Using Google to your own advantage

Liesl Barnett1 and Emma Hart2

1 Studygroup International (Taylors College Perth), P.O. Box 1004, Claremont, WA, 6010 E:LBarnett@studygroup.com
2 Studygroup International (Taylors College Perth), P.O. Box 1004, Claremont, WA, 6010 E:EHart@studygroup.com

Taylors College Perth is a non-denominational school for international students who are hoping to enter the University of Western Australia.  We run three different programs on our campus:

  • Academic English Preparation (AEP)
  • Foundation Program (Intensive, Standard and Extended)
  • Diploma of Commerce, Diploma of Science (also open to local students)

At any given time we have between 250 – 400 students on campus.

We use Moodle (Studysmart) as our Online Learning Management System – and we have successfully incorporated the use of google forms, docs and sheets into our programs across the board.  This has allowed us to collect greater volumes of student feedback more easily and quickly, and allowed us improved methods of monitoring student outcomes, giving adequate and appropriate student support, and helping us more clearly understand the needs of our students’ onsite.

Historically, the problem institutions such as ours have had, is finding a method/ methods of collecting student feedback in a timely and comprehensive manner.  Paper student surveys need to be read/ collated and the data inputted into a spreadsheet or program of some description before being analysed.  Class timetables must be studied to determine to which classes and when to hand out these surveys.   Students not attending class miss filling out the survey, and we may miss out on collecting valuable data.  Receiving and processing student feedback in a timely manner has been problematic for most institutions.

Google forms have helped us revolutionise the way in which we collect and collate information. It is not time consuming, paper wasting or arduous – it’s fast and accurate.  Google forms allow you to prepare a form that is simple in execution but allows for answers to be given in a variety of ways. The responses are then shown in one of two ways – EVERY answer to each question in order of question on the form – or all of the answers of each respondent across one line of a spreadsheet.  This information is time and date stamped, and drops immediately into the spreadsheet once a student clicks SUBMIT at the bottom of the form.

We now use these forms for our end of term student surveys.  We also use these forms to collect data such as sign-ups for events like our Alumni wine and cheese night.  We use them so students can sign in for daily HUB tutorials – letting the teachers know exactly who they can expect at each tutorial.  We also use them to collect past student (Alumni) data for tutoring here on campus, and for features like Top Tutor, or highlight Alumni in our weekly bulletin or on our facebook site.

We also use these forms to allow teachers to give extensive academic feedback and concerns, for Student Welfare reporting, and collating and sharing Graduate student information among key staff.  They have become a necessity for us here at Taylors College.


Biographies:

Liesl is an educator who has taught for 20 years across a variety of schools, colleges and universities in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the UK. She is passionate about innovation in education, and supporting students who need help and guidance to achieve their best.

Emma is an educator with a background and passion in languages. She worked in Madrid before relocating to Australia, and has been key in developing the University of Western Australia (UWA) Diplomas of Commerce and Science at Taylors College Perth, while also looking after the UWA Foundation Program and the Academic English Preparation Program.