Using the KWL model (Know, Want to know, and Learning accomplished) is an effective tool for educators to assess student progress and evaluate engagement with the content. A teacher must understand the previous knowledge of each student’s abilities; they must activate the students desire for knowledge based on what the students want to know; they must assess what students have learned. Assessing student knowledge can be cumbersome. With multiple tests, exit tickets, and paper surveys, it can build up on a teacher’s desk and quickly end up in the recycling. Instead, a teacher can effectively integrate technology into the classroom through online surveys; in doing so, students are introduced to the technology that will make their education more simple and efficient.

This year, I started using Google Forms for all of my classes. It is an effective method of collecting (and keeping) student information. These surveys can serve as pre-assessment tools, formative assessments, and summative tests. Through Google Forms, I can customize the experience. By adding navigation functions from one question to the next, I can send a survey link to every grade level and the survey will sort out the questions that the respondent needs to answer based on their previous responses. This was most helpful when I designed a survey for all students as they prepared for their student conferences. I am also able to limit the number of responses to one per respondent; this means that students cannot retake a test.

With Google forms, I can quickly gather student data on the relevant topic. More importantly, I can access that data anywhere I have an Internet connection. I can easily send out a survey to an entire class, including students that are sick or absent for the day. Now, I no longer need to track down a student that has not completed a survey. I can simply send them an email reminder to complete the work online.

PRE-ASSESSMENT: At the start of the semester, I wanted to know what my eighth grade students knew about Shakespeare. Before we started the unit, I had them take this quick “quiz.”

I was able to use the results to gage my lessons. At the end of the unit, students will take the same quiz and I will be able to compare the results and assess learning for all students as individuals and as a class.

FORMATIVE WORK: Discovering what the students KNOW and what they WANT to know, I implemented a survey that assessed student progress to date. In the seventh grade, so that I could quickly evaluate each students progress with their playwriting project, I implemented a survey. I used the student laptops so that I could demonstrate the process in class. Each student was able to fill out the form during class time during this first round while I was available to answer any technology questions.

In answering the survey, I was able to find what the students wanted to write about (what they wanted to know). I was also able to assess how well they knew the format that I wanted them to use (what the knew).

SUMMATIVE WORK: Here I used the survey tool as a summative assessment. This is the third portion to a state standards test for Drama in Pantomime (what they learned). Students had to respond to a performance they presented in class the day prior.

One may have a concern about the ‘take-home-test.’ However, in this case, there is no information that the student can look up on the Internet that will help them. There are no notes that they may have that will give them the answers to the questions and students must use their class materials to complete the test. When the take-home-test is an option, the survey format is excellent.

In summary, I have seen a great deal of benefit in efficiency and student buy in with the online survey. Students see it as “cool” that they get to do homework online and I am able to keep all the responses without any additional paperwork. I aim to further my pursuits in online survey work.

There were a small handful of students that do not have Internet access at their homes. However, students are able to access their email accounts at school. Because of this, I allow multiple days for the completion of the survey so that students can access the form from school.

In future versions of the online form, I will be sure to make the directions clear in the answer (e.g. select two answers). In one form I created, many students gave me the feedback that the form was confusing due to one question where the requirement to select two answers was unclear.

Because of the success of Google forms and Google docs, I aim to integrate Google Presentations into my classroom next. I envision a project that requires multiple students to collaborate into a single presentation.

Author: David Orace Kelly

International Teacher - Arts and Education Leader

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