Using Google Forms for Assessment and Data Gathering
I teach Advanced Placement Psychology at the high school where I work. There is some pressure associated with this because I am the only one teaching AP Psychology and poor student performance would be completely on me. More importantly, the student put their faith in me to prepare them adequately for the exam. The good part is that the exam is fairly straightforward. The organization that creates the master test, College Board, does a good job of describing what a student can expect to see on the test. There is online information regarding content as well as percentages of about how many questions will appear on the test for each unit. As we get closer to the test (May 4 this year), we have switched to review mode. I do not place much faith in “gut feelings” about how prepared each student is with each unit, and there are plenty of practice test resources online. Most of the resources are also broken down by unit.
For each unit, I have the students take a practice unit test right before we switch to review mode. Over the course of a few weeks, they take all the exams and enter their scores into a Google Form I have created. I am including a screenshot to the right. By having students take unit practice exams and recording the results, they are avoiding going with a gut feeling and gathering real feedback about how prepared they are for each unit. In addition, I can take the results for each unit and identify areas of possible concern where I need to spend extra time focusing on certain units during the review period. A great feature of Google Forms is that it allows inputted information to be summarized and reviewed.
All submitted information in Google Forms is entered into a Google Sheet and the author of the form can create a summary of the data in pie chart form like the one above. I should note that the percentages do not add up to 100% because students do not always enter all their scores at one time. In these cases, the reviewer needs to look at the numbers rather than the percentages. The example I included here shows me that although I should review both units, I might want to spend more time on the Neuroscience unit than the Research Methods unit.
A quick Internet search shows that most, if not all, AP exams have online practice exams that are broken down by unit. I would also argue that the usefulness of this strategy extends to almost any academic area where students can take practice exams and the teacher would like to review the data easily. If the assessments are given outside of class and there are concerns about authenticity, give the students a completion grade, rather than entering the score they earned on the exam. I do this as well as explain to the students that they are getting full credit anyway and the information is to identify concerns for the exam. If the are dishonest in anyway, they are only putting themselves at a disadvantage in the end. You can also have the students include a screenshot of their score if you want. Do you use a similar strategy, or do you have another method for gathering the same type of data? Let me know.