This is a sample post serving as a model for the second post each of you will create. On Friday 10/18, the last of you will post your first post (on lynda tutorial/video), and the next week we will shift to posts on a cool tool you read about in another blog. Meanwhile, you should confirm with me your cool tool topic, read the posted tips and assessment criteria (linked on right in Moodle), and read this post as an example (and try out the cool tool it discusses!).
In her blog, Tammy Worcester’s Tech Tip of the Week, Tammy Worcester Tang provides tips for teachers on cool ways to use technology in teaching and learning. In the post entitled Tip 81 – Google Docs Self Check Quizzes, Tammy describes four cool Google Doc templates she has created for 5, 10, 15, and 20-question quizzes.
If you have not yet experimented with Google forms to create surveys and questionnaires, be sure to check out my earlier sample post, Creating Forms in Google Drive and try it out to see how easy it is. While it is great to use forms to gather all sorts of information from others including students, their parents, and colleagues once you are teaching, another way to use forms is for quizzes. Just create questions (short answer/objective ones) in a Google form and provide students with the link to the form. Students can complete the form (take the quiz) as long as they all have access to an Internet-enabled device. After students submit the form, their responses automatically appear in your Google spreadsheet (the one associated with the form), and yes, that’s pretty cool, but then you still have to “grade” the quizzes by checking the accuracy of each student’s responses in your spreadsheet.
That’s where the fun comes in with Tammy’s templates and what makes them so much more cool. They automatically calculate the percent of correct answers for each student. That’s why they are called “self check” – because all you have to do as teacher is enter the correct answers in the designated row of the “answers” spreadsheet where the student responses already are and then switch to a second sheet named “scores” where Tammy has entered formulas to compare each student’s answers to your correct ones (using the IF function) and formulas (using the SUM function and division) to calculate and display the percentage correct for each student. How nifty is that!
To illustrate how this works, I’ve created a short quiz on blogs and shared it with you, my students. I encourage you to “take the test,” and if you prefer, you can use a fake name and intentionally answer some of the questions incorrectly – the point is to get some data in the spreadsheet of responses that I’ve also shared with you so you can see how the self-check feature works for both right and wrong answers. An excerpt from the quiz is shown to the right.
Shown below is the spreadsheet after one student, Leo Tard, has responded.
Tammy’s provides brief instructions in her tech tip post, but also a link to detailed instructions, Google Forms Self-Check Quizzes (pdf) on how to use the templates and adapt them for your own quizzes. I would encourage you to make your own copies of the templates (they will appear in your Google Drive) and of the pdf instructions file (you can upload it to Google Drive too.
While you don’t actually have to understand how the formulas with functions work to use the templates and have quizzes graded for you, if you want to see what’s happening behind the scenes in Tammy’s templates, review Anna B.’s post, Excel: Using Formulas and Functions for Calculations or check out other lynda.com courses with chapters on formulas in Excel or Google spreadsheets. If you are interested in learning more about how the IF function works in spreadsheets, check out Quick and Easy IF Formulas for Grading Google Forms – it can help you create some cool and powerful formulas.
I would also encourage you, if you haven’t already, to subscribe in Feedly to the RSS feed for Tammy’s tech tip blog and skim her posts for some great tips (and possible topics for you future post in our class blog). Finally, you might want to check out other templates of Tammy’s in Google’s template gallery – she has some great ones from collecting information from students or parents or generating a list of QR codes to rubrics, mad libs, and book reviews. On the left are links to templates created by others – another whole world to explore with Google Drive!
Think of the many ways you can use Google Forms to assess your students’ learning while you are teaching, not just quizzes that might be summative assessments, but also as a means of formative assessment (to see how students are doing as you go). If you are fortunate enough to have classroom response systems (clickers) in your school, that’s great, but Google Forms can work with any type of computer or mobile device to achieve the same results. Google Forms can be submitted by students right in your classroom, using laptops, netbooks, iPod Touches, iPads or other tablets, or even phones if your school allows it. See Tony Vincent’s blog post, Four Student Response Systems for a great explanation of alternatives to purchasing clickers, and check out Tammy’s self-check quiz templates to do the grading for you!
Does this sound like something you might like to try with your students? To save time grading on objective responses? Have you participated in online quizzes like this in classes either before or during college?