Google Docs – I’m finally willing, down-right eager actually

December 14, 2010

Google Docs small logo

A few years back I tried using Google docs for my class spreadsheet as a way to avoid having to remember which flash drive and/or desktop/laptop had the current truly up-to-date version of my spreadsheet. Back then Google spreadsheets were too iffy in terms of stability and did not have enough features to warrant moving from Excel to Google. This fall things are different.

I have been keeping my class spreadsheets on the Google cloud, and so far, so good. I have not had stability issues and have discovered many useful functions of the Google spreadsheet. My new favorite is the form.

Class Dictionary

In my last post, I talked about using moodle’s glossary function for a class dictionary. I still see merits to the moodle offering, but am now enamored with a Google spreadsheet that uses a form to collect data as my class dictionary for next semester. Here’s a preliminary run at it:

I will share the spreadsheet with students in the class so that they and I will be able to sort through it and edit as necessary. I have already set the sheet so that parts of speech are automatically color coded, so it is easy to see adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc right away, but a person can also sort the dictionary to get them all together. Likewise, I will be able to sort by student name to easily count if a student has submitted the required number of terms.

On-line Rubrics for Grading

I have even started making on-line rubrics that automatically count up points for me when grading assignments. Here’s an example from my High Advanced Reading summary review assignment.

Creating rubrics like this will be helpful as I work with my co-teacher next semester to grade writing assignments using a rubric: we will both use the rubric the same way AND have assess to the results in on-line form (which eliminates the need for me to keep my desk clean or not loose a sheet of notepaper with my grades on it).

We’ll see how this all goes! So far I have two wishes:

  1. I wish I could manipulate the layout of the data-receiving form more
  2. I wish I could create a output form (report) that presented data in a more aesthetically pleasing (and selectively revealing) fashion

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