Providing meaningful feedback for students is one of the most powerful tools for educators to create meaningful connections and learning. It never seems like one method will check all the boxes in allowing students or teachers to get that feedback to other students so they can reflect on their own work. With the addition of technology in the mix, it has proven even more difficult to find effective ways to allow students to give and receive feedback on digital work.
Working with a 2nd grade teacher we were struggling to find ways for her students to make comments on hand-written and digital writing in a way that could be collected and reviewed later by both the teacher and the students. Some of the obvious options came up: wanting to use Google Forms for students to easily type in comments and Google Classroom to collect and share digital writing. We had the outline to how we thought we could get it done and now we had to find how to best adjust the tools at hand to work in a way that was easy for the students and teachers and could be replicated over and over again.
docAppender - If you haven't heard of docAppender it's a Google Forms add-on that will send responses to an specific Google Doc based on some of the parameters you set-up ahead of time. The initial set-up can take a bit of time (this is where Google Classroom comes in), but then you have a form that will send each response to a easily readable Google Doc that can be shared and used repeatedly to create a running record of feedback.
Google Classroom - I'm only going to assume you haven't heard of Google Classroom because you have been living under a rock with no Wifi and refuse to join most of the world in utilizing GSuite (j/k, well kinda...). The ability to organize a workflow between students and teachers with Classroom is game changing. It has made working in a digital, "mostly" paperless environment user-friendly and effective. When it comes to creating assignments, handing out individual templates, and easily collecting student work of a variety of medias I don't have much negative to say. There are no perfect systems, but we won't get into those in this post.
So now you know the tools, but the key is how you make them work together. The docAppender add-on doesn't need Google Classroom in order to function, but it makes it go much smoother. As mentioned above the docAppender add-on will allow you to sort and separate responses to a Google form onto specific Google docs which makes it a great way to get written feedback for specific people and then share that data with those people without sharing other feedback. Using Google Classroom lets you easily create a document and folder location to keep all the feedback documents together for easy sharing and use. Take a look at the screenshots below to get an idea how to get the process started.
So there you have a "daisy-chain" of two great tools to help facilitate peer feedback in your class. Many modifications can be made to suit your specific needs such as creating multiple documents for different types of writing, but if you include the right identification questions it may be just as easy to keep one big running record of feedback to not overwhelm a student with different documents to sort through in order to see their feedback. Making the connection through Classroom makes it really easy to create the documents and identify them by student name as well as give you as the teacher access to everyone's work and feedback. If you have any systems like this or good modifications/suggestions please leave them in the comments below.
Director of Technology for Traverse City Area Public Schools. Level 2 Google Certified Educator. Former Tech Integration Specialist and 4th grade teacher at Aspen School District and Spartan for life! Go Green!