David Lamb
Make your own online quizzes and let Flubaroo do the grading

As the Common Core drives more districts to move toward online testing, educators have an obligation to give students ample opportunity to practice taking digital tests. By now most teachers are familiar with Google Apps. But did you know you can use one of these tools to create online surveys, quizzes and tests — and grade them too?

I recently created an online genetics test to allow my biology students to practice using computerized testing tools. After creating the quiz, I wrote the shortened URL on the board and said, " "Go!" " Students quickly flew through all 30 required questions and most of the optional confidence questions.

Now what? I had 98 submissions and far too much information to analyze manually. This is where a handy script comes in. Using the tool Flubaroo, a grading program that runs with Google Forms, I was able to quickly grade, analyze and email reports to every student. Here's a brief overview of how to create a test and install Flubaroo.

How it works

Step 1. Go to Google Forms. Choose your title and theme, then click " "OK." " Fill out your test using the appropriate question style (multiple choice, fill in the blank, etc.)

Step 2. Name your form by clicking " "untitled form" " in the upper-left corner of the page.

Step 3. Click the " "send form" " button and copy the link in the " "link to share" " box or email it to your students. If you'd like, you can shorten the URL with goo.gl or a similar tool.

Step 4. Select " "choose response destination" " from the menu at the top of your form. This will create a spreadsheet with all of your students' answers.

Step 5. In the dialog box, select " "new spreadsheet" " and give it a name that aligns with the name of your form. Click " "create." "

Step 6. Select " "view responses" " at the top of the form to open the spreadsheet.

Step 7. Click " "add-ons" " from the top navigation bar.

Step 8. Search for Flubaroo and install for free. You'll notice that in the " "add-ons" " menu at the top of your spreadsheet, there is now a selection for Flubaroo. If you click on it, you can explore some of the features.

Step 9. Have your students take the quiz. Their answers will autofill the spreadsheet, and you can then use Flubaroo to grade them.

Grading made easy
Before you grade your tests using Flubaroo, go through the questions and create an answer key. Next, click on " "Flubaroo" " in the spreadsheet's " "add-ons" " menu and select " "grade assignment." " The program will ask you to choose the correct responses, how much weight to give each question and which answers to skip, such as optional questions and those that ask for students' names.

When you've finished, Flubaroo will grade the test, and the results will be available on the second page of the spreadsheet, titled " "grades." "

Here is where Flubaroo rocks: It gives you immediate feedback! These are my favorite features:

  • Students scoring below 70 percent are automatically tagged in red. I used this information to message individual students about doing test corrections to get points back.
  • Questions that were answered correctly by less than 60 percent of the class are tagged in orange. You can use this information to address specific questions with the whole class.

And Flubaroo has a few other nice tricks for teachers:

  • You can email students a copy of their grade reports, as long as you asked for a student email as part of the quiz. You can send the score, their answers and the key if you want.
  • If you click " "view report," " you can see a simple histogram of student scores.
  • Once you have the grade report, click " "file" " and " "download as" " to export the entire page in a number of different file formats, such as XLXS, ODS, PDF, CSV, TSV or HTML. My colleague was able to import all of the grades directly into the PowerSchool student information system by saving it as a CSV file.

Given the rapid feedback and ease of grading and analyzing, this online tool provides a great learning opportunity, not only to review content but also as practice for taking online tests. It's definitely worth a look!

David Lamb recently received his master's in educational studies from the University of Michigan. He works at Thurston Middle School in Westwood, Massachusetts, where he teaches seventh and eighth grade science.