Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Automating the Peer Critique Process with autoCrat

This past spring, I was fortunate to connect with Amanda Breland at Northbrook HS, a 10th grade ELA teacher. She was grappling with how to increase student engagement and decided to try a project-based learning unit with her 10th graders. She allowed me to come in and brainstorm through the process. We both learned a lot during the unit.

One of the biggest challenges proved to be student academic conversations. Amanda really wanted to get her students sharing ideas and offering feedback to one another. She quickly realized that it was a process that she would need to start earlier in the year.

During the first peer critique, not only were students struggling with the thought and communication processes, but they were also struggling with the paperwork. Students were completing feedback forms, quickly showing them to the student in need of feedback, but then filing them in the paper tray for Amanda to have evidence of conversation and to ensure students had the feedback the next day. Some students though, were willing to work on their projects after class, but didn't have access to the feedback.

I had heard about autoCrat and thought this might be just the project to try it. We made a peer feedback rubric using Google Forms and had the feedback sent to all parties involved - the "critiquee:", the "critiquer" and Amanda had the submission spreadsheet with links to the pdfs there. Watch this video to learn how we did it!

Don't want to watch the video? Here are the steps:
  1. Create the Google Document (using your rubric)
  2. Create the Google Form (using your Google Document and/or rubric)
  3. Set up the autoCrat script to run
  4. Have students complete the Google Form
We are both looking forward to working together in the fall to improve student communication and can see lots of opportunities to use autoCrat!