Friday, January 24, 2014

Google Forms and Flubaroo

I had used Google Forms in my classroom, a 1-1 Ipad environment, a few times during this school year as an aid to help with formative assessment. While it did help me focus on identifying patterns of misconceptions and errors my students were having, it did not help me get information to them in any more timely manner than I had not been doing before with more traditional pencil and paper methods so I only used them sporadically.

This week, I decided to try to combine short Google Forms assessment tasks with Flubaroo, a grading script tool that can be installed in a Google Form response spreadsheet. While this brings some limitations to the assessments, what I liked about this combination was the ability to get very timely information to individual students via e-mail on errors that they had made that day and at the same time, get a very quick overview on common errors that my classes were having so I could address those class-wide misconceptions the next day.

It is not a perfect process, especially for a mathematics class. Google Forms does not have an equation editor like Google Docs does, (why not?), so symbols like fraction bars have to be entered with a slash - example 12/35. This in turn can confuse the Flubaroo reporting tool in thinking that the numbers separated by a slash are dates. I also do not get a look at all the work my students did with each problem that I got with pencil and paper. But I feel the ability to get very timely information to them, and to me, outweighs the negatives. I will continue to tweak the process during the rest of the year to hopefully improve the quality of feedback they get and that is transmitted to me.

A link to one of the Forms I used this week is here.

A link to the what a student e-mail report looks like is here. - Note that the slash in the answer gave some incorrect responses as to what the answers were. The actual grading of the results was fine, but the reporting of the errors was confused by the slash.