My colleague Peter Jacobson is working with a new iPod touch lab in his classroom, and has discovered Google Docs as a great vehicle for a lot of the work he is doing on these little machines. He recently made a discovery I would like to pass along!
I have written at length about how much the Forms feature can be used in the classroom, and I have used them for various tests, etc. The big downfall is that you still need to score them, right? Maybe not:
Mr. Jacobson developed this method:
1. Create a multiple-choice test form.
2. When the spreadsheet has been populated by student responses, highlight the column for a question and select “format” pull-down, and then “change rules with colors”
3. Set the formatting menu to highlight anything that does not contain the word or words contained in the correct answer.
4. Repeat for each answer column.
What happens, then, is that any answer that does not match the keywords in the correct answer are highlighted. You get to select the color, he used red because it was REALLY easy to see.
Then you can just print the whole shebang and count red squares across to count up incorrects, or simply scroll across and count. Either way, the little effort on the front end will save time marking the test later.
What’s great is the ability to share the test with a colleague so they could use it the same way. Similar things can be done with other software, Moodle, or Blackboard I’m sure, but especially for anyone already using Docs, this way is a good way to use the same application you’re already using and have it work for you!