Sunday, May 13, 2012

Organizing 500 Paper Submissions Using Google Apps for Education

I have been so busy at work lately that I haven't had any time to work on any "fun" projects. Well, last week I finally got something fun to do.

I work at a wonderful Catholic school.  One of the best things about it is that our students participate in a Christian Service Program.  Prior to this year I would consider it a typical service program where each student is required to do a certain number of hours each year.  However, this year we have taken a new approach under the leadership of our Director of Christian Services, Dawn Brannman.  Each year students will have a different area of focus: freshman year - work with poor/disadvantaged, sophomore year - work with children, junior year - work with sick/elderly.

This year is the first year of this new program and we started with the freshman class.  They had to complete their hours by working with the poor and disadvantaged population. In addition, freshman students went in groups of 20, along with a teacher and some parent volunteers, to serve at a local homeless shelter.  It is my understanding that every freshman student participated this year.

Additionally, each student is responsible for writing a reflection paper about their experience each year.  This is a new requirement and this is where I come in.

Dawn came to me to see if we could come up with a manageable, digital, process for collecting all 500 of these reflection papers.  Her plan is to have her senior Campus Ministry Service class "grade" the papers and provide feedback according to a rubric that she has created.

After meeting with Dawn, here is the plan that we came up with:

1. Students will upload their Reflection Papers to their Google Docs account.  This is new for us as we just recently became a Google Apps for Education school. (This also assumes that students didn't write their paper in Google Docs - which actually makes to process easier.)

2. Students will copy the URL for their Reflection Paper in Google Docs.

3. Students will paste the URL into a Google Form that I helped Dawn create.

4. Dawn will give her senior Campus Ministry Service students access to the Google Spreadsheet that is created by the Google Form submissions.

5. The Spreadsheet can be sorted in manageable groups and these groups can be assigned to each Senior student. (We have something called L.I.G.H.T. groups, it is similar to a homeroom, this is how the submissions will be grouped.  It is a part of the Google Form.)

6. The senior students will then email their feedback to the students who wrote the papers.

I then had to make directions for students to submit their papers this way.  I made a text version and the video version below.  I am hoping this is clear enough for them to follow.

The students will not be given these directions until the end of next week. Therefore, if you notice any mistakes I've made or have any suggestions please share them with me. I still have a few days to make changes and I really want this to be successful.