08 October 2016

Flubaroo for Badges


Badges help my students keep up with their progress--and they like them.

But keeping up with badges usually means extra work for me: I've made spreadsheets and rubrics, had students submit evidence to earn badges on Google Sites, Livebinders, and Blogger, with links on ForAllRubrics, Seesaw, and Google Classroom.

I needed to simplify.

So I stopped and considered exactly what it was I needed in order to actually evaluate evidence and get the kids their badges--without any new logins or accounts to create.

Basically I need to...
  • give feedback on each objective,
  • provide suggestions for advancing,
  • award badges when they fulfill all objectives consistently,
  • and make pretty badges.
But in order for that to be possible, I need students to...
  • turn in a portfolio link for evaluation
  • indicate their current level for the given skill
  • connect their evidence with objectives
  • find their feedback for reflection after evaluation
  • and collect their badges for display

The tools

Now, one of the single easiest ways to collect anything from students is a Google Form. They could give me all of the information I needed with a few clicks and some open-ended questions about their evidence, e.g. "Which sample shows that you can recognize words and phrases with the help of visuals?"

AND there's a Google Add-on specifically for grading and offering feedback! I used Flubaroo in my SAT Prep class, but it wasn't something that seemed worthwhile for Spanish when I so rarely use multiple choice anything. But NOW Flubaroo allows you to grade responses by hand AND set how many points they're worth!

And what's more? It allows you to add a column for feedback, which means when you tell Flubaroo to email the grades to all of the kids, they can also get a personalized message on what to fix! So not only does it allow me to send scores straight to the email kids have to check anyway, it also lets me give them suggestions--OR HTML code for embedding a badge!


The badges

I got the idea from Alice Keeler, and making badges in Google Drawings IS pretty simple.


I even got a little fancy so when you mouse over a badge a student has embedded, you can see the objectives they fulfilled!


The embed code's pretty simple and easy to copy and adapt to each level, so I just made a spreadsheet where I can find the right code and just copy it into the Flubaroo feedback column when a kiddo's done good! Here's what it looks like for Novice Mid Writing:
CONGRATULATIONS! You earned the Novice Mid Writing badge! Copy this embed code to your Writing page! ---->>>>> <img src="https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1wC8BLsivGEDSNXKeAVghmQI78xPq8PCqTONYmNerK9E/pub?w=150&h=150" title="NOVICE MID WRITING
1. I can label familiar people, places, and objects in pictures and posters.
2. I can write about myself using learned phrases and memorized expressions.
3. I can write notes about something I HAVE LEARNED using lists, phrases, and memorized expressions."/> 
And they've been using embed codes so much on their blogs already for VoiceThreads, Vibs, and videos, that embedding this kind of badge on their blogs is a piece of cake!


The process

Now. I had a master Google Form that had EVERYTHING on it: Novice Mid Reading through Intermediate High Speaking.

Don't do that.

I ended up having to split the form up by skill so that I could keep the spreadsheets separate and keep grading from getting over-complicated. Also I make a copy of the same skill form each time I take another round of submissions to keep those spreadsheets separate and avoid confusing Flubaroo.

Once you've got the results collected, here's what you do:



  1. Check submissions to make sure they followed instructions. If not, they have to resubmit.
  2. Fill out the form yourself with what you are looking for in the evidence columns, but write KEY in every other slot. (Or you could, you know, just add an extra row and directly at the information)
  3. Sort data by the name column (or email column, because of course you set your form to automatically collect their addresses--or made it a question in the form).
  4. Sort data by class to get everyone from the same class together--preferably in roster order since you already alphabetized by email.

  5. Go to the Add-on tab and enable Flubaroo so you can "Grade Assignment."
  6. Make all questions that aren't for evidence "Identifies student."
  7. Change all evidence questions to "Grade by Hand" and 10 points (for easy percentage calculation).
  8. Pick your KEY row for the key.
  9. Choose "Edit Student Feedback" under the Flubaroo add-on options.
  10. Grade, add comments (and/or badge HTML), and then email results back!

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