Speaking exams always gave me headaches. One student at a time coming to your desk, the rest of the students busy taking a written exam or doing something else. I didn’t like the fact that I could not monitor the students doing the written part because it took the whole class time to listen to students speaking parts one by one.
I was very excited when I found Clear’s Audio Drop Box. Scroll down on the page to see the Drop Box link, but check out everything else, too. Lots of great stuff there! My procedure for exams now is to have one day in the computer lab and one day in the classroom. In the computer lab they do the listening and speaking part. In the classroom we do the writing, reading and culture.
I have a wiki page set up for the speaking and listening parts. On the speaking exam page, there are 4-5 prompts and the audio drop box. In front of the keyboard is an index card telling the students which 2 prompts they must address. When they are ready they click on the audio drop box, type in their name, and perform their speaking exam. Once they have spoken they can listen to the audio over again, then decide to send it or delete it and start over. The audio clips come to me on a page provided by Michigan State’s Clear site. I listen to them later and score them. I have heard other teachers are doing the same thing with Google Voice. I went to the site and was immediately confused. I sense that someone needs to walk me through it.
The listening part is even simpler. I put a link to the audio clip they must listen to on the wiki page. Below the audio link is an embedded Google Form with their questions. They can listen to the clip as many times as needed, then they click Submit to send me their answers. (Don’t forget to make one of the question “What is your name?”). Back in my Google Docs page, their answers are saved spreadsheet style. Google has another trick for you to use with the spreadsheet.
While your spreadsheet with the student’s answers is open, click on Insert then script. Type in the search bar “Flubaroo”. It is an amazing time saver! Flubaroo grades the student answers for you. Click on this Flubaroo video to see how to create your form and use Flubaroo. Here is the user guide with step by step instructions.
Google forms can also be used on parts of the exam that are multiple choice. Grade them with Flubaroo and some of the grading is already done! I have also used them for quizzes and for feedback when we try a new site or activity to get the student’s thoughts.
Google forms are also a great way to hold students accountable for assigned collaboration. We collaborate with a couple of different schools, one in San Jacinto and recently with one in Maryland. Students will occasionally be assigned as homework or in the lab to respond to prompts made to the students, and also to reply to individuals from a different school. To keep them honest and save a little grading time, I put a Google Form into a wiki page and they tell me which topics they answered and which students they replied to. I just go to the spreadsheet to see who has completed this. This way, when I am reading through what they have written, I can enjoy the reading and not have to be thinking about grading.
Just one more way Web 2.0 is making things easier. I know there are many other sites that are useful for testing and grading. Let me know what you like to use.