Practical Teaching Ideas

Peer Grading in a Speech Class using Google Forms

2015-01-22 11.03.18A simple way to increase student involvement during a speech class is to have listeners fill out a form answering questions about the speech content. Another idea is to engage students in peer assessment. This can reinforce the skills being taught and reduce the burden on the teacher for a fair assessment of the speakers[cite num=”1″].

As an example, I often use the textbook Speaking of Speech[cite num=”2″]. The text is fairly straightforward, and the skills taught are universally useful. I have created a Google Form based on the skills taught in the text which I use for peer assessment. I share it with my students using a QR code. A template can be found here. All that remains is to add a list of the students names in the first drop-down list.

Grading based on this form can be done in Google Sheets using basic formulas such as:


peer assessment sheets

Additionally, results can be sent to a chart and shared back with students.


Also, a summary of responses can be had from within the from creation app.

peer assessment sheets

A look at the summary of responses from one class grading session can show major trends. This can help to pinpoint areas which may need additional attention in a course.

summary of responses

In conclusion, Google Forms can be used to increase students involvement with the course through peer assessment. It can also provide useful metrics for both students and their teachers to assess progress.


  1. [cite num=”1″ return=TRUE]Toping, K. (1998). Peer Assessment Between Students in Colleges and Universities. Review of Educational Research, 68(3), 249-276. Retrieved from
  2. [cite num=”2″ return=TRUE]Harrington, D., & LeBeau, C. (2009). Speaking of Speech. MacMillan.

Increasing Observational Learning using Google Sheets

Screenshot 2015-06-14 12.53.02Observational learning is an important part of the social learning experience and considered beneficial in increasing self-efficacy[cite num=”1″]. Increasing visibility in social learning is therefore an important fundamental. Google Sheets can be a useful tool for increasing observational learning as it allows for editing permissions to be set for individual cells in a spreadsheet.

When using Google Docs as a text editor, we can share the entire document in a variety of forms, but we cannot share individual sections of the document. However, using Google Sheets, we can change the editing permissions of individual cells.

So, for example, a student could fill in an individual table describing their own project plan while the entire spreadsheet could be made visible to the whole class. This provides an easy way to increase observational learning while avoiding accidental changes being made to other student’s sections.

The video below provides a brief tutorial in the setting of individual cell permissions.


1.[cite num=”1″ return=TRUE] Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological review, 84(2), 191-215. DOI 10.1037//0033-295x.84.2.191

Practical Teaching Ideas

Wouldn’t it be nice if language students could manage their own discussions?


Students managing themselves in a “Round Table” discussion is one example of a Collaborative Learning activity. Not only do they provide┬ábenefit to the students in developing learner autonomy, but as a teacher they can provide a new way to lead students in critical discussion.

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