I find Google Forms particularly useful for setting online homework. Responses are collated in a spreadsheet, which makes them easy to scan for both common misconceptions and individual errors.
I am also able to get very informative feedback from pupils this way.
Spreadsheet of answers
Students fill in the form, and their answers come back to me in a spreadsheet. This makes it very easy to scan answers and see if there are any general misconceptions, or if any answers stick out because they are incorrect.
Mark and feed back
I find the easiest way to mark straightforward questions is just to colour-code them within the spreadsheet (eg. correct answers are green, red answers are incorrect, orange answers need to be improved, yellow answers are “start answers”).
I print the work out and give it back to students, but I can also feed back to the whole class by projecting the spreadsheet on the board and talking about student answers. I can focus in on “star answers” (in yellow) and explain why incorrect (red) answers were wrong. (See instructions for transforming and printing responses in Google Forms).
If I want to add written comments, I can do so within the spreadsheet (before printing).
Analysis and improvement
Students can analyse, correct, and improve their answers once I’ve printed them.
eg. Re-write anything in red, say why your answer was incorrect, explain why your new answer is better
I often ask students to tell me about wrong answers: why they chose the answer, why it was wrong, and why the correct answer is right. This is especially useful after online multiple-choice quizzes (more here).
Encourage pupils to give feedback and ask questions
I find that pupils are often a lot more open and candid when asked for feedback online than when I seek feedback in other ways.
Use pupil answers to feed back and inform planning
I sometimes use a selection of student responses as starter questions, before addressing key points with the class as a whole. You can use peer feedback and ideas as a basis for this discussion.
Important: make it “worth it”
Students need to feel there is a “point” to all this, especially when you ask them to feed back to you about how things are going (and if they have any questions for you). It’s therefore very important to take the time to answer any questions they ask, and to show that you have taken account of their feedback.
For example, at the end of an online homework, I asked pupils to tell me about aspects of the current topic that they found most difficult. In the following lesson, I displayed some (anonymised) representative responses on the board, and went through key points with the class.
One pupil in particular was very worried about this topic. She’s a hard worker, and I know she would have spent a long time trying to figure out what was going on before she left me the following feedback:
After I had gone through the points that were troubling her, she re-submitted her homework. This time, the depth of her answers showed that she’d really understood the concepts behind the topic. She knew what she still had to work on, but her feedback was much more positive:
This post was written by NKA