Thursday, August 13, 2009

Google Forms take the pain out of fitness testing... well at least for the teachers!

Ok, so we all know that PE teachers hate paperwork (well most of them), but there is one thing that seems to frustrate us all... when paper work takes away from activity time and our own time.

In my current school we have been using the FitnessGram tests to complete our triannual fitness testing. In the past all the results were taken manually and entered into either excel, the FitnessGram software or onto PowerSchool (our online reporting software). We thought we were pretty good at keeping the kids 'connected' by getting them to log onto PowerSchool to check there results and then use these in moodle via an online worksheet which allowed them to reflect on their results and where they were positioned with the different fitness zones. This proved to be a effective way for the students to reflect on their fitness levels out of class time, while also increasing activity time and integrating IT into our subject.

What was a hassle was the process of transferring the data from the little sheets the kids recorded their results on, into our online reporting system (PowerSchool). What should be an easy task tended to take a few hours going through each child's fitness result form, collating the results and then manually entering them onto PowerSchool... not any more.

All we did was create a GoogleDoc form, which allowed the kids to input their data, which was automatically collated, and then exported, sorted using excel, and finally uploaded into PowerSchool.

Very sweet, very smooth.

To ensure the kids didn't loose activity time we built the input session into a fitness circuit around the gymnasium. At one station we had 12 laptops ready to go with the GoogleForm bookmarked for each child to input their data into. Students referred to charts to work out their fitness zones and in a short time got a clear picture of their fitness level. This station served as a rest and drink station as well, which all combined to create a meaningful learning experience, while saving us time. Good times! We had class sizes from 30 to a combined block of four classes with 110 students in the gym entering data within the lesson. Never again will I manually enter this kind of data again!

If you haven't tried GoogleDocs check them out. They are very easy to use and effective in the classroom.