Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Doctopus & Goobric - Making Your Google Docs Life Easier

Google Drive and all of the tools contained within it (Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drawings) are extremely powerful document creation and collaboration resources.  However, when you are using them with 165 students management of these files can quickly become an organizational nightmare.  Anyone who has had to dig through the email avalanche created by six periods of middle school students sharing their essays can completely understand this dilemma.

Doctopus and Goobric.  Yes, you read those words correctly.  Doctopus and Goobric are a Google script and Chrome extension with funny names that can make your Google Docs teaching life much easier.  The Docopus script allows you to create one spreadsheet for an assignment that once complete contains a row for each student with the following information
  • Name, Email Address, and Period 
  • Link to the studnet's version of the assignment
  • Information about when the assignment was last editing
  • Columns for grade and feedback that can emailed directly back to the students
When you set up the assignment spreadsheet using Doctopus you can determine who has editing or viewing rights and even embargo the assignment for grading (each student no longer has editing rights) all with just a few clicks.  Once the project is complete you can even transfer ownership of document to individual students.  Doctopus works whether you're setting up individual or group projects.  The Chrome extension, Goobric simply allows you to attach a rubric to the document that can be used for grading with rubric-based feedback provided to the students.

Getting Started:
Getting up and running with Doctopus and Goobric is quite easy.  Here is all you need to do.
  1. Watch These Tutorials - Doctopus and Goobric by @jayatwood
    • Or come to Tech PD next Tuesday (10/29) if you are a PFAA/Leading Edge teacher.  If other academies are interested we can set up a Doctopus/Goobric workshop up at your site in the next few weeks.
  2. Student Information Spreadsheet - Create an assignment spreadsheet that contains the following information for your students - First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Period. 
    • While you could hand type this, the quicker method is to set up a Google Form and have your students complete it.  Then you will have all of the data for any future projects. Joshua Senge in Leading Edge did this and then shared it with his grade level colleagues for them to use too.
  3. Document Template - Create a Docs/Sheets/Slides template for your assignment.
    • It doesn't have to ahve anything on it, but you will need a document the Doctopus script can clone for each student.
  4. Run the Script - Find Doctopus in the Script Gallery, run it and wait for the magic to happen.
Spend some time and give these two tools a whirl.  You will be happy that you did.  If you need any additional support feel free to join us at the next PFAA/Leading Edge Tuesday workshop on October 29th or let me know and I would be happy to set up a 1:1 appointment.


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