Google Forms for Paperless Assessment: Anecdotal Comments for Learning Skills

When exploring teaching practice through a 21st century classroom lens, many questions about assessment practices arise. How can teachers use available technology to make assessment practices more efficient? How can teachers reduce the amount of pen to paper documentation and instead progress into a paperless assessment program? How can teachers streamline their documentation so that it is organized and manageable? Google Forms for Paperless Assessment is an ongoing series that explores the benefits of creating and implementing Google Forms in a 21st century classroom.  

How many times have you approached a reporting period and realized you have very little in your communication or assessment binder to help you generate a learning skill comment?  I often find myself scrambling to remember all of the great things my students have done in the past few months so that I can build a well-rounded learning skill report card comment.

Thanks to Scott Monahan's wonderful idea, this process has become so much simpler.

By creating a simple Google Form, a teacher can document student attitudes, behaviours, and work habits quite quickly. 

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  • In the File drop down menu, select Make a copy. 
  • Rename your new Google Form. 
  • Close the tab with my editable Form.  
  • Adapt the form that you now own (delete the description) as needed.


The Form requires only 3 questions.
  1. Student Name
  2. Learning Skill
  3. Comment

1) Student Name:
Select the "choose from a list" question type. If you have a spreadsheet or a chart containing your students' names, simply copy and paste it directly into question and the options will populate with the names.

2) Learning Skill:
Again using "choose from a list", input the learning skills or any descriptive categories you prefer.

3) Comment
Create a "paragraph" question so that you can input your comments.
NOTE for people working in an education domain: Since you will likely be the only person using this form, you might choose to uncheck all the boxes in the setting menu at the top of the editable form. This will allow you to access the form without having to sign in each time. The spreadsheet of responses will still be completely safe in your own Google Drive.

Here is the best part - use the Voice to Text function on your smart phone!

  1. Email the link of the live form to yourself.
  2. Open the link on your smartphone and then bookmark it on your phone's internet browser.
  3. When you want to make a comment, open up the bookmarked link and when you get to the comment box, instead of typing, dictate your comment into the phone using the voice to text function.

When it comes time to write your report card comments, visit your Anecdotal Comments (Responses) spreadsheet. Sort the name column so that all the students' individual comments are grouped together and voila! You have documented evidence of their work habits to generate a comment.

Hopefully you will soon see that crafting learning skill comments takes less time and that the comments more accurately represent your students' learning journey over the course of the term.

Below is a link to a Google Site I’ve created.  It houses the form discussed in this post as well as many other samples of Google Forms that can be used to take your assessment practices into the 21st century.  

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voice-to-text 927824769539246352

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