What is worse than a worksheet? A worksheet trapped in a notebook. Looking at a notebook that has worksheets glued into it, I asked, “How will the student get feedback on this?” Answer: The teacher will collect the notebooks over the weekend and grade them. Teacher time is so valuable! It is important that we weigh the bang for the buck we get on how we spend our time. “If I spend hours marking these, will student learning increase? Yes… by how much? Is there something I could spend my time doing instead that would have greater bang for the buck?” Look at your ROI (Return on Investment of time).
The greater the distance from a student finishing a task and the student receiving feedback, the less they care.
High-quality feedback that is timely does help students to learn. Best is if it can be delivered WHILE the student is still working on the task, that is when they care the most. This isn’t always feasible. However, whenever possible… try to set a goal for providing feedback while students are still actively engaged in the task. Google Docs is great for this, you can jump into the document and insert feedback comments even if the student has not typed a single word yet (hopefully they have). A worksheet trapped in a notebook is going to be one of the slowest ways for students to get feedback. It’s also sketchy if the kids will even look back at the worksheet to see the scoring on it.
Use a Google Form
Google Forms are great for collecting information and saving precious teacher time. Having all student responses collect to a spreadsheet allows for quick review of student work to provide feedback faster. Now granted I am pretty fast with typing and I know my way around making a Google Form but one time a teacher was grading a science quiz and I was able to type up the entire quiz into a Google Form before she could finish marking one quiz.
Turn on the Spreadsheet
When you create a Google Form the accompanying spreadsheet is not automatic. You must manually create it. Click on the “Responses” tab while editing a Google Form and click on the green “Create Spreadsheet” icon.
Even though I am fast at typing, why type it if I don’t have to. Google Keep app allows me to take a picture of the worksheet into a Keep note. On my phone, I can tap on the image and click on the 3 dots icon and choose “Grab image text.” Or, from my computer go to the Google Keep website and use the 3 dots icon to “Grab image text.” It’s not perfect all the time, but close enough. Now I can copy and paste each question into the Google Form.
Control Shift Enter
One of my Google Forms tricks is to use the keyboard shortcut Control Shift Enter to add an additional question.
Always Answer First
Tip, after creating a Google Form be the FIRST to answer it with the ANSWER KEY. It’s super helpful. You want the answer key to be row 2 in your spreadsheet so be the FIRST!
Flubaroo for Feedback
One cool feature of Flubaroo is the ability to give feedback on free response questions and create a report that is either emailed to students or saved to their Google Drive (particularly handy if your students do not have email accounts.)
After enabling Flubaroo, and students have filled out the Google Form, choose “Grade Assignment” from the Flubaroo menu.
In the setup process, change the free response questions from “Normal grading” aka Automatic grading to “Grade by Hand.” For questions Flubaroo can grade (multiple choice) LET IT! Leave it “Normal grading.”
If you filled out the Google Form with the name “Answer Key” it is extra easy to identify.
Grade Questions by Hand
Go back to the Flubaroo menu and choose “Grade questions by hand.”
Grade by Question
If you want to be consistent (and speed up the feedback process) grade by question rather than by student. When grading by hand, arrow through each student on a question by question basis.
Student Feedback Comment
The grading by hand option allows you to give feedback per question, which is awesome. If you want to leave a student a personalized note on their entire set of answers choose “Edit Student Feedback” from the Flubaroo menu.
Use Your Time Differently
Technology allows us the opportunity to use our time differently so we can impact student learning. Using technology to replace paper does not improve learning. There has to be a change in the instruction and how we use our time for there to be an impact on learning.
If you absolutely need that information on paper, check out the Google Sheets Add-on Autocrat. It will merge the student answers into a Google Doc or PDF that can be printed. You may like my PDFmyFolder add on to help you print those out.