So now that Voicethread was used successfully with our last project, what do the students think? I asked for their feedback about their first VT experience. Take a couple moments to peruse their advice on our class blog.
I have been in the habit of asking students to give me their feedback on the use of technology and web tools in the class, as well as the structure of our projects. Their insights help me improve the projects for the next time, because they are often the guinea pigs when it comes to using technology in my teaching. I was impressed at what one student wrote about our Waiting on the The World to Change project (she actually mentioned curriculum!):
Overall, they enjoyed it, and most comments positively about the interface and the idea of provid
ing voice, text and video feedback. No students in my class used the video feature. Negative comments were about the quality of the video, how text and titles are not displayed very well, and some students even pointed out how others could leave negative feedback, which would derail the feedback process.
The peer feedback and self evaluation were the real stars of the project for me. Following what Neil Stephenson has developed, I wanted a quick and easy way to aggregate the feedback that student gave each other, as well as their self evaluation. Enter Google Forms. This incorporation of another part of the Google suite proved invaluable for me as an educator, and gave the students access to timely
feedback from their peers.
Instead of using a paper copy, students accessed an online form that I had set up within minutes. I was just about to print a whole bunch of peer feedback forms, and I thought, "there must be a better way." Having no previous experience with Google Forms, this is what I created. Students went to the URL which is created automatically by the form, and they copied and pasted the form into their own Google Doc.
This is the one hiccup of the process. If they hadn't copied the form into another Google Doc, when they submitted the form online, I would be the only one who gets a copy. (I need to figure our a way that the student giving the feedback can enter an email address so the form could be sent to their peer, so if you have an idea, let me know!) The submitted feedback form then is added into a spreadsheet, allowing me to easily see all feedback given to each student. This is a sample where Neil had some fun with the form. It is great that each time a student enters something on the form, the submission is time and date stamped!
To wrap up the project, I asked the students the next day to evaluation how well they gave feedback to their classmates. I again used a Google Form for this which proved very successful. This time because there was a self evaluation, I used the checkboxes feature so students could select the appropriate mark. Thinking that students would automatically give themselves full marks in all categories, I was delightfully surprised to find the exact opposite. The majority of students where brutally honest about the feedback the gave, and I found that I had to increase the mark of many of their self evaluation which told me that they were deeply engaged in the feedback process and were thinking about thinking!
Now I use Google Forms to gather information from students, as a sign in sign out form for my multimedia equipment, and I'm sure there will be many more uses in the future! Give Google Forms a try and let me know how it works for you. I would be happy to share any forms I have created with anyone, just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org