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Triangulating Assessment via Google Forms


As we all know, students acquire and demonstrate their learning in a variety of styles. Accordingly, best practice for us teachers is to design tasks that provide a variety of ways for students to showcase growth and achieve success. When such tasks have been implemented, we then have the responsibility to gather meaningful information for assessment and evaluation purposes. 

The Triangulation of Assessment is an effective and authentic way to gather such data. This is accomplished by synthesizing data collected from:
  • conversations
  • observations
  • products/performances
Triangulating assessment allows for multiple access points into students knowledge and understanding and their thinking process. Teachers can assess how students apply what they know, and how effectively they can communicate their learning.

Sound like arduous task? Google Forms can really simplify the process by streamlining the process of collecting assessment data.

Here is an example of a form I use when assessing students during my Literacy Block:

This particular form allows the teacher to input the following:
  • student name
  • focus of the task
  • anecdotal observations
  • quantitative assessment related to specific expectations from the curriculum document

Here's how the form can be best used to triangulate assessment: 

Conversations:
  • Capture the name of the student and the focus of the conversation in the first two prompts.
  • Ask questions that elicit student thinking.
  • Record their responses in the observations text box.
  • If, during the conversations, students demonstrate success as per curriculum expectations, simply identify which expectations were addressed and the level of student achievement:
    • exceeds expectation
    • meets expectation
    • approaching expectation
    • limited ability

Observations:
  • Capture the name of the student and the focus of the conversation in the first two prompts.
  • Observe students as they perform tasks or interact with other students in pairs or small groups.
  • Record your observations in the observations text box.
  • If, during your observations, students demonstrate success as per curriculum expectations, identify which expectations were addressed and the level of student achievement using the available drop down menus.

Product/Performances:
It is possible to use the above form when assessing students' submitted work or presentations. Much like with conversations and observations, we can use this form to record anecdotal observations and quantify student achievement as per the curriculum expectations. However, with products and performances, rubrics, a more robust assessment tool, are often more desirable. Fortunately, this can be done within Google Forms too!


The question type used to create the (modified) rubric above was a grid. Unlike a traditional rubric, the cells within the grid have no text. In this particular example, students are evaluated in accordance with the achievement chart, an assessment tool designed to "establish categories and criteria with which to assess and evaluate students’ learning."* As you can see, these categories are:
  • Knowledge & Understanding
  • Thinking
  • Communication
  • Application

In this case, each category has been integrated with specific expectations from the Science curriculum (these expectations have been included in the form above the rubric for reference purposes when assessing). As with the previous form, students are assessed/evaluated within these categories along a continuum:
  • exceeds expectation
  • meets expectation
  • approaching expectation
  • limited ability
Below the rubric is a text field in which I input questions, strengths, and next steps that I identify when assessing the product or performance. Below is a snapshot of the quantitative data collected by such a form:

I use a combination of simple formulas to convert the results from the form into letter grades. These formulas can be copied from one spreadsheet to another, so setting them up is a one-time task.

Throughout the school day there are often spontaneous opportunities to gather authentic assessment data. The true beauty of using Google Forms to triangulate assessment lies within the ease with which we can capture such information. As teachers, we can't anticipate every moment when students may demonstrate learning. It may happen in a casual conversation, or perhaps in a student's response to the work of another. When these moments arise, we can capture them with the phones in our pockets or whatever device that may be a hands reach away. We can do the same with a sticky note or a scrap piece of paper, but with an existing Google Form, data from spontaneous assessment is collected in a structured and intentional way as per the design of the form.

If you're interested in trying this out yourself and would like to use the forms you see above as your entry point, make a copy of this folder to your Drive and modify as you see fit.

Try using these forms and others like them to triangulate your assessment and share your success stories, feedback, and questions with us @inquireinspire #effectiveassessment


*Growing Success; Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools. First Edition, 2010



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