Saturday, March 12, 2016

5 Ways to use Google Forms in your Classroom

Below is a list of five different ways you can use Google Forms in your classroom.

1. Survey

      Google Forms are a great way to gather information about your students.  I like to survey my students at the beginning of the school year to learn more information about them.  You can also use surveys for reflections and feedback.  I give my students quarterly reflections that have them look back at how they did during the quarter and then set goals for themselves on the new quarter.  I also take this time to have the students provide feedback for me as a teacher.  They get to rate the different activities we did in class and then I have them explain one thing they liked about my teaching style and provide one piece of advice on how I can improve for next quarter.  You might be surprised at some of the insight the students have.  For example, I don't grade every assignment especially assignments we do at the beginning of a unit.  I feel that it is unfair to grade them on something they are just beginning to understand.  A few of my students actually requested that I grade all the assignments. I thought that was interesting.  I still don't grade everything but I now collect one assignment from their science station rotation to grade.  I let them chose the one they want to turn in that they feel better reflects their understanding. It doesn't count for much but it does hold them more accountable for the learning.

2. Entrance / Exit Tickets
     Google Forms are also great for quick checks for understanding.  You can have students answer a few questions as they come in about their homework assignment and that can then guide you in your instruction for class that day.  You can also use it as an exit ticket.  They can write about what they learned or answer a few questions at the end of class.  You can then use this information to reflect on how the instruction went and plan for the next day.  At the bottom of this post is an example exit ticket that you can download and use in your classroom today.

3. Assessment
   Google Forms are great to use for assessments.  You can have a variety of questions like short answer, multiple choice, check boxes, drop downs, and essays.   You can choose to shuffle the order of the possible choices and to shuffle the questions also.  This will help prevent cheating because students sitting next to each other will have different questions for their first question or if they are the same question the choices will be in a different order.  You can also add pictures and video to help students learn to gather information and answer questions using different forms of text.  For easy grading of your assessments you will want to use the add-on called Flubaroo found in Google Sheets.  It's great for grading multiple choice assessments.  It's a little more tricky for grading short answers but still works.

4. Unit Review or Choose Your Own Adventure
   Google Forms have a great feature in their multiple choice and dropdown questions.  You can have it send students to a different section based on their choice.  I like to use this feature when I create my unit reviews.  I make a section for each question and then a section for a help page for each question.  I then set it up so that if they get the question correct it will take them to the next question.  If they get it wrong it will take them to a help page where they get a picture or video explaining the topic.  From the help page they are directed back to the original question.  This way they get the help they need and eventually they get all the questions correct.  At the end of the review I survey them on how many times they needed a hint page and which topics they needed the hint pages for.  I use the survey part to focus the class review the next day.   You can also use the same format as a choose your own adventure where students could read a story and the story would change based on the choices they would take.  You could then have them summarize their adventure and explain why they made certain choices.

5. Paperless Worksheet

   Google Forms are a great way to go paperless.  Instead of creating a worksheet with question on paper you could put those questions on a Google Form.  I like to use this for my online labs and simulations.  The Google Form will have the directions and questions they need to answer as they go through the online investigation.  This is great to do in partners.  One partner can have the Google Form open and the other partner can have the simulation open.  This way they have to talk and discuss what they are seeing which is very important especially for English learners.  

These are only five ways to use Google Forms but there are many others.  What are some ways you use Google Forms in your class?