This week I’ve decided to write to you about a teaching tool that I found out about during a SPEAQ conference here, in University Laval. Everybody has already heard about Google, most people heard about Google Docs, and they are probably fewer who have heard about Google Forms. I personally didn’t before last weekends’ conferences. I was actually surprised that I didn’t, because from what I’ve of it so far, it seems like a great tool with great opportunity to save teachers some crucial time. In fact, I believe that the main benefit that teachers can gain from Google Forms is that, by allowing you to create effective multiple choices quizzes, it saves teachers a lot of trouble. Actually, I think that many teachers’ wildest dreams just became reality because, yes, it can grade paper automatically. How cool is that? Really cool.
However there are limitations to the coolness in the fact that the quizzes created on Google Forms can’t really serve as real evaluation because it doesn’t really work for development questions. Even then, I think that it is clearly worth the trouble and time of finding out about it since it can serve very well to check the student’s comprehension on some new material taught the same day in class for example. Another useful aspect is that Google Forms, once you have downloaded “Flubaroo” a program designed to work alongside Google Forms, gives you relevant statistics concerning your quiz. Aside from giving you the students’ grades, it gives you there answers on every question, the class average, the number of submissions (to check if all your students took the quiz) and, most important of all, the number of low-scoring questions. The last one is particularly useful because it makes it easier for the teachers to spot if any questions, and if some which ones, were poorly answered by the students, and it might allow the teacher to see more clearly if his or her questions was not well-structured or if it was too hard. Another positive aspect of Google Forms is that it allows students to take their quiz home (if they are allowed of their notes, of course).
To sum up, I think Google Forms is a practical tool that should be considered by every teacher, especially those who have difficulty coming out of the never-ending battle of correction. Also, I believe that it would be more pertinent to assess students short quizzes on the content seen in class after every one of them, than assessing them homework which do not always fit their relevance criteria.
If you are interested, here are tutorials that, joined together, explains you every step to create your own self-grading quiz.
Have a nice Spring break 🙂