I really like using the Autocrat add-on in Google Sheets to provide feedback to my GCSE PE students. Essentially what Autocrat allows is mail merging information from a Google Sheet into another Google Application such as a Doc or Slide. As with most things Google once set up it will save you so much time and for my students, it is a great visual guide to see what areas of their knowledge they need to work on.
As with most things Google, once set up it will save you so much time.
Firstly I create a Google Sheet and import all the information into the relevant cells, question by question. Below is an example I used recently on the Charged Up Academy Webinar Episode 1. I use a colour coding system for my students so if they get full marks on the question the cell would go green, half marks would mean the cell goes orange and no marks would be red. Depending on the question and the number of marks awarded the cell would be yellow, which means 66-75% of the question right. The cells automatically would go to one of these four colours as I enter the figures and that is through Conditional Formatting, which can be found under the Format tab on the Google Sheet. This allows you to format that cell by giving the cell instructions for when you enter the figures.
Once you have your Google Sheet created with the data on you need to create a master Google Doc to where you want the information to be sent to. The example I used on the Webinar is below:
You will notice that there are << and >> at the beginning and end of the words in the second column. This is how Autocrat picks up the information so it is vital you make sure that the column you want the information to go in matches the Google Sheet (see the top row in my Google Sheet). For my GCSE PE class, I often have a third column, which states what part of the specification the question was on so students can quickly refer to it and see where their gaps in knowledge are. Once you have your Google Doc set up go back to your Google Sheet and click on Add-ons and then Get Add-ons. You only need to get the add-on once and then it will always be there. Search for Autocrat and then hit the +Free button. When you click on Add-ons now Autocrat should be there and then click Launch.
Depending on how many students you have in your class will determine how long it takes but my class of 26 students takes less than 90 seconds to merge all the data. Below is how the information is then displayed in the Google Doc so I now have 3 documents titled with my name, Adam’s name and Leigh’s name, which I can then either print out or share electronically with them. As an example below, you can see that I struggled in question 1, 2, 7, 8 and 10 so would need to look back at those topics.
There are loads of other ways you can use Autocrat in PE lessons. Give it a try and let me know how you get on. I would be interested to see how others use this very useful add-on.
Thanks for reading and I hope you find it useful.
Simon Bradbury - @pebrado
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