Mobile learning is a sizeable part of our work at Brightcookie. As part of this we often get asked if there are any free tools out there to get started with mobile assessments.
One of the most flexible tools and free to achieve end-to-end (from the creation of forms to the collection of data in a spreadsheet) mobile assessment is Google Forms. The process is fairly simple – here is a quick overview.
Create a new Google Form
Creating a new form is as easy as logging into Google Docs (or Google Drive as it is now known) and click on the “CREATE” button and choose “Form”.
Google forms supports the following basic question types:
- Paragraph Text
- Multiple Choice
As a nice add-on you can also do some advanced branching when using multiple choice. Depending on the choice you can redirect the user to another page in the form (you need to use page breaks for this to work).
You can edit the confirmation text that will be displayed after the submission of the form. You can also allow students to see a summary of responses (see screenshot below).
Share the link to the form
You can either email the form to your students or embed the form inside of a web-page. When emailing the form you can either send a link or embed the form in the email.
For the purpose of mobile assessment, sending an email without embedding the form in the email (send link only) is the most useful option.
Mobile data collection
Students can click on the link they receive on their mobile device. We have tested these forms on a wide variety of devices such as mobile phones (Android, iOS, Nokia, WinPhone), tablets (Android, iOS, WebOS) as well as net-books.
After clicking “Submit” the students will see the message you have chosen in the setup (and a summary of responses so far – if you enabled this option).
Results can be reviewed in two different forms:
All the detailed results are stored in a Google Spreadsheet which can be downloaded in a variety of formats:
- MS Office (.xls)
- Open Document Format (.ods)
- PDF (.pdf)
- CSV (.csv)
- Text (.txt)
- HTML (.html)
Students get an email with the responses they have submitted for their own records
If you are an Australian School, Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or Higher Education Institution you probably qualify for Google Apps Education Edition. One of the other benefits of using Google Apps is that it can easily be integrated with Moodle LMS.
Taking mobile assessment further
If you want to get into some more complex mobile assessment tools just get in touch with us. There are several options to continue the mobile learning and assessment journey after testing the water with Google Forms.
Informal / flexible assessments
This would include the use of a repository where students can upload files from mobile devices such as an e-portfolio. This files (video, audio, images, text notes, …) can then be used in normal assessment workflow (such as LMS assignments).
Our own PortfolioUP tool is a good example of such a mobile assessment tool.
These assignment types generally revolve about structured forms that often need to be signed by the assessor. There are several options to allow the use of mobile devices in such situations to replace traditional paper work-flows.
Mobile editable PDF Forms
These are PDF forms that allow the entry of data and the submission of this data via either email based work-flows or direct submission to databased back-end systems.
Mobile PDF editing Apps
There are several PDF editing apps available which allow the customisation of PDF files. The downside of this solution is that each student needs to purchase some app which in most environments is not a feasible option.
- PDF Expert
- ezPDF Reader
This requires custom written apps that package the whole assignment into a mobile user-interface that can then be send directly to back-end systems.