The semester is now in full swing — both in my teaching and student identities. Having two colloquiums (or is it colloquia? WordPress suggests that “colloquia” is a typo, but I’m not so sure) certainly makes for a busy schedule. So, in case my lack of recent commentary and musings had caused anyone great consternation, fear not, it is simply attributable to my deep immersion in the minutiae of Atlantic revolutions and the development of transatlantic philanthropic culture.
However, on the horizon I’m planning on posting about my the progress of my social media-based classes, as well as write about the feedback I received from my Breakthrough teachers about how social media shaped their experience teaching this summer. Here’s the preview: they liked EtherPad, Google Groups, and (gasp!) Twitter for its ease of communication and the accessibility those tools created. However, I’ll refrain from writing that post here and will hopefully get it done later this week.
On a social media tools-related note, I’m planning on trying out my first quiz via Google Forms (which is one of the types of documents one can create through Google Docs) during class tomorrow. Setting up the quiz itself was quite easy as the Google Forms interface is very intuitive.
However, even more helpful for helping me accomplish this task was the tutorial by Robert Pollack about how to set up the form so that it’ll automatically grade the quiz once everyone’s taken it. I felt immensely accomplished after having successfully followed his instructions (which were outstandingly clear) and even did a little extra creative math at the end to have it hammer out the proper percentage grade.
While Scantron sheets are, of course, familiar and relatively fast to grade (and include an aural indication of progress given that those rough quizzes sound like machine gun fire at the Battle of the Marne), the major benefit I see in the Google Forms is the ability to break down and analyze student responses in clear, visual grapsh.
Maybe I’ll post the quiz here once all my students have taken it so that the rest of you can discover how knowledgeable you are about the Hittite Kingdom, the Shang Dynasty, and other events of the late 2nd millennium BCE!