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AFL with Google Docs

Through my relationship with the Cambridge University SUPER project I had some lovely visitors in my lesson today. The class I had are my Google Docs test subjects (they do all their work via google docs as part of a pilot action research project).

The lesson was structured around a presentation I created earlier, nothing new there I know, but actually apart form headings and some guidance notes most if the presentation was blank.

The aim was for the students to contribute to its content. The presentation was shared with the students (using google docs) and as the lesson progressed focused questioning around topics lead I the content being added by students as they reflected on the answers they’d given.

After this activity has been used to demonstrate the importance of using examples when answering questions and reflecting on work before contributing students then turned to their previously submitted work.

Their work was now covered in yellow highlight marks (not on paper) the on screen comments function allowing me to give feedback (AFL) and show students where they had gone wrong, and what to do to improve.

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It’s not a gimmick, it makes them improve!
Where once I wrote on work, returned it, only to be given it back later with little improved, this google approach seems to have greater impact.
My view from talking to students is that because they know I have access the work, and have made the comments and can track changes made from these comments they now feel they must make changes else it will be noticed.

It certainly now means I can say ‘read, reflect & act‘ and then watch as they do. It’s working to improve achievement, although some work is given back to improve to gain the grade most is only returned to improve in the interest of developing better study skills for future work.

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