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October 26, 2012 / Jeff d.

Using Flubaroo to Update Students on Their SBG Progress

I was looking for a simple way to keep learners posted about their SBG progress.  I like them (and me) to be able to see – at a glance – what concepts they have mastered and what they still need to work on.  After tinkering a bit, I found a way to get Flubaroo to do it for me.  I’d love to be able to do this in a more logical place like everyone else: their online gradebook.  But I have to use a hybridized version of SBG because we don’t have school-wide SBG implementation (we’re unified in most everything we do, but I’m the only one currently pushing for SBG), and we grade a variety of school-wide learning outcomes.  So I can’t directly use the gradebook for this.  (For example, even though I label all of my assignments according to the concept, I still have to score them on a 10 point scale).

Anyway, here is what it can look like with Flubaroo.  (If you aren’t familiar with Flubaroo, check it out…I hadn’t heard of it until a few days ago.  But I can’t think of any reason that I would use it for its intended purpose).

  1. Create a dummy form in google docs with one “question” (actually, your first standard).  Using a checkbox question, put in your options (I’m going with a binary “proficient” or “not yet”), and make sure to set it to record usernames.
  2. Open the spreadsheet.  It’ll look like this:
  3. Add your students’ e-mail addresses below your submission (I copied and pasted from a .csv that I already had, so it took two seconds).
  4. Side-by-side with my gradebook, I enter whether the students are proficient or not with a single keystroke (once you’ve typed “proficient” or “not yet” once, a simple “p” or “n” will bring them up automatically).
  5. You can add more standards to the right of this column and repeat.  When you’re done, have Flubaroo “grade” it.

6. This brings up a new tab with all your standards (with percentages and a pretty orange color if less than 70% of learners are proficient).

7. Finally, e-mail your students with a message.

The e-mail looks like such (which requires a little explanation to the learners…like the fact that it’s not a “grade”):

Why I like it:

  • It gives me a clearer picture of how many learners are proficient on a given concept than my gradebook does.  It also helps myself and our academic coaches when they are working with individual learners.
  • The e-mail that it sends is very clear and color-coded – there should be no mistaking whether or not you are proficient on a concept.
  • I didn’t have to write a script.

Why I don’t like it:

  • It’s not the same as having it in the gradebook.  For instance, the learners don’t have ready access at any time – they need me to e-mail it to them.
  • It can only send an e-mail to everyone at once, with the same message.  So for individual feedback it’s useless.  Oh well, I’ll have to rely on my old standby: conversations with the kids.
  • It uses misleading language (like “Your Grade”).

Other notes:

  • You can easily modify this script if you’re into that sort of thing.  For example, I found where to change the 70% cutoff…I could probably change the language too.  But I bet I won’t.
  • I know…I wish I could use a more pure form of SBG.  But I get by.

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