Saturday, September 29, 2018

Time hack for Google forms

I use Google forms every day, and frequently use more than one Google form per day. They're great for doing quick vocab checks, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, dictation, and lots more stuff. I like them because they provide immediate feedback to students, and it gives me a way to monitor their progress without spending hours grading. I only use them for formative assessments, so I'm not recording grades from them, but I do use the forms to assess participation, as a way to make sure that students are doing what they're supposed to be doing during class time.

This will super obvious to many people, but it took me a year to realize that my current method of checking Google forms wasn't sustainable for me in terms of time. I had the forms set to collect email addresses, but then when I went back to check for completion/comprehension, the forms were
listed in order of submission, and there's no way to change that. So it took me a ton of time every week to go through my Google forms because submissions weren't in any coherent order. But there is a very quick work-around.  I started adding two questions to my Google forms this year:

1.  What class are you in? (with a dropdown list of all of my classes)
2.  What is your last name?

Then I can go to the response tab in the Google form, click on the spreadsheet link to make it into a spreadsheet, and then go to "Data" and select "Sort range."  I select the "header row" option, and then tell it to sort by what class students are in, and then I add students' last names as a second criterion for sorting. Et voila! All of my Google forms are now sorted alphabetically by students' last names and class periods, so it just takes a few minutes to go through and check for completion.  (Also this year I have an amazing TA who's checking my Google forms for me, which I am ridiculously excited about!)

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