Following on from last week’s insightful post on using ‘Online Assessments with Google Forms’, I considered the many other excellent assessment tools that Google Workspace for Education has to offer. This year, the ‘Digital Learning Plan’ in my school is focusing on moving towards collecting and sharing assessment data through digital means. Google Workspace for Education provides the majority of the digital assessment tools that we use. In this blog post, I will outline the benefits of using Google Sheets for data analysis, Google Forms for self-assessment exit tickets and Google Sites for the creation of student ePortfolios.
Google Forms in one of the most common modes of assessment that I use to gather data. Using it for self-assessment is also a powerful tool and promotes self-reflection for students. Creating a short ‘exit ticket’ type of survey can provide with the teacher with enough data to address individual student’s needs going forward. Indeed, the teacher may also realise that content has been covered too quickly and that a large number of students could benefit from further work on a particular topic. This is very effective, as a well worded question can gather data from every student in less than 1 minute.
Google Sheets ‘Gradebook’
The ‘Gradebook’ template that is available within Google Sheets is quickly becoming my favourite Google assessment tool. This template is a prepopulated spreadsheet that has all formulas prepared in advance. Inputting student results on a series of assessments allows the teacher to keep track of student progress. The template also contains an ‘individual report’ tab which generates a graph for every student and compares their performance against the class average. At just one glance, the teacher can see any students that are struggling / any topics that the class are struggling to grasp. This tool really helps a teacher to make an intervention in a timely manner.
Google Sites is an interactive ‘website’ creation tool offered as part of the Google Workspace pack. Google Sites is an excellent medium through which students can create an ePortfolio. This ePortfolio can track students progress through the senior end of the school (3rd – 6th class). Separate pages and sub-pages can be created – these can be split up by subject / class level. It may be best to focus on one area initially, i.e. the six writing genres (recount, report, narrative, procedural, exposition and explanation) might initially form the content of the portfolio. Discussing progress over a unit of work / improvements they have made from previous years on the same topic can be a powerful stimulus for teacher-student conferences.
These are just some of the many excellent assessment tools that the ‘Google Workspace’ apps provide. There are many more, e.g. rubrics within Google Classroom, KWL charts in Docs, brainstorming maps in Jamboard, etc. However, as teachers, we must always be mindful of the purpose of assessment and what we plan to do with the assessment data we gather. We must actively use this assessment data to plan future work that will develop learner outcomes. The learning experiences we expose our class to should be guided by ongoing assessment. Our assessments should be active documents that we respond to, rather than passive files that we store away in a folder. The Google tools make it easier than ever to gather this data and they present it in a way that is very easy to analyse. It is our duty then to make the interventions necessary to benefit all our pupils.