google Forms for quick assessment

It has been much too long since I have posted anything related to teaching.

We have officially been 1:1, (each student has access to an IPad2), in our middle school for about three weeks. One of the things I tried last week that worked quite well was using Google Forms as a warm-up/quick assessment tool.

It is fairly easy to create a Google Form. I used two main styles of forms, one that required numerical answers, and another that allowed more of a paragraph text-based answer. I conditionally formatted the forms that required a numerical answer to be color coded to easily see how the class did. The paragraph-text based answer forms were left as is.

The part that I felt worked nicely was displaying the results to the class in near real-time. I set up a link to the days warm-up form from our class website. Each student accessed and completed the form using their IPads and after about five minutes or so, I displayed the results to the class. We were able to discuss the results in a very timely fashion. (The class enjoyed seeing their responses on the board and watching the stragglers responses pop up while we were discussing the results). It helped me quickly identify what concepts from the previous lesson needed to be reinforced and also served as a focal point for the days lesson.This process could also be used towards the end of a lesson as a type of exit ticket approach.

I had used Google Forms for homework earlier in the year but found that the process did not lend itself to mathematics really well as it encouraged just the writing of an answer with little in the way of working out the problem. So I had gotten away from using the Forms for mathematics but for a quick formative assessment, I feel this method has considerable worth.

I have toyed with the idea of employing Flubaroo scripts with Google Forms for quizzes and tests. It is a pretty nifty scripting tool but has limitations for mathematics with once again, the showing of work part, so for now, I am holding off on using it. I would say that if your assessments are primarily multiple choice and/or short answer based, you might want to explore this script as a way to help in the assessment and grading of your student's work.