Assessment Options

There are many options for assessment when using technology in the classroom. Here is just an overview of some of the resources I have used in my 6th grade science classroom.

Google Docs Surveys and Quizzes
Passing Back Graded/Corrected Written Response Work

Google Docs Surveys and Quizzes
Google has a host of tools that work very well in the educational setting if you take the time to learn how to use them. One of them is Google Docs. Docs is similar to a lot of word processor programs that you may have on your computer. It has word processing, slideshow, and spreadsheets. The big difference is that it is all web based. You work online and save everything you do to the Google Server. One of the cool things is that you can publish your documents to the web and even collaborate with colleagues.

One powerful feature of Docs is Forms. With Forms you can create an online survey or quiz that the students can access on any computer at any time, as long as it has an internet connection. This is a great way to help the students get a little more comfortable with online multiple choice testing.

Here is an example of a quiz that I created for my students:

To learn how to create a form, go the following website:
Making Online Quizzes with Google Docs

Using this form, you can create a survey or a quiz. I often use this to see what students know before I teach a unit just so I have an idea what I have to work with.

After you collect responses from your students you can use Google Docs to analyze their answers. First, open the spreadsheet view of your quiz and then choose Show Summary of Responses from the Form menu. It will show an item by item analysis of your quiz or survey responses, complete with charts and graphs.

You could grade the quiz by hand after this, but thankfully you don't have to! Some really clever person created a spreadsheet script (formula for calculating stuff in your spreadsheet) called Flubaroo. For more on how to use Flubaroo to make your life easier, check out the following link: Welcome to Flubaroo - Grading Made Easy

The Flubaroo script can be found by going to the Tools menu and choosing Script Gallery. Choose Education to narrow your search and scroll down to find the script. Follow the directions to install the script and it will show up as one of the menu options across the top.

Some things to think about . . .
  • When I create my quizzes I give my students the option to insert their email address. Flubaroo can email quiz results!
  • I usually do not embed my quizzes on my website, rather, I just have a link to it or bookmark it on the computers they will be taking the quiz on. The interface isn't always as nice when it is embedded.

Passing Back Graded/Corrected Written Response Work
One of the major issues that I have come across while developing my digital/semi-paperless classroom is the problem of passing back graded/corrected work. If your students all had email addresses, this would not be a problem, but sadly, where I teach, it is not the norm for students to be that connected yet, therefore I still need to print out some assignments to provide feedback. When using Google Drive applications this is not always the most straightforward process. I have started using a combination of Google and Word applications and completing a Document Merge to automatically place data from a spreadsheet into specific fields of a word processing document. To do this you will need Microsoft Word and Excel. Use the following steps:
  1. Have students complete a Google Drive form - multiple choice or written response, etc.
  2. Go to your Google Drive Account and open the responses document that is associated with the form (it should have (responses) at the end of the file name.) Click in the row 1 cell of the next unpopulated column and rename it Grade. Use this column to grade each of the student responses.
  3. When you are done grading the responses, choose File, Download as, and Microsoft Excel (.xlxs). The file should automatically download.
  4. Now open the Microsoft Word Application on your computer. Create a new Word Document. This will be the document that you pass back to students. I like to put a centered title at the top telling the name of the assignment and perhaps a brief description. This may include the actual question that the students responded to as well as the grading rubric.
  5. Indicate a place for the student's name and period number if applicable.
  6. Indicate a space for the student's response.
  7. Indicate a space for the student's score on the assignment.writing assignment.jpg
  8. Go to the Tools menu and choose Mail Merge Manager. A new box will pop up. Choose Create New and Form Letters. Choose Get List and Open Data Source. Navigate to the file on your hard drive and open it. Click OK to confirm that you trust the data source and then OK again to open up the workbook.
  9. A new section will open up with the place holders that you will use in your document: placeholders.jpg These represent the various cell headings in your Excel Document. SImply drag these place holders into the spots where you want them to appear in your document. They will appear with << >> around the place holder headings. You may want to include a space after name, period, and grade in your document, because it will place the information from the cell exactly where you indicated in the document. populated document.jpg
  10. You can preview the results by clicking on the ABC Button and adjust as neccesary.
  11. At the bottom of the Mail Merge Manager box, under Complete Merge, choose the Merge to New Document button: move to doc.jpg This will open up a new document with a page for each of the individual student's response. You can now print this document out to share with your students.