Saturday, 26 April 2014

Improving Feedback and Student Self-Analysis

With thanks to Colleen Lee-Hayes and her blog, I discovered the Google Docs Add-On "TextHelp Study Skills" and thought it could be useful in a lot of subject areas.

TextHelp Study Skills

Use this add-on to Google Docs to highlight key information that can then be grouped, sorted, and exported into a new Google Doc for later use. 

Ideas for Student Use in the Classroom:
  • In Language classes, students could use the different colour to identify required language components in assignments.
  • In Geography, History, Civics, Social Science classes, students could use a colour to identify the facts that they've included in their assignment.
  • In English, students could identify quotations used in their essays.  (Use a different colour for each book if doing a comparative essay or, one colour for quotations from the novel and another colour for quotations from secondary sources.)
  • Students could use the "Collect Highlights" feature to collate the highlighted information into an overview document that they could then share with their teacher.  
  • For study purposes, students could highlight their notes and then export their highlights to create a page of key facts / ideas / etc to study.

Ideas for Teacher Use in the Classroom

  • Teachers could also use the tool to provide visual feedback --> highlight the error and provide students with a legend identifying what each colour means.  Students can quickly see where, what type, and how many errors they are making.
  • If teachers are the ones using the tool, we could use the "Collect" option and then go over some sample errors with the class quickly and easily.

Setting It Up:
  • The first time, students add this "add-on" to Google Docs by opening a Google Doc, clicking on "Add-Ons" (in the File / Edit / View / etc menu of the Document) and then "Get Add-Ons" and then searching for "TextHelp Study Skills."
  • Alternatively, you could provide the above link to students to authorize.
  • Once they've added the program, for future documents, they simply need to click on "Add-Ons" and then click on TextHelp Study Skills --> Show Highlighting Tools.

I'd love to hear your ideas of how you see this tool being used effectively in your classroom!

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