Wow. March 2020 has been quite a month. And buckle up, folks, because it looks like April is going to be more of the same.
For many educators, that means screencasts of lessons, assignments in learning management systems, and lots of time on Zoom or Google Meet.
But what about Formative Assessment? If we’re going to teach new content during these extended school closures caused by the coronavirus and COVID-19 (I’m not sure if we should, but that’s another post) then we need to know if students are comprehending that new content!
In the 15th episode of Season 2, I am joined by Andreas Johansson to talk about things that we can do to support less tech-savvy staff members, especially non-teaching staff. Tools discussed include Google Forms, Sheets & Sites; the FormMule, AutoCrat & FormRanger Add-Ons; the VLookUp, Concatenate & Substitute Google Formulas; Lean Thinking and more!
I think that educators’ definitions for the term student voice are inconsistent – some seem to believe that it simply means – hearing each student’s answer or thinking
– while others believe that it means empowering the students to have a voice in some (or all!) aspects of their education.
Mike made it clear in his response that he subscribes to the 2nd “definition” of student voice. His response fits with the description that Edutopia uses: student voice involves letting “students’ input and expertise … help shape their classroom, their school, and ultimately their own learning and growth.”
I definitely believe that that is the type of student voice that we want to strive for. In a recent #EduDuctTape chat, educators shared their favorite tool for empowering student voice. It’s important to note that simply using the tool doesn’t provide opportunity for or empowerment of student voice. It’s all about how you use it.
Schoology offers a quality platform for classroom assessments, but no platform for collecting information that isn’t intended to be an assessment. In that situation, Google Forms is a great option. However, using a link and forcing students to go “out” of Schoology can be inconvenient and lead to some internet-wandering. So, let’s embed the Google From right into Schoology! Forms can be embedded in pages as well as assignments.
This is beneficial in a number of other situations:
Schoology assessments can’t differentiate based on answers (i.e., seeing remedial content after getting a question wrong), but Forms can.
If the data coming from the questions is actually going to someone else (i.e., your school guidance counselor), you’d be able to share the Google Forms results easily with them.
If you’re looking to trigger some action (i.e., mail merge) with the responses, the Add-Ons offered in Google Sheets would work.
If you’re looking to use the functionality offered by Google Forms Add-Ons like FormRanger and FormLimiter.
If you need to use formulas or create data representations, Google Sheets are ideal.
Option 1: Add as an External Tool
This option requires the least steps, but has one major drawback – you can’t include any other text or images on the Schoology “page” – just the content from the form. (If you need to include other stuff, check out Option 2, below).
Check out the GIF below, followed by step-by-step instructions, to see how to do this:
Option 2: Embed the Form into a Page, Assignment or Discussion
This option is preferable if you’d like to add some text or other content on the same “screen” as the form.
Check out the GIF below, followed by step-by-step instructions, to see how to do this:
Create your Google Form.
Click the Send (paper airplane) button.
Select the <> Embed option.
Modify the dimensions, if you’d like. You can do that in Schoology later as well.
Google Forms are great for collecting information and delivering assessments, but did you know Forms had some differentiation swag?
Yup, it’s true. Use “Go to Section Based on Answer” with a Multiple Choice question to have right answers and wrong answers lead to different sections. A general mockup of what this could look like, and steps for creating it, are below the GIF.
Add a question with a correct answer and (at least one) wrong answer.
Add a section after that question.
Put your remedial content in that section. YouTube videos work well. You could even make your own video to put in there. You could also include a follow-up question to give your students a chance to re-assess.
Add a section after the remedial content.
Put your next content here. This is the section where students who got the correct answer will land. It will probably also be where you have students who completed the remedial step will land.
Go back to your initial question.
Select “Go to Section Based on Answer.”
Have the incorrect choice(s) go to the remedial section.
Have the correct choice(s) skip to the section after the remedial one.
Sit back and enjoy the differentiated learning experience!
Section 1: includes the question the differentiation is based on
Section 2: the remedial section – whatever content you want the students who got the previous question incorrect to see (video, explanation, follow-up question)
Section 3: the “next step” – the slide that the students with the correct answer jump to, also where the students with the incorrect answers land after completing the remedial section.
Note: you can add multiple levels of this in one Form, but it can get hard to manage. I once created a Form that went: Question 1, Remedial Video & Question 1a, Remedial Video & Question 1b, Question 2, Remedial Video & Question 2a, Remedial Video & Question 2b, etc. As you may guess, I had to create a complex flowchart to make sure I had everything jumping to the correct places.
I love me some Add-Ons. One of my favorites is FormRanger from New Visions Cloud Lab. It can be used to pull in a column of information from a Google Sheet as multiple choice or dropdown options.
This is nice for quickly creating a lot of options for a multiple choice or dropdown question, but what takes it from nice to awesome is . . . you can set it to automatically update based on changes made to the spreadsheet. Whaaaaat!? I know, right?
First off – I can’t take credit for this idea – just the GIF below. I’ve heard it mentioned most recently on the Google Teacher Tribe podcast where the idea was credited to Jeremy Badiner.
Second – In a Twitter discussion with Molly MacKinlay from Google (I love Twitter!), she pointed out that there’s an easier way to do this. I still think that there are valid uses of the password-protecting strategy, but when appropriate, her way is certainly easier. I’ll get to this later in the post, right under the GIF…
There are a lot of uses to password-protecting Forms, but here are the 4 main ones that I can see:
Post a Google Form (i.e., an assessment) to your LMS early, but students won’t be able to access the questions until you give them the password or until they complete a preliminary activity that releases the password to them.
Set this form as part of a BreakOutEDU style activity – participants can only access the form once they’ve found the password in the previous stage.
Make it so only your intended audience can fill out a form. (i.e., 1st period class, but not 2nd period class)
Keep sensitive information within the form, just like a password-protected website.
One important note: setting “error text” is essential – otherwise it will tell the user the password.
The other way of doing this:
In my aforementioned conversation with Molly, a product manager with Google For Education, she reminded me of the ability to turn off “Accepting Responses.” If you want all of your students to have access to this Form at the same time, this is definitely the preferred way to go about it. Leave it off until the quiz starts, then turn it on, then turn it off when the quiz ends. Easy-Peasy. The exceptions start with anytime that you want differentiated access: i.e., students can’t start a quiz until completing a certain activity, only students from a certain class should be able to access a form, etc. And they continue with specialized applications of Google Forms: Digital BreakOuts and more. So, choose based on your need. If you’re just keeping a form closed until test time, use the “accepting responses button.” If you’re differentiating access in some way, use password-protecting.
Ah, the power of the Twitter PLN. Both of the following notes came to me through discussions with people on Twitter.
@HaleEdTechpointed out that the user (i.e., student) can discover the password using Inspect Element or View Page Source (both are in the right-click menu). If you intend to use this regularly, you may want to 1) turn off Inspect element in the Google Admin Console and 2) block “view-source” in the URL blacklist in your Admin Console. These will only prevent this in Chrome – there are likely other steps you’d need to take with Safari or Firefox.
@EfrenR shared with me that people should refrain from using the word “password” in this situation, as Google Forms directly states that they’ll “never ask for your password.” He reported that they may even flag your Form for requesting user’s passwords. So, it may be wise to use something like “keyphrase” or “Form Code” instead.
What better way to celebrate Pi Day than with a hands-on, tech-on exploration activity that helps students build their own understanding of what pi really is? Well, probably a good piece of pie, but this is awesome nonetheless.
Here’s what you do:
Get a bunch of fabric tape measures (using string and then measuring lengths on the string works too).
Get a bunch of circular objects.
Have kids measure the circumference and diameter of different circular objects.
Instruct the kids to submit their measurements to a Google Form (note: my form doesn’t collect names, but it would be best to collect them so you can help kids who have measurement errors).
Setup a QUERY formula to find the circumference/diameter for each entry.
=QUERY(B2:C1000, “select B/C”)
Fix that pesky 2 in the Query formula after the first submission – when the first entry inserts a row, it changes B2 to B3. Change it after the first entry and you’re good to go.
Setup an AVERAGE formula to find the mean of the circumference/diameter calculations.
Project the spreadsheet as entries are recorded. See what your kiddos notice about the numbers they see on their screen!