Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Data Detective and a Trifecta of Tools

Flubaroo generate spreadsheet (student names removed)
Maybe it's because I did a science degree, maybe because I am an empiricist. Either way, I like having data to make decisions around. Education rockstar researcher Hattie emphasises how important feedback from the students about how they're learning is. So I wanted to share a trifecta of tools that help the busy teacher use data more effectively.
ideas about gravity before teaching and learning

ideas about gravity after teaching and learning
Step 1: A quick google form at the beginning of a lesson with an open ended question e.g. What do you understand about gravity? Followed with a few multi choice questions that look at common misconceptions about gravity.
Google forms work well on all platforms and devices including smart phones

Then... I use flubaroo (a google docs add on) to grade it very quickly on a spreadsheet. This gives me a spreadsheet with the lowest scoring students automatically in red. Hence, immediately I can move forward with differentiated tasks, team roles etc. based on what the students know.
Flubaroo is a simple to use google apps add on - when in a google spreadsheet, simply click on add ons and then install it


Step 2: Teaching and learning takes places including a range of different strategies.

Step 3: Students take the same test
Then... I use flubaroo again to see if students have made a shift in their understanding. Today, my students shifted from a 1.72 out of 4 to a 2.42 out of 4. I can also then identify which students need more intensive scaffolding or support in the next session.

Finally, I use word it out to paste the answers from the open ended question creating a before and after version with the students' answers. From the before and after I can see that students are now able to describe gravity with the vocabulary that I introduced today including mass, attracted and pull.
Word it out is a free tool that creates a word wall where the size of a word increases based on its frequency in the text that you input.

And with my trifecta of tools I can identify the students that need to be extended next time as well as the students that need to be supported. Using the view summary function in google forms I can also see how many of my students started with misconceptions about gravity and how many finished with the same or perhaps new misconceptions.

Before teaching and learning

After teaching and learning

The reality is that being a data detective just means that I am taking a really brutal, honest look at my own teaching. I can see that students no longer think that only planets have gravitational fields, but I can also see that there are still students who think that the moon has no gravity.