I don’t have enough time in my day. Between planning, lab set up, lab clean up, and grading, my “free time” is basically zero. If there’s any way I can save a little time, I’ll do it. We had to switch to digital assessments in March 2020 because of the pandemic, and making them self-grading was one way for me to mitigate all of the additional work I had to do to manage the hybrid/remote/face-to-face rollercoaster we’ve all been on. Here’s how I create self-grading quizzes in the hopes that you, too, can save yourself some time!
Creating an assessment
The easiest way to create a self grading quiz is to use Google Forms. Create a new Google form and name it. I use names like “2021 DNA Assessment” to help my Google Drive stay moderately organized.
The first section of your test is for identification purposes. Type in a question asking your student’s name. For sorting purposes, I ask first name and last name in two separate questions – this also helps manage the kids who think they’re the only “Joe” in the school. You could also add “What period do you have science?” only if it’s easier to enter grades into your grading software if grades are sorted by period.
When you click on a question, notice the toolbar that appears on the right side of the question. Use this toolbar to add a question or a section.
I create a new section for the assessment questions. Depending on your assessment, you might want to create more than one question section – maybe a section on definitions and another section on calculations, perhaps. I’ve used multiple sections when I had 3 or 4 questions about a single photograph or image.
In the upper right corner of your screen, notice the settings wheel. There are several options you need to check to make this a self-grading quiz.
Under the “General” tab, check the box to collect email addresses so that you can verify identity of the students as they take the test (prevents students from taking the test for someone else). Check the box to limit students to one response to prevent them from opening the quiz again after they’ve submitted it.
In the Presentation tab, I always choose to shuffle the question order. I think that gives me a slight edge against the possibility of cheating. Note: When you shuffle question order, the questions within each section will be shuffled within the section only. Questions will not be mixed between sections. This way, the “Name” question will always be first.
You also have the option to customize your confirmation message. I like the default “Your response has been recorded,” but you can switch it up if you want. “Shazam! You’re done!” is a favorite of my students.
The Quizzes tab is the tab you need to make this quiz self-grading. Toggle the “Make this a quiz” button to the right. This will open up your ability to provide an answer key and allow Google to check your students’ responses. You have two options for when to allow students to see their grades. If you’re using this assessment as a summative grade, you probably want to click “Later, after manual review” to prevent cheating. If you want to use this as a formative assessment (i.e. “Keep trying until you get 100.”), then click to release grades “Immediately after each submission.” Clicking “Immediately” sends the students an email with the missed questions and correct answers as soon as they hit “Submit” on their quiz. Clicking “Later” allows you to release the grades after everyone has taken the quiz.
To add questions:
When you first open the quiz, you may not be in edit mode. If you can not edit questions, click the pencil in the lower right corner of the screen. If there is no pencil, you are in edit mode.
- Click the “+” sign on the tool bar on the right side of your screen.
- Type your question and answer choices.
- At the bottom of the question, click “Answer Key.”
- Click the correct answer. A green checkmark will appear next to it to confirm that you have selected an answer.
- Assign points to the question in the top right. The default is zero.
Shuffling Answer choices
Click the 3 dots at the bottom right of each question if you want to shuffle the answer choices.
Change the appearance of your quiz
In the upper right corner of the form are some options you can change.
- The palette button allows you to change the header image if you want.
- The eyeball image allows you to see what the quiz will look like for your students.
To share the quiz with your students:
- Click the Send button in the upper right corner of the form.
- To email students the form, type their email addresses in the form. Adjust the subject and message if you prefer and click “Send.”
- To share the quiz as a link on Google Classroom or another platform, click the link button and copy the link (you have the option to shorten it if you want). Paste the link on Google Classroom or onto whichever platform you use.
- The quiz can be embedded onto a web page or a Google Site by clicking the embed tab and copying and pasting the code.
To see your students’ scores:
- At the top of the quiz, click “Responses.”
- You can see individual scores, get feedback on a particular question, or see a summary of scores. You can also click the Google Sheets icon in the upper right to create a spreadsheet of all of the responses to your quiz.
Here is a link to a DNA and genetics assessment you can download for free. Use it with your students if you want or use it to learn the different features of a self-grading quiz.