“Google classroom provides a useful tool for helping learners to reflect on their own progress and identify, with their teachers, ways of improving.” This quote, taken from the feedback on a Thematic Inspection Visit held at the Sixth Form earlier in the academic year, highlights just one of the really excellent benefits to using Google Classroom. And it is the element that I am going to focus on in this blog post about my experiences of using Google Classroom this academic year.
For context: we have taught all units on the A Level Media Studies course (year 12 and year 13) this year using Google Classroom. We have created all resources using the other GSuite for Education apps (such as ‘slides’ and ‘docs’) and have moved wholesale over to this and away from Microsoft 365.
Using Google Classroom as a way for learners to reflect on their own progress isn’t something that I’d necessarily planned when I’d written the scheme of work for Yr 13 Media Studies. However, I realised quite quickly that Google Classroom’s ability to allow more than one person to edit a document at the same time could provide lots of really useful opportunities both for collaboration between students and for teacher-student collaboration. With this in mind, I decided I wanted to try and utilise this feature for some form of student reflective self-assessment in relation to their coursework. I created an ‘audit’ document against which year 13 Media Studies students had to grade themselves at a mid-way point through their coursework unit. I used the grading criteria that had been provided by the awarding body, and broke it down into sections. The document was shared between teacher and individual student, and each student was asked to fill in a column judging their progress against each criteria. This was then ‘turned-in’ by each student. The teacher then added their assessment in an additional column, and used the document as part of a 1-2-1 with each student highlighting where improvements could be made and providing students with an opportunity to reflect on and discuss their progress.
Here is an example of an audit completed by one of my students, along with their teacher feedback.
It was this audit document that was identified as an example of good practice. The students themselves found completing it a really useful exercise, as they could clearly see their progress against assessment criteria and had an opportunity to reflect on what to do to improve, with their teacher.