Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Looking for an easy way to collect digital work?

 Many teachers have been flirting with some form of digital work in their classrooms.  This opens up creative possibilities - instead of a traditional report, some kids may create a Glogster poster, others a Museum Box, perhaps a screen cast... the possibilities are virtually endless (pun intended)!

As great as this is, it also can open up a book keeping nightmare -- no more simple dropping of an assignment in a box -- they can be anywhere on the web.  One kid tells you it's posted on his wiki, another has hers in a dropbox... pretty soon you have no idea where half the items are, let alone a logical way to sit down and grade them while maintaining your sanity.

Enter the Assessment Collector.  (Thanks to Kern Kelly over at The Tech Curve - see his explanation for this handy creation here:  http://thetechcurve.blogspot.com/2012/04/managing-google-docs-in-classroom.html 

This is a handy little Google Form.  When a student goes to this link, here's what they see:

A simple form, where they enter their name, choose their period, and select the particular item they are turning in.

Once they do this, they copy and paste the link to whatever they have created.  Anything published on the web - or shared in a Google Drive - anything with a web address, can be turned in this way.

You adapt it as needed - add and remove new assignments when you need to (I allow students to submit work "for review" or "for a grade" depending on where we are in the process), so you can close a window when a deadline passes, and open a new one when needed.

How does it look on the teacher's end?  Well, it has a few simple features.  It operates through a Google Form, as I noted, so it's a tabbed spreadsheet when you look at it from the teacher's end.

When you open it, here's the first tab:
As you can see, it has basic directions right here.

Once on this page, you simply click Form -> edit form to change the items.

The form is brief and to the point.

Edit assignment options to change that pull down menu, and the period options to match your sections.

The next tab is the really helpful one - this is the Filter.

The two yellow boxes up top are pull-down menus - as students fill out the form, you can use this page to select a particular class group, and a particular assignment, so that you only see the group you wish to grade.

You then just click the link, open it in a new window, and score the assessment.

The 'entry' tab is where all the student responses go -- this is what the filter is looking at.  As each student submits information, it appears here.  I sort this sheet by period or last name before I start grading, so that I can record my student scores alphabetically once I view them through the filter.

I also added a tab for 'finished' - once I grade some papers, I go to the "Entry" tab, and cut the ones I've graded, then paste them into the finished tab.  I then delete the empty rows from the Entry sheet.  Why? This accomplishes two things:
1.  When I go back to the filter, I only see the items I have left to grade.
2.  I have one tab with a record of everything each kid has submitted.  I can sort it by name, and see which students submit work for review, which ones get everything in on time, etc.

Interested in trying this out?  Go here to visit the form and then make a copy into your own Google Drive: http://www.tinyurl.com/asstcoll

If you have any questions, or want to see a demo, let us know!

Per usual, you can revisit all of our tips at http://smstechtips.blogspot.com/

Have an interesting tech idea you'd like us to promote?  Send us an email!

Until next time,