My students and I are already fairly familiar with Google Forms (to see how we use Google Forms for peer-assessments, click here). My students are able to create different question types, respond to surveys and analyse survey results. We knew the basic functions and it was time to ‘level up’.
Being ‘techy’ isn’t about knowing how to do everything. It’s about learning what’s possible and taking time to figure it out. I knew that it was possible to direct people to different parts of a survey based on their answers, but I had never done this before. With a bit of clicking around, I realised how simple it was.
My students used this method to create an electronic branching database for sorting 2-D and 3-D shapes. I first asked them to start sorting without the technology, and they started a traditional branching database, in a small group using the board. They started to sort the shapes based on their properties. This was a great way to reinforce the vocabulary (faces, edges, parallel sides, etc.). It also sparked questioning and discussions within the group, such as ‘what’s the difference between a rhombus and a parallelogram?’. It also highlighted some misconceptions (a sphere has no faces, for example). and these were addressed and explained by their peers within the group
They didn’t finish the branching database on the board. This was just to ensure that they understood the task. It also gave them a starting point for creating and editing different sections of their Google Forms. They realised that each question (from the board) would be a new section. They were able to transfer these questions across and then continue the questioning until all of their shapes were identified. At the end of each branch was a shape, added as images to the final sections.
The ‘add image’ option displays several options for accessing images, including a Google search option. My students carried out searches for the shapes and added them to the end of each branch.
Click here to see a Google Forms branching database, created by a Year 4 student (it’s not quite perfect yet).
What else could you sort and classify using a branching database? How else could the sections feature of Google Forms be used with students? Feel free to contribute your ideas in the comments below.