Monday, September 13, 2010

Google Forms for Pre-Testing.

We all know what a pre-test should do right? Take a quick measure of the concepts students know and don’t know on the unit coming up.

What we usually get when doing a pre-test is a raw score often something in the neighborhood of 7 out of 20. Almost completely useless except for that occasional student who gets 19 of 20 correct and is basically given the next few weeks off. Er I mean differentiated work.

What we want is what concepts need the most coverage and who needs help on the specific concept. With this knowledge we can assign better cooperative groups, we can design differentiated homework for each student, and we can create better lessons.

I know when I create a pre-test then grade it I barely have time to record the overall score in my gradebook, much less make a chart of the data.

I need something to do all the hard work for me. Google forms to the rescue.

A basic Google form gives the questions and allows for one multiple-choice answer, multiple answers, or short answers, and more. All results are then entered into a spreadsheet. Each question will have a separate cell for an answer.

Now you can play with your spreadsheet to examine the data as you see fit. How to do that is a subject of a different lesson, and likely not something I will try to teach in one of these resource emails.

Here is the Google instructions for creating a quiz. I created a simple quiz for you to see what it looks like. Look at the form take the quiz and then look at the spreadsheet of answers.

A few things before you go. First this is an online form. Schedule 30 minutes in the computer lab or ask students to do it for homework. Second, the web URL is long and ugly, either email a hyperlink to each student or use and URL shortener such as Tiny URL to make the URL easier to copy by hand.


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