Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Observation Form with Autocrat and FormRanger

It's almost as if the Google Scripts Autocrat and FormMule were made with the teacher observation process in mind.  Although the good folks at YouPD shared an excellent example of a teacher observation system using FormMule, there were a few things that didn’t quite fit my school. Thankfully, I was able to study their Teacher Mini-Observation Tracking System and lift some really good ideas.  In the end there were several things that I needed to behave differently:
  • The formMule script triggers it’s merge on form submit and I need my administrators to have less pressure. They might start the observation in the classroom, but come back to it later to flesh out comments. To do this I shaped the system around the Autocrat script because the trigger for the merge can be based on a value in the spreadsheet. As a result, the administrator can start the form and submit it unfinished, then come back to the form later via a bookmark.
  • The YouPD Mini-Ob tracker is provides a beautiful structure for great feedback.  I needed the form to be a little easier to submit via a tablet. My form relies on multiple choice questions organized and informed by by Danielson's four domains. Each domain includes a comments/evidence section, for more personalized feedback.  Administrators can bang out notes here, and pull it all together later after bookmarking the incomplete form.
  • My teachers will be observed three times this year - one formal and two informal. This system is meant for the two informal observations.  If two observations have occurred, the teacher’s name is removed from the form using formRanger.  

That's it. Most of the magic happens in the autocrat script. The "log" page concatenates each domain's feedback and adds the personalized comments. I think the doc looks pretty good when it's merged. I’ve left some comments on the spreadsheet to help navigate how to make it yours.  I hope it’s useful!