Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Create a Student Dropbox and Work Log with Google Tools

We have seen a number of examples where Google Data Studio has been used effectively to visualize and share data from a Google Form in multiple ways. Since Google Forms can capture the email address of the person filling out the form, the Filter by Email feature of Data Studio can be used to create a customized report with only the information that person submitted. Data Studio could also be used to display the same data for the teacher, or even for the public (if appropriate).
With remote learning happening in school districts all over the world, schools have taken advantage of technology tools to facilitate the delivery of learning materials and collection of student work. Many districts use Google Classroom or other Learning Management Systems to facilitate this process, but there may be situations where a teacher or school would want to collect and share student work in a different way.

I only recently learned (within the past year) that Google Forms has a File Upload question type, which requires the person filling out the form to be logged in to Google. It then places the uploaded files in a dedicated folder on the Form owner's Google Drive, and adds a column in the Form's Google Sheet results of links to each submitted file. Many folks have used Google Forms as a "drop box" of sorts since this feature was released. 

I started thinking about how we might use the File Upload/dropbox approach to Google Forms with Data Studio, especially if we were asking students to share materials that were visual images. I put together a sample Form which asks students to upload a picture based on a weekly assignment. We can then think about displaying the student-submitted responses and files in a variety of ways in Data Studio, but all with the same data source (the Form Sheet.)
  • A student-specific work log, which allows a student to view only his or her responses and submitted work, like a portfolio of sorts. 
  • A teacher- or class-specific work log, which allows the teacher to look at responses/work by student OR by assignment.
  • A public display of student work, which might display images and descriptions, either with or without student names. 
Here's the example Data Studio Report for your exploration. Each page of the report shows a different version of the report (in actuality they would be separate report files), but all use the SAME data source.

Please read through the About notes on the report itself for some of the trickier things about putting this one together. Let me know if you want to give this a try yourself - I'm happy to help!

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