5. Google Docs: A New Media


Hey, friends. I was exposed to Google Docs during my final year of Bachelor in UTM. It is used when me and my friends are collaborating with our supervisor when correcting our Final Year Project. It is definitely useful in teaching and learning. Besides that, I learnt more about google docs when I had my CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) during my last semester. It is used to share documents and collaborate in a paired/ group project.

In this session, I will also briefly explain the five ways of Google Docs that are handy for teachers and students in the teaching and learning process. Before this, let me introduce what is Google Docs?

Definition of Google Docs:

According to Google, they are the online word processor that lets us create and format text documents and collaborate with other people in real time. Then, we can upload a Word document and convert it to a Google document.

Five ways of using Google Docs:

1. Collaborative Writing

Sharing and commenting provide students with opportunities to receive immediate feedback on their writing from teachers and peers inside or outside the classroom. The integrated reference tools and smart spell checker provide students with convenient writing support directly on the page. The built in research tool expands opportunities for students to engage in real world writing and ease the process of creating links and citations with only a click on the feature using the mouse.

Google Docs

A Screenshot on the Collaboration between My FYP Supervisor and Me as well as My Peers who Can Do Peers-Checking

2. In Box

The most challenging thing when using Google Docs with a class full of students is managing all those Google Docs. It is specially overwhelming if each student emails to the teacher. Teacher may miss out the email of the student as well. To solve this problem John Miller came up with the idea of using a Google Form to collect assignments. Here is how John’s invention works:

a) Teachers create and publish a Google Form to be used as an In Box.

b) When it’s time to turn in a Google Doc, students complete the simple form and submit a link to their Google Doc.

c) The information submitted by students automatically populates a spreadsheet to be used by teachers to keep track of assignments and also to quickly access those assignments for grading and review.

In Box.png

In Box is Used by The Teacher to Manage The Assignment Submission from The Students

3. Collaborative Brainstorming

The features available in the drawing component of Google Docs are well-suited for online, collaborative brainstorming  sessions that provide students with opportunities to work together to develop ideas. Digital brainstorming sessions provide all students with an opportunity to contribute, unlike traditional brainstorming sessions which encourage contributions from the “quick thinkers” in the room. Students can use shapes, arrows, text, and imported images to make a mind map for any assignment. The revision history uses colors to highlight and tracks changes to any Google Doc, making it easy to see what each student has contributed to the big picture.


Google Docs for Creating Mind Map in Brainstorming

4.  Self-Grading Quiz

Creating a simple self-grading quiz with a Google Form, to provide students with immediate feedback and increase their motivation.  Teachers can create a quiz with a few multiple choice questions and students take the quiz to submit the correct answers and  a simple formula pop into the spreadsheet end to let the technology do the grading for them.  The teacher can immediately publish the spreadsheet of results and teach students how to use the find tool (control + f) to quickly find their score and significantly raise the stakes to increase student motivation.  Please note: To avoid public humiliation and hard feelings make sure the students to sign in with some sort of unique identifier that protects their privacy.

SQuizSelf-Grading Quiz Created by The Teacher

5. A Virtual Copy Machine 

If teacher is looking for an easy and efficient way to provide students with a starting point for an online project, Google Docs Templates can help. The teacher can save time and guide the learning by providing students with a consistent page format by using and creating his or her own templates. A Google Docs template is like a virtual copy machine. There are plenty of user-submitted templates already created and available for public use and there is even a category for students and teachers.


The Sample of Google Docs Template that Can be Created by The Teacher

In conclusion, the Google Docs are very useful in sharing and collaborative learning. Teachers and students will surely benefit when using this tool 🙂


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