Yesterday, I spoke at the Google Playground at ISTE 2014 and alluded to a simple hack I use to do real-time assessment of student work using Google Forms and my iPad. A few people were interested in the details, so I thought I’d write them up. It’s basically just a three-step hack that allows you to have an instant comment form that can be used to keep track of student progress in real-time.
STEP ONE: Create a Google Form
The simplest explanation for how to do this comes from Google–You can read about it here. For simplest workflow, your form should really only have two questions:
1.Question one should be a drop-down box with your class roster on it. Create a “Choose from a List” option for the type of question you want here. If you have your class roster in a spreadsheet, you can just cut and paste the entire class list into the first entry. Forms will create each student as a separate entry in the form. This will allow you to easily select the student on which you want to comment. It will look like this:
2. Question two should just be an open “paragraph text” box where you can put comments. You can add other questions if you want, but when you’re working in class, it’s likely you’re going to want the simplest form possible for quick ease of use.
STEP TWO: ADD FORM TO IPAD
Once you’ve created the form, you should click on “view live form”. This will give you the URL of your form. You can then take that URL and email it to yourself.
Move to your iPad.
Open up the email you sent yourself (with the URL) and open it in Safari on the iPad. Once the link opens, you can save the page to your homescreen, which will make a link on your iPad’s homescreen (the link will look like the icon for an app). If you don’t know where that is, here’s a picture that shows you:
This will allow you to quickly access your form whenever you want to make a comment.
STEP THREE: MAINTAIN YOUR COMMENTS
As students work in groups or alone, keep your iPad handy. Every time a student does something interesting or something of concern, you’ve now got a quick and easy way to make comments on the student’s work. All of these comments are stored in a single spreadsheet on your Google Drive so you can go back to them when writing progress reports, end-of-semester comments or college recommendations.