Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Using Google forms for feedback from students

by Kirsten Fletcher

Sometimes, the best ideas are born out of desperation. Recently, I gave a quiz over a topic that I thought we had really covered well. When I sat down to grade the quizzes, I discovered that many students had not mastered the material. I was willing to allow them to retake the quiz, but I wanted them to reflect on their study habits first. So, I decided to create a Google form asking them questions like:
  • What was your grade?
  • What did you do to prepare for this quiz?
  • If you'd like to retake it, do you want to meet with me first?
  • Can you identify one or two key concepts that you still need to practice?
While my intention was to make students reflect on their study habits, the result was that this exercise made me reflect on how I support my students. I almost always offer the opportunity for re-assessment, but I am not always organized enough to follow up with struggling students or direct them to take advantage of the Mastery Lab and other available resources.

By having my students' responses together in one spreadsheet, I was able to quickly assess who planned to re-take the quiz so I knew how many re-assessments I would need. I could also see who wanted my direct intervention. In moments, I sent those students an email to set up times to meet. Several of the students who requested extra help from me in the Google form would probably not have approached me in person to ask.

I know there are other ways of getting feedback from students and encouraging them to reflect on their own practice. For me, the use of Google forms not only gave me a quick snapshot of where students perceive their own skills, but it gave me a much-needed springboard for meeting their needs.

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