Using Flubaroo to Give Students Feedback on Google Form Questions

In a previous post I described how I have been using Google Forms to create flipped video-based lessons and scoring them using the Flubaroo script, but lamented the fact that there was no way to give students feedback. I have since discovered that Flubaroo does allow you to give feedback via email, and although it is not instantaneous, it has still been working well for my classes. All you need to do is create a question in your form that allows students to input their email address. After you score the form using Flubaroo, you can then email the scores, questions, students answers and correct answers, to any students who has submitted a valid email address (please see screencast below).

If additional students submit the form after you have already graded it and sent out the results, Flubaroo will allow you to email the grades a second (or third…) time and exclude all the students who have previously received their results, which is convenient. Using Google Forms along with Flubaroo is a great way for teachers to create flipped classroom assignments and give students feedback.

Advertisements

Creating Flipped Video Lessons Take Two – Using Google Forms

For the last month I have been piloting the use of eduCanon with some of my classes. This has allowed me to create and assign content-based videos as homework and monitor student progress. Many students found the video lessons useful, and I certainly liked being able to see which students were completing the lessons as well as when. Unfortunately, about 40% of my students experienced some type of difficulty with eduCanon. Either the video would not load properly when they tried to complete a lesson, it would get to the first question and freeze, or any one of a number of other issues would crop up. Troubleshooting this became a bit of a hassle for me, as we are not a 1:1 school, and students were trying to access eduCanon on a variety of devices and computers using a variety of browsers. I think eduCanon is a great platform when it works, and the application is still in beta, so I have high hopes that they will get the kinks ironed out.

Not wanting to give up my quest to find a way to use out-of-class video in a more engaging manner as well as be able to assess student completion and performance of the assignments, I reached out to my friendly neighborhood librarian who provided me with this list of “8 Good Web Tools to Create Video Quizzes For Your Class” via Twitter. I decided to try using a Google form, which allows for embedding of videos from YouTube. All you need is a free Google account, and then you access all the Google Docs, including forms, in your Google Drive. The screencast below, created with Screencsast-O-Matic, shows how this is done.

Once I created the form, I placed the link on my class blog and had students respond. No students reported any problems accessing the form, watching the video, or completing and submitting the form. Many students also preferred the Google form over eduCanon because of the ability to freely move forward or rewind when playing back the video in order to respond to the questions, which is not possible in eduCanon, as the video remains frozen at a predetermined point once a question is reached. Another advantage is that students do not need to make an account to access the form, but can do so by just by clicking the provided link.

One big disadvantage of Google forms is that the students do not get immediate feedback on whether or not they answered the questions correctly. In fact, Google forms does not actually have any way of indicating a correct answer when creating the form. Instead the student submissions must be graded by comparing each response to an answer key. Fortunately, there is a third-party script called Flubaroo, which can be freely installed within the response submission spreadsheet, that will do this automatically for you (see screencast below).

Another advantage of using a Google form is that you can use the response submission spreadsheet to create reports which automatically generate graphic analyses for each one of your questions. Overall I am pleased with the functionality that Google forms provides for creating video-based flipped lessons. Although there are a few minor shortcomings, these are overcome by Google’s robust platform which is extensively tested and supported.

Creating Interactive Flipped Video Lessons with eduCanon

Since the beginning of this school year I have been using my class website to post weekly assignments to be done outside of school in preparation for in-class learning. A few of the items I have included each week are links to content-specific videos intended to support textbook readings and minimize the amount of lecturing that I need to do during class, which frees up time for more engaging student-centered activities.  This strategy is the hallmark of the flipped classroom concept.  Unfortunately, there has been no way for me to know if and when students are actually accessing and watching these videos, or how much they are learning from them.  Furthermore, for those who do watch them on a regular basis, they are merely passively taking in the content rather than actively participating.

Enter eduCanon – a free site that allows teachers to take any video from YouTube, TeacherTube, or Vimeo and build “lessons” which include questions at set points throughout the video.  Up to eight unique classes can then be created, and the lessons assigned to each individual class.  Students can then create free accounts, add the class that their teacher has created specifically for them, and then complete lessons as they are assigned.  Once a student starts a lesson, they are not able to skip ahead in the video, they must watch the entire thing and only get credit for the lesson when they have completed viewing and have answered all the questions.  Students results are available for teachers to view upon completion.  For a modest yearly subscription fee ($48 right now), teachers are able to search through the public library of lessons which they can then assign as is or edit as necessary, download .csv files of student results, and access a wider range of question types to include in lessons.

Using eduCanon I will be able to assign videos and monitor my student’s progress as they complete the lessons.  The interface is sleek and user-friendly, making accounts and adding classes is simple and intuitive, and best of all the creation of the lessons does not take that much longer than it does to actually watch the video.  I intend to pilot this application in two of my classes during the second semester of this school year, and am excited about the possibilities it opens up for myself and my students.  More to come…

__________________________

Not sure what to make of eduCanon?  Give it a try from the student point of view: make a free student account, click “Add Class”, search “Mr. Vigliotti”, join the “Test Class”, complete the “DNA Replication” lesson.

Connecting Beyond the Classroom

It was all set.  School was running an exam schedule, so we were getting out at 12:25.  A group of students had arranged to meet with me around 1:00 to review a bit for their exam the following morning – we had it planned for over two weeks.  Then, a snowstorm dropped in seemingly out of nowhere.  The district dismissed early, all students had to leave the school building by 12:50 effectively ending our review session before it could even get started.  A few frantic students caught me on the way out asking if I was going to be able to stay, which of course none of us would be able to do.  I told them I would try to think of something, to email me any questions later that evening if they had them, and made my way home as the snow was beginning to fall.

On the way I thought of something that a professor had shown us in a technology class I had taken this past summer – a site called TodaysMeet which enables you to create a temporary online chat room which expires in a preset length of time (as short as a few hours up to one year).  I’d never used it before with students, but figured I’d give it a go.  I created a room, set it to expire in one week, and copied the unique URL to share with my students.  Fortunately, as I mentioned once before, many of my students are signed up for online texting through Remind101.com, so I was able to send out a quick text letting them know the web address of the room I had created and asking them to join me for a chat.  A few minutes later I had about eight students asking me questions, and over the course of an hour we actually covered quite a bit of material.  I was able to answer all their questions, share some links to items that provided more depth for review, and basically accomplish everything that we would have had we actually been able to meet in person.  One of the great features of TodaysMeet is the option for all users to access a transcript of the entire chat, which meant that students were able to take the information we discussed with them once the chat was finished.

One of the great advantages that technology provides is the ability to easily move learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting.  Being able to communicate and share information with one another is one of the most important skills that students need to develop throughout their schooling.  Online applications like Remind101 and TodaysMeet are excellent ways to facilitate this development.  In this particular case, a weather situation that traditionally would have been a barrier to communication was easily overcome.

An Initial Attempt to Use Twitter With Students

After using Twitter for a week, as well as thinking and reading about how it may be used to engage and interact with students, I’m going to try starting an ongoing conversation with my students by creating some hashtag conversations.  I’m going to ask students to use the hashtags in order to share interesting articles or videos related to class content, ask questions, and generally discuss class and school related issues.  I will try to actively participate as well, and hopefully students will engage and continue the learning process outside of the classroom in a way that is meaningful for them.

I’m going to start with two hashtags in order to differentiate the general subjects that I teach.  They will be #mrvigs122bio for my Biology students and #mrvigs122sis for my Studies in Science students.

For anybody looking to get started with Twitter, I have found the link posted by SaraKLMS to be extremely helpful (The Twitteraholic’s Ultimate Guide to tweets, hashtags, and all things Twitter), but for those overwhelmed by gobs of information, A Refreshingly Simple Guide to Twitter For Teachers might be more your speed (it’s where I encountered the infographic below).

The Elephant in the Flipped Classroom

In a recent opinion piece in the New York Times, Pulitzer Prize winning author Tina Rosenberg touts the advantages of the flipped classroom for helping students to master content at their own pace.  In describing the “flipped” concept, she states that “[i]n a flipped classroom, teachers make videos of their lectures introducing new concepts and assign them as homework. That frees up precious class time to work directly with students on projects, exercises or problem sets — the stuff that students would traditionally do at home.”  The major issue I have with this, and the major issue I am having as I try to implement some flipped concepts, is what happens when a majority of your students simply don’t invest the time at home to access the content?  No much of what I have read seems to address or even acknowledge this issue.

My students are supposed to be watching lecture videos, taking online quizzes, and reading and outlining text material all outside of my class on a weekly basis in order to access the content.  I am finding that many students are simply not doing this, which puts them even farther behind in class when we are doing an activity based on the material they were supposed to have accessed on their own.  The second problem is that I’m having a terribly difficult time getting students to utilize class time efficiently and focus on the learning activities without literally standing over them and constantly re-focusing them to the task at hand.  Many of my students have difficulty working independently and are easily distracted in groups.  Whole class instruction seems to be the only way to get some classes to focus on a topic or activity for any amount of time.  Due to this combination of issues, in many of my classes, I have had to go back to a few days a week of direct instruction.  I’m not giving up by any means, but I’m definitely feeling frustrated.

The Current State of My Tech Integration

I have been maintaining a website/blog for my classes for a few years now and it is from this platform that most of the tech integration and my current attempts at “flipping” my classroom (at least a little bit) are launched.

mrvigs122.com

I use the site to post weekly assignments and interesting science stuff.  For students, there are many resources such as links to online content, PowerPoint presentations, Gaggle, Edmodo, and other useful websites.  Parents enjoy the ability to see what’s going on in the class at any given time.

Using the website, I assign weekly content based videos for students to watch, as well as reading/outlines of text material as preparation for the activities and discussions that take place in class.  Students are expected to access this information outside of class, at their own pace, and then bring the knowledge into the class where it helps them to make connections and learn the new material.

To assess student progress, periodic quizzes are given using Edmodo.com, which allows students to log in and take assessments.  It will also do much of the scoring and tracking of data, which is nice.  Oh yeah, and it’s free!

As a communication tool, I use Remind101.com, which is a free web-based text service that allows me to “push out” notices to anybody who signs up.  I have one set up for each of my classes, and send out text reminders to check the blog for updates, weekly assignments, quizzes, tests, and sometimes just to point to interesting class-related content outside the classroom.  I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from students and parents really love this as well.