Collaborative Review with Google Docs

This is another post celebrating my presence in a part of the world that has unfettered access to Google and its online tools. I hope this continues.

For two out of my previous three units, I've started the final day of class before an exam with a document in Google Docs that is organised into two parts.

At the top is a list the standards and their descriptions for the unit. I might include an empty table for vocabulary, but no words.

At the bottom is a list of problems or online resources.

Before students get started with answering questions and getting help, I get the entire class working on sorting these questions into the related standards in this document. A flurry of cutting and pasting ensues:

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The number of edits and simultaneous users is a pretty cool indication that this document, in less than a couple of minutes, ceases to be mine, and begins to be ours. Some students then upload solutions to problems as they complete them, or can pose questions below a problem that another student might answer.

It isn't a perfect system at all, but feels a lot better than printing out a set of problems that show what I value in assessing the standards. That represents a line segment that starts at my computer and ends at the student's notebook. This system at least approaches a more complex interaction of ideas and synthesis at the end of a unit of study that helps both the strong and the weak students make progress before an exam.

3 thoughts on “Collaborative Review with Google Docs

  1. It *is* great to have access to Google, I agree! Love how you've made your doc ours within minutes is unveiling it.

    Two questions/ideas:

    1. Have you seen any drawbacks to this review method? For example, one I'd be concerned about is students limiting themselves to only studying in this doc.

    2. Do you think it would be appreciated if the answers were separated from the questions so no spoilers? My kids asked for that and I see more genuine problem working.

    #NaNoBloCoMo comment 2 from me. Consider paying the comment love forward.

      1. Hi Megan,

        1. Have you seen any drawbacks to this review method? For example, one I'd be concerned about is students limiting themselves to only studying in this doc.

        As much as I can, I encourage students to use all of the resources I've posted online in the course of a unit. I also make clear that this is a sample of what I think is useful in the context of what I want students to be able to do, but is not necessarily complete. Part of me objects to structuring any review and instead providing open time for students to work and ask questions. At this point, I err on the side of providing too much structure.

        2. Do you think it would be appreciated if the answers were separated from the questions so no spoilers? My kids asked for that and I see more genuine problem working.

        After seeing your comment, I did ask students whether it mattered. A few said they wanted the answers there. What I subsequently observed was students staring at the solutions without necessarily trying the problems themselves. Definitely something to switch for next time. Thanks for the recommendation.

        I'll do some #NaBloCoMo work myself int he coming days. Thanks for the nudge!

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