Peer Feedback is difficult for students, especially late middle schoolers because of the constant concern about being judged and saving face. This idea is a smorgasbord of a few different tips, tricks, ideas, and concepts, but it has made a huge difference in how my students give feedback to one another. Specifically, anonymously. Using Google Form, an add-on, and a little finesse, you can really change-up your writer’s workshop! Students can give feedback that’s a little more their speed, and therefore it ends up a bit more honest and useful.
What You’ll Need:
- A Google Form for each group
- The Google Form Addon “docAppender”
- All student assignments attached in Google Classroom
Step 1: Students Turn-In Assignments
This works best if every document has the student name in the title. Google Classroom naturally builds this naming conventions with any assignments you create and send out for students, therefore I recommend sending out a blank document to ensure those names make the transfer. (Trying to get every student to name their document the same thing can be tough enough!)
Step 2: Set-Up the Form
Create a new Google Form (protip: type “forms.new” into the URL/Omnibox). Then type up your questions, I always include a “First Name” and “Last Name” question so that I can refer back, or if students were inappropriate. (Which is rare). You can also ask the add-on the CHOOSE which questions move over, and that’s where the anonymity comes from. It seems backwards, but it makes sense when you see the sample form at the bottom, I promise!
You then want a drop-down menu style question titled “Peer Paper to Edit,” or something similar.
- The format I like is :
- Question 1: First Name
- Question 2: Last Name
- Question 3: Peer’s Paper to Review (drop down)
- Question 4-6: Two Questions, Two Suggestions, Two Celebrations
A few teacher’s I’ve worked with (and, full disclosure, my wife) did this, but with a multiple choice “checklists” that are yes/no questions. Whatever feedback structure or framework you’d like to give your students can be adapted to the form. This is one of the other big benefits of this style of peer review, is it’s customizable to the nth degree!
You’ll want to locate the Google Drive folder with all of the student drafts in it. (Hint: it’s built into Google Classroom just under the “Turned In/Graded” numbers.)
Step 3: Activate the Add-On
Use the triple-dot menu to access the “Add-ons” menu. (Next to the puzzle piece)
Then, docAppender will take you step-by-step in setting it up.
Basically, you tell docAppender which folder you’d like to use, and it takes the titles from those documents and auto-populates the drop-down question!
Step 4: Send It to Google Classroom!
Create an assignment on Google Classroom. Then, attach the folder link with the student drafts and select “Students Can View.” This gives every student access to every draft in the folder, but then they don’t have editing privileges. This takes care of any “Hey! Mr. Eichenser he deleted my whole draft!”
Finally, attach the Google Form, and post to your class!
I tell students “Pick two friends and a stranger”, and that usually covers everybody for at least a few peer reviews. The classes are SILENT while they’re peer reviewing. Silence isn’t a goal in education, but it’s amazing how into this activity they get.
Students are able to read anyone’s drafts in the room, even across the room, and have valuable conversations and feedback opportunities. You could also branch this activity out to teachers across the school, across the district, or across the world! All you need is a link to their work and editing permission on the folder! Think of the authentic audience and chances for real responses you could give your kids!
If you’d like to try this out, check out the form below! And don’t forget to tweet me, @MrEichenser, with any thoughts, tips, or stories!