I have written and posted a lot of information regarding the use of Google Forms for collecting student data snapshots. As my work with forms has increased, I have thought about data reporting at the local school level. When working with academic data, the norm tends to center around the importing and exporting of .csv files – sending back and forth Excel data. Using Google Forms provides a seamless connection between the form and the response spreadsheet it is linked to. The following simple steps will help you setup a way to report and share important assessment level data with colleagues and administrators. This can work for those teachers that are part of Apps for Education and accounts that are just normal Google based. The idea here is to keep from sending documents all over the place, or having teachers import and export data exhaustively. Even the best LMS software often has extra steps that are needed to share out comprehensive or cumulative student achievement data.
The important thing to think about when creating your assessment form will be the fields that you use to collect data from. If you are familiar with survey design, this will be an easy transition. You basically want to think of fields that will give you clear searchable data later. You do not want to try to fit too many bits of information to any one field. The idea is to separate each bit of data that you would like to collect into each separate field. Once submitted, this data will be organized into a spreadsheet document – so keep that in mind for the amount of text at any given time you will be inputting. I like to keep it realistically simple. Fields for: test name, test subject, type (exit slip, midterm), date of assessment, grade average, class average etc. I use forms to report assessment data to my school principal, so I design the fields in a way that will offer a complete snapshot of each class section and overall student achievement.
I will also add some paragraph text fields to list standards that students excelled on, or standards that they may need more targeted review for. While other SIS or LMS systems can track standards, they often truncate them into the abbreviation they are listed as – this type of field can keep a more logical listing of skills and standards for the colleague or administrator to examine.
Once the basic form layout is done, I test it by entering data from one of my most recent assessments to see how it looks in the response document. In the design view of creating a form, the responses are indicated in the top menu. This view will allow you to see the spreadsheet that will keep all the responses as they are entered into the form. The response document spreadsheet is what I ultimately share with my admin team. This document will be constantly updated with assessment data of various types allowing for a sort-able and searchable view of student achievement.
Forms are one of those things that are extremely useful for collecting quick information. It seems like everyone at one point or another was shown the magical ways of collecting and sorting information via form input. Unfortunately, most have moved on from traditional form design in favor of single serving cloud based programs – designed to make these tasks more seamless. In conducting research forms (surveys) are a necessity. I need a way to collect multiple points of substantial data. This comes in the form of programs like Google Forms and a more robust program like Qualtrics. While using Gradecam to bubble in rubric points for a science presentation, I decided to create a form that could keep track of all my student rubric scores across three classes. I wanted a way to add up and display all the final student scores. Google Forms automatically creates a spreadsheet for each form you launch. This spreadsheet can be edited and formulas applied without worrying about the integrity of your data. After that, I applied this same thinking to tracking student understanding for my 7th grade science labs. At the end of each lab I would post a feedback form for my students on Google Classroom. While I consider this informal data collection, the quick insights are a good barometer for what students understood. Google Forms also gives you the option for displaying a “quick summary” which contains basic descriptive statistics – which is very useful for seeing class data. In the end, I think the process of creating the forms and viewing the data promotes best practices among teachers. The validity of the data received from students informally really only provides a surface level snapshot, but it instills a sense of self-reflection among students and teachers. There have been a few instances where I knew a lab direction set was challenging and the data received supported that notion. Having seen data from three full classes, it definitely made me think about certain lab presentations for the future.
Google classroom is great for classroom management and engaging students. Some of the power comes from being able to attach different types of documents or links to each assignment type. A successful strategy that I have employed in the past has students using materials to both study and complete a take home quiz.
Click below to view the tutorial!
I have been looking for ways to improve study skills and content enrichment with my 7th grade science class. We have used a lot of technology, but for a recent Geology test, I thought it might be interesting to conduct an activity that was more grounded in traditional study skills. I had used Quizlet years back when studying for graduate level tests and thought that It may be useful for my students. Since then, with implementation of study sets and various practice activities, Quizlet has definitely expanded its offerings. I split my class review time between Quizlet and PollEveryWhere allowing students to have an online study session. I provided URLs for both so that students could access at home easily as well. Traditionally, study time prior to our unit tests might resemble paper study guides, but students really enjoyed this one. They were enforcing traditional study skills, but in a way that was more business as usual in their ever digital lifestyles. It is extremely easy to create a class, study set, and various activities that students can use to study from.
A quick collection of two videos from this past summer. I taught a summer bridge program to rising 9-11th grade students about particle physics. We build a cloud chamber to detect fundamental particles.
Construct a Cloud Chamber (with particle footage) from thinkedtech on Vimeo.
Particle Chamber Slow Motion from thinkedtech on Vimeo.
Students use Chromebooks with AudioSauna to learn the basics of digital audio creation. They started with a basic sampler and layered synths on different tracks.
Long ago, prior to my journey to becoming a teacher and doctoral candidate – I was awarded a BFA in music. I had attended the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College. My degree centered around music composition and audio production. With beginning my teaching career in 2010, the time spent towards music has been minimal. Last year, I explored a program called AudioSauna which would run a digital audio program within your browser. Best of all, it was very Chromebook friendly.
This year, I really started to work with students during my technology class to create playlists of student work. My focus has been on working with 6th and 7th grade students. I have created a simple Blendspace to get started that has been included below. Please check back for more samples as they are completed! Click below to view the embed lesson. As I continue to teach students about digital audio, I will be creating more resources.
As a change of pace, I decided to create a one day project for my 5th grade graphic design class. I found an online web based pixel editor geared towards creating 8-bit inspired art. Using the program Piq, students created their own 8-bit inspired art and uploaded it to their Google Classroom.
Having used a few different LMS packages over the last few years, I thought it was time to bring back allowing students to academically comment on material. I chose to do this with my 5th grade science class, which has been using the NGSS all year long. I have been piloting a blended and flipped curriculum with them since the start of September. Since viewing lessons I have created for them in Blendspace is business as usual, I planned a period for them to dig deeper into the lesson itself, leaving detailed comments for each informational slide. The results, have been great. Students had extremely targeted responses to each slide, which were all organized by subtopic. As the commenting continued, we decided to see how many comments both 5th grade classes could collect altogether. Prior to trying this out, students would review for a unit test – creating review documents on Google Classroom. As a change of pace, this worked extremely well. In the past, students were normally conditioned to leave simple feedback, sporadically referencing class material.
In 45 minutes of class, students had amassed 176 comments. On their own, they found the “help requests” button – signaling slides that they wanted to review. At the end of the class, I had decided to frame their commenting as a way to earn extra credit on the unit test that would follow the next day. If you would like to try this, I would suggest creating a Blendspace account. The best way to start using this for students, is to have them review for a test. It sets the purpose and focus for targeting their interactions initially with the program. Expand on this by pairing it with your own curated learning material.
A collection of images from our interview along with write up. Click to enlarge!
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to show what I do at my school with 3D printing. Check out the write up and attached video for more information. The interview was conducted for CEI (Center for Educational Innovation. PICCS is supported by the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF), which is granted from the U.S. Department of Education. The interview was conducted during a project my 5th and 6th grade students were working on. The students were designing New York City landmarks, with a process from sketch to model. Scholars needed to visualize their designs first using Google Draw to obtain the basic geometric shapes necessary for their models. Using these basic sketches, students began to model their creations using Tinkercad to great results. The process of the initial design workflow greatly influenced the creation of models that were possible to print using our Makerbot Replicator 2. After our class, we sat down for an interview were we expanded on our vision and student work. This project was the culmination of a year and a half of work with a new graphic design program piloted at my school. Leveraging free web based applications, we were able to significantly cut down on the startup cost to get the program going.
Click to see each stage of the project!
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As my work continues on implementing the Next Generation Science Standards for my 5th grade classes, we have been examining the cause of seasons. Students are supposed to have the understanding that with the Earth changing position relative to the Sun, it will receive different amounts of sunlight based on the tilt of the axis. To illustrate this, I set forth to have students take data for various points over 12 months. Students used the amount of daylight we received in New York City for each month. My lesson had to continue to provide a science background while teaching these 5th graders the basic navigation of a spreadsheet. To accomplish this, I used Google Classroom to provide students with an assignment that had my lesson in it. I also, provided a copy of a custom spreadsheet I created for the assignment. Students were easily able to input the data for themselves, while creating some very interesting graphs. To add some basic functions into the spreadsheets, I had them take the average amount of daylight for each month based off of the 7 days they provided amounts for. This illustrated a strong correlation between the direct amount of sunlight we received in the city to the changing months leading to the seasons.
This lesson was great for taking students to the next level in terms of a challenge. Much of the Next Generation Science Standards require students to represent their learning with a model or graph. There really is no simpler way than to use Google Classroom. By creating this assignment as a Google Classroom assignment, students were kept directly into the classroom workflow that they have been working with for the past month. Besides the new teaching towards using spreadsheets, they were not thrown for a loop here. To them it was a new way to demonstrate that they understood what they were learning.