The Google Apps experiment continued today with my first foray into conducting tests using Google Forms. I have previously used Forms for conducting student surveys and student self-evaluations, but I knew there would be some logistical challenges in attempting to conduct a test online. One issue I anticipated was the challenge of ensuring that students weren’t attempting to communicate via Google Chat during the quiz. I attempted to address this issue by reminding students that they should not be switching between different windows during the quiz. While I cannot be certain that this didn’t take place as I circulated around the room, I don’t believe this was a major problem. In the end the biggest issue for administering a quiz online was the standard layout of the computer lab. With students working side-by-side on computers it would be fairly easy for students to see the answers on their neighbour’s monitor. While I trust the vast majority of my students I would not be surprised if a few eyes wandered during the quiz.
As for the quiz itself, I chose to start off small with a short answer quiz based on group presentations on Canada during the Victorian Era. Creating the quiz in Google Forms was a very simple process, as outlined in this video:
Once the students were done their quizzes they were incredibly easy to mark. As outlined in the video, the student responses appear in a spreadsheet immediately upon being submitted. Having these responses appear in a spreadsheet makes even the short answer questions I used easy to mark. Unfortunately, I could not figure out a way to insert a grade or any comments on to the quiz itself, so students would have to review the quiz on their own to determine which questions they answered incorrectly. I would be interested in seeing if there was a way to get around this issue.
All in all, I would say that my first attempt to use Google Forms to conduct a quiz was a success. My students seemed to enjoy the process of writing a quiz online and I found the spreadsheet results to be ideal for marking. While the potential for students to be able to copy answers off of another classmate’s monitor is a concern, I do foresee myself using Forms for other quizzes down the road. I am open to the possibility of conducting larger tests online as well, though I would need to attempt to address these concerns beforehand.