It has been an incredible term and a hectic first year as a deputy head. In amongst getting used to my new role, meeting new staff and learning about the school I have managed to start the ball rolling with a new learning platform and write a timetable! As a result I have lost count of the times I needed tools that can help me save time in planning and ease my marking when the workload hits a spike. Enter Flubaroo.
I count myself as a Google fan yet it still amazes me when I come across a new tool I haven’t heard of yet – Google scripts seems to be a Pandora’s box of delights for all uses but there are some excellent teaching tools in there as well. Flubaroo is a script (just think of it as a command – it is easier to understand than a script) that takes student’s answers to a task collected in Google Forms – it will mark it for you, flag up any questions where the students scored below 60%, give you an average overall, an average for each question AND even email the students back with a report of their results!!
To find out more about this exceptional tool you need to visit Flubaroo.com where there is a superb walkthrough and tutorial video.
I’m going to give a brief overview of how I used it today with my year 8 Literacy group.
Firstly, I set up a new Google Form quiz on aspects of Literacy that we had been working on, capital letters, similes and homophones. I took some questions from this superb site and created a simple 30 question form with the books as the theme. I then ticked the box that stipulated that users had to use their hitchinboys.co.uk username – this way I had their email address added to the form in a simple way, (I need to point out that these are Google Apps for Education email addresses specific to our school domain). I sent the students the link and asked them to fill in the form.
I then followed the instructions on the Flubaroo.com site to add the Google Script to my Google Form. This is a simple overview – for more detail you need to visit the site, but it really is quite a simple task.
In the form collection sheet – where the answers get collected – you click on Insert, Script and then search for Flubaroo, click to install and you get a flubaroo toolbar heading on your form.
Just click this once to give it permission to access your page and you are up and running
Now, here comes the magic. You first need to complete the quiz yourself, this gives the sheet a line of the correct answers against which the script will compare the students’ answers to. You then click on the flubaroo heading and click on grade assignment. You are asked a series of questions such as, how many points should each answer be worth, which cell has the student name information in it and which row has the correct answers. Click through all of these and it marks the tests!
The script creates a new page within the sheet and calls this Grades. In here it pastes a series of great information such as the average mark, any questions that scored under 60% and warrant further investigation etc. Here is a screenshot of my page from this afternoon.
All this is pretty fantastic in itself but the true killer feature is the ability to email the results back to students at the click of the button.
To do this you click the flubaroo button again but select email grades this time. You have the option to tweak the settings….
Then press continue – you tell the script where the email address are, (they were captured by the students completing the form but you might need a question box for them to enter their email address) and then press send.
I was amazed at how well this worked in the class today – but I was even more surprised with the quality of the email feedback the boys got. I asked one of the boys to forward me his email feedback so I could show a snapshot of it to you….
The students really liked the appearance of the feedback and knew exactly what they needed to do for their follow up.
It took me about 15 minutes to set up the Google Form and I now have something I can share with other teachers to save them time. It may not be something I do all the time but to have this up my sleeve when I want to do an assessment and the idea of marking a wad of papers puts me off will be a Godsend. It means that I can run the assessment, mark it and give feedback with a few clicks of a button.
I really recommend that you try Flubaroo out and see how it can save you time.