I was wondering if you or anyone you know have tried to use Google Docs for recording classroom observations. I was thinking of having a template with performance indicators such as for example"engaging all students in learning activity" or "clear achievable objective", having answers to choose: below level, above level, needs improvement ect. and a box for typing the evidence: what was observed or heard. It would be great to have a form that can be completed and emailed to the teacher before leaving the classroom and discussed later. Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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G'day Jack.
I have only just joined Classroom 2.0 last night. I'm interested in your question. I used Google Docs this week for my students for the first time. I'm teaching a Commercial Processes course at Griffith University and the students are required to produce a business plan with tables (income/expenditure). So I decided to create the templates in Docs Spreadsheets and shared them with the students (via their email addresses). The students were able to access them and are really happy with them.

This is different from your question regarding forms - I've not used them before - I think @web20classroom on Twitter has used the form function in #edchat. I'm afraid I don't have a link but I remember seeing it on last week's #edchat.

I'm really looking forward to discovering the potential of Google Docs - particularly as I'm hoping it opens up access.
Cheers, Leesa
Thank you for responding. It looks like this tool will become a big part of my life very fast. We will be using it for anything from collaborating on agendas and lesson plans to writing poetry and stories as well as various administrative tasks. Simple concept but how ingrenious.
Hi Jacek,
I am part of a small company that helps educators in Egypt. We use Google Docs for almost everything we do. We have used the 'forms' before to help us gather data like a survey. The only thing I think you may have a problem with is that when you create a form, the input is shown only to you (or those you share with) in the spreadsheet form. If you were going to use the form with more than one teacher (as I understand you will), then you may have some privacy issues, since they would be able to see other teacher's results on the spreadsheet. If you need the form results to be private, you could create a regular Doc, not a spreadsheet form, with a chart which you would fill in as you observe. All you need to do is share that document with the teacher in order for him or her to view it. Before you fill it in, I recommend you make a copy of it, so you always have a blank one to copy from.

I hope that helps....

Oh, and if you'd like to see an example of the results of a form, here's one:
This is a survey we did of customers who used our online teacher recruitment program.
Hi Jack! I've been setting up my high school classroom wiki with google forms. I've embedded the form right into the wiki and in some cases, I've embedded the answer spreadsheet as well.

I've used it for collecting information on students' home computer use, in which case I've embedded the Google spreadsheet with the replies into another wiki page so that they could see the answers. I've also used it to give them short quizzes at the end of a computer class so that I can see if they've understood the material. In that case I haven't embedded the answers.

I've used pbworks for my wiki.

~ Shayne
I used for an assessment tool for my students in my computer lab. I created a master form that fed into the spreadsheet, duplicated the master form, and renamed it for the teachers class I was teaching. Only takes seconds to do. I wanted to use it as a behavior checklist but batterylife on my touchscreen that I carried around made that difficult.

Here's a grading spreadsheet for the Office Ribbon I used that strategy on (except the students were actually filling out the quiz). It automatically grades by a simple true/false comparison that you see when you scroll across. It's fun to open both up at the same time and watch the spreadsheet automatically update when you submit the form. I was reading the questions out loud in this case which is why the questions are only numbered.
Form:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=0AkK-6xkShyb4cFpIYVpWcX...

Spreadsheet the form feeds:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AkK-6xkShyb4cFpIYVpWcXZvbFR...
An administrator also use this to track students with behavioral problems. Just make a simple form that teachers can submit in seconds if something happens.
Google forms would be great for this purpose! Just remember to clear data each time you use it, or previous data will remain on spreadsheet.

FYI:

www.teachingwithgoogledocs.blogspot.com
Enjoying reading your blogspot. :-)
I am doing just that this year for some walkthroughs that I will be doing.

You can create a Google Form and it can be accessed through any smartphone that has internet access (Blackberry, iPhone), etc.

I wrote a blog post on this very idea earlier this year: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/LeaderTalk/2009/03/diy_observations_...
That sounds like a great idea - I'm going to pass it on to our faculty.

This semester I began using Google Docs forms to administer the student background and interest survey that I formerly did with paper and pencil (both in an online course and a f2f course). It's very easy to set up, and having the information compiled in a spreadsheet makes it very accessible for me.

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