Tracking conversations and observations during your class can be a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. Your students can do labs, activities, and group work in class, and you can provide feedback on their conversations and your observations. DocAppender is an easy way to provide the students (and even their parents) valuable feedback during the lab - all automatically. You don’t have to collect worksheets to have evidence of what they learned. Use this method to easily document observations and conversations in the classroom, and automatically share your responses with any stakeholders involved. There is a bit or work to do up-front, but it will pay off in spades as you use it!
Step 1) Choose an area where you’d like to provide feedback to students (think projects, lab activities, problem solving etc…)
Step 2) Establish criteria for success. Consider co-constructing criteria with the students if the task is instructionally significant (ie: they will be using the skill throughout the year, a major project etc). There are examples in the template in Step 3.
Step 3) Create a Google Form with the criteria. Here is a template for you to use. Make a copy, and edit as you see fit.
NOTE: Steps 4-8 are a bit time consuming (especially the first time through), but will pay off as you can use it throughout the semester.
Step 4) Create a new Google folder, and inside that folder, create a new Google Doc for each student, and use their name for the title. Here is a quick video to explain how to do this.
Step 5) Go back to your Google Form. Get the DocAppender add on. By clicking on the 3 dots in the upper right corner, select “Add Ons” and search for docappender. Once you find it, select “Manage” and “Use in this document”.
Step 6) Run DocAppender. Watch this video to show you how. This will allow you to filter your responses once you enter them in the form. (example: observations for Student A will go into the Student A document, ONLY)
Step 7) Collect data using your Google From. The data will still go to your spreadsheet, but will also go into the documents that you created for each student.
Step 8) Share each doc with that student and/or their parents/guardians. They can now access this document ANYTIME to see how they are doing during class. You can set this document to “View only” if you just want to provide feedback, or you can choose “Can Edit” or Can Comment” depending on your comfort level.
Prior Skill Sets - Knowledge of Drive, Forms and Docs
Materials and Equipment - Device with internet access (phone or tablet works great!)
Instructional strategies - co-constructing criteria (optional)
When co-constructing criteria, use sentence stems such as “What counts, what matters or what’s important in….”
If you’re asking students to write feedback to each other or themselves, provide sentence stems such as:
Last time I …, this time I…
I felt I was improving when….
I know I understand this well because…
I’m proud of…
My next step is...
You can invite students to comment on your feedback responses (right in the Google Doc!) to show how they will improve, what they need more work on, what they don’t understand etc…. Keep in mind that if you allow students to edit the doc, they can edit the answers from your Google Form. To prevent this, you can always look at the doc history, and restore previous versions.
You can invite students to record any conversations that are of value in this Google Doc. You can comment, add a link, or edit their work directly. Here is an example of a STUDENT recording feedback that was given in class. Teacher’s comments are in red, or in comments.
Email if you have questions! firstname.lastname@example.org