Systems of Support Supporting Educator Excellence through Technology and Strategy

How to duplicate yourself in the classroom

One of the most difficult parts of being an educator, therapist, or interventionist is that you need to be everywhere at once. Especially considering the ideal learning environment is one that is designed around the specific needs of each student. The reality is when you have 5 students or 50, this ideal can be difficult to practically attain day in and day out. I’ve got an idea that will allow you to be in multiple places at once, delivering specific feedback to student performance, and it’s painless!

Rear view of class raising hands

This idea is creatively developing a form within Google Drive. Google drive is a free tool that is within any google account you have (if you have gmail you have this). If your district is a Google Apps for Education district, then you have access too. This feature allows you to develop a virtual teacher that will give feedback and reteaching right when your learner needs it. Here is a quick video from the Google for Education page on how to create forms. Now that you know the nuts and bolts of form creation, here is the strategy.

Create a digital worksheet. Add your content to the google form just as you would a typical worksheet. Create problems that will help identify targeted areas of strength and weakness that you need to know in identifying how they are progressing. Remember the principle of generalization and incorporate appropriately.

Develop the answers based on common student errors. The more time you spend with your learners, the better you are at identifying patterns of mistakes. When creating answers for the student to select, provide options that will give you information. Knowing how your learner is responding will inform the feedback that is needed to guide them to success. Here is a simple example. If you are working on multiplication, there are common errors that are made.

3 x 3 =

33 (the learner wrote the digits side by side)

6 (the learner added rather than multiplied)

0 (the learner subtracted rather than multiplied)

9 (the learner multiplied correctly)

Determine the targeted feedback. If you’ve developed answer options that identify learner errors, you can tie specific feedback to each response. This is where the branched scenarios come in within Google forms. When entering the question into the form, you can decide what will happen when the learner selects that response. This allows you to let them know if they were correct or providing additional information when they are not. The power of this tool is that the learner will not repetitively make the same error throughout the entire problem set because you were not able to get to them in time. Remember, practice makes permanent.

Insert a reteaching video. Within google forms, you can embed youtube videos. So when a learner repetitively makes a mistake, they can be directed to a video that reteaches the content they are working on. It is like having teachers with every student that appears only when they are needed. You can make your own teaching videos or find some that are already out there.

Review the data. The final “wow” moment for me in using google forms as a teaching tool is that the students responses are automatically dumped into a spreadsheet. What this does is keep a record of student responses so that I can view these data over time and monitor student progress.

We’ve come a long way from pencil and paper. If you would like to see a quick example of what I’m talking about click here to take a quick addition quiz. Take time to create one too and send us the link. We would enjoy seeing the creative way you replicate your self in the classroom.


About Jason Gibson

Jason Gibson is a learning and behavioral consultant working with schools and treatment facilities across the US supporting children and adolescents with cognitive, social, emotional and behavioral issues. His focus is on practical implementation of research informed practices to increase outcomes for learners with and without disabilities. With degrees in psychology, social work, and education, Jason’s peer-reviewed research has been published in journals such as “Topics in Early Childhood Special Education”, “Closing the Gap”, and “Education and Treatment of Children with Developmental Disabilities”. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky writing his dissertation on the Efficacy of Online Professional Development to Increase Implementation of Stimulus Preference Assessments. In addition to his consulting work, Jason is the director of the BabbCenter and provides guidance to one of the leading counseling centers that operates from a faith-based perspective. Jason grew up in Titusville, FL and prior to moving to the Nashville area, made central Kentucky his home for 8 years.

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