|Getting started on the paper template
My students have never created any Google Forms and their exposure is limited to using the ones I've created for them. For this reason, I decided they would first map out their storylines on paper and then transfer it to the Google Form.
I provided them a template and gave minimal directions to them. Some students jumped right to it, while others struggled. I found many students couldn't grasp the divergent thinking associated with managing multiple storylines. Here are a few tips I found helpful in providing aid to these students:
|Fixing the template. Yes, my desk is a disaster.
- Be intentional with your word choice. Sometimes I would say, "Finish this section with two choices." Some took this as "You can have pizza or chicken and the pizza can be cheese or pepperoni." Technically, this is two choices. I shifted to saying, "Give a choice with two options."
- Physically pointing on the template was a giant help to some students. I would point at one column and say, "This can go here or here. What choices would make sense in your story?"
- A few students found it helpful to list all of their
choicesoptions first, and then go back to fill in the details in the story. If they chose this, I encouraged them to put the options on the top of the grid for that template.
- Sometimes, students benefited from just starting over entirely. Keep plenty of extra copies on hand.
- Some students needed more guidance than others, and that's totally ok. While some grasped the branching immediately, others didn't. A few students wanted to just write a linear story, while others were making choices and neglecting other paths. I worked with them to understand it for the first few steps and gradually pulled back the scaffolds.
- On my side of things, the template definitely needed work. The cool thing was I was able to modify the template as the students went along, incorporating their feedback immediately. For example, originally the template just had a bunch of boxes with designated sections it would correspond to on the Form. I realized more directions were needed. One of my students helped me make these changes, including typing more clear directions (such as, "Start with option 1 from section above" and "End with two options") and simple formatting. The final completed template can be accessed at this Force Copy link.
|Transferring from paper to Form
- First things first - it wasn't smooth sailing to start. Some students had a hard time figuring out what to put in what section of the Form. There were two camps, both of which ended up being successful:
- "The Scrollers" who would put in a full storyline (visiting Section 1, then 4, then 18, etc) and then go back up to the top to do the next path
- "The Straight Liners" who matched section numbers on the template directly to the sections on the Form
- Students will delete sections, and the proper branching along with it. Generally speaking, they could figure out where to relink it by consulting the template, but they needed to learn how to do that first. Overall, they picked up on Forms very quickly, which is awesome because some adults struggle with it.
- They loved adding pictures and it led to a good conversation about copyright and using the images Google provides right in the search tool in Forms.
- Again, this template needed work on my part. Originally, the section titles said "Choice 1, Choice 2, End of Path 1, etc" since I just modified the template I used. I realized that I needed to match it to what their template said, so I replaced them with S1, S2, etc. This didn't help students who had already made a copy of the Form template, but helped other students after I made this change.
- One student made the suggestion to replace the S1 with "You chose..." as a way to make the story more cohesive. I really thought this was a good idea and many of the students went back to edit to reflect this idea.
|Testing and making edits
How can you implement this in your classroom? What modifications would you make?