Friday, November 29, 2013

Using gClassFolder, doctopus and goobric

To get right to the good stuff, take a look at the videos embedded below.

There are some incredible scripts out there that automate the more tedious jobs involved in giving an assignment, collecting it, grading it and returning it to the students. I have been using a script called gClassFolders, which sets up the folder structure for each of my classes.

gClassFolders takes over the tedium of setting up a folder structure for each of your classes.

It gives each student an assignment folder, and creates a class edit folder (anyone in the class can make changes to documents that are in that folder), a class view folder (where students can make a copy of whatever is in there, but they can't change the original, and a teacher folder where I keep all my stuff. One of the amazing features of this script is that it will create a webpage called gClassHub, which will let you automate creating a doctopus.

So what the heck does that mean? Basically, using gClassFolders to create a doctopus that will let you evaluate an assignment using goobric is something you've already done, but instead of doing it with paper, you'll be doing it digitally. gClassFolders will look at your class list, and put everyone in your selected class into a doctopus.

A doctopus is a spreadsheet that is the "control panel" for distributing and collecting an assignment.

 You can choose to have identical copies of the assignment given to each student, you can give different assignments to different groups (like for a literature circle), or you can differentiate assignments for some students, making them adapted, modified or enriched. Doctopus will handle the distribution, copying the assignment for each student, naming it according to how you'd like, and even putting it into each student's assignment folder.

Once the assignment due date arrives, you can have doctopus remove the student's editing rights, restricting them to view only. That's when goobric comes into play.

Goobric is a chrome extension that will look for a rubric you've associated with the assignment and allow you to evaluate directly in the student's work. 

Choose the level for each criteria, enter your comments, then click save. Your marks will be pasted into the document as well as a spreadsheet grade book. If you're like me and you're using a Google sheet as a grade book already, you can use the "copy to..." function to place a copy of the grades sheet directly into your grade book.

There are some excellent tutorials and videos explaining how to use these tools (I've embedded two excellent videos by YouTube user Scott Monahan below). The pedagogy behind the tools is the same as how it's done on paper - the difference is in how these tools support the work flow to help you maximize your time. Less time spent on shuffling papers means you can spend that time focusing on higher order tasks, like formative assessment during the learning process. Hopefully you'll reduce the time it takes to grade all that work, and you can be more productive with that "extra" time. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that teachers can use any "extra" time they can get their hands on...

Organizing your Google Drive with gClassFolders and Doctopus, by YouTube user Scott Monahan

Organizing Your Google Drive with gClassFolders and Doctopus - Part 2, by YouTube user Scott Monahan