Sunday, February 8, 2015

Random Group Generator + Doctopus = Collaborative Group-Making Gold!

I have been using Doctopus with several of my fellows and other teachers at my site all year as an effective way to push out documents to students.  Google Classroom was not open at the beginning of the year at my district, so I worked to become a "Doctopus Expert".  I put together this step-by-step guide and then a more simplified "visual guide" (personalized for one of my fellows).

With Classroom now open, I am still sticking with Doctopus for several reasons:

  • File Organization - I love that the files are organized in student folders but also assignment folders
  • Teacher Access and Control at all stages - Teacher has access to the document from the time it is pushed out, not from when the student begins working on it
  • Goobric - Easy to navigate between assignments, and now you can leave voice comments!
  • Data and Statistics in terms of word count, student revisions, comments, etc, and... 
  • The ability to push out documents to collaborative groups, not just to individual students.

My one complaint with Doctopus group-making is there is not a way to select how many groups you want or how many students you want in each group.  Then, I was listening to an ISTE Webinar Archive today and the presenter linked to a Random Group Generator [see the original template here].  I decided to check it out... and I think it may just be a pretty awesome discovery!

I added on to the original Random Group Generator document using two formulas:

Used to join together "Group 1. ___" with the group number assigned by the generator.  The "1. " portion refers to the class period the student is in.

Used to get the group numbers for the students in the correct roster order, as the number generator puts them in order by group number, not alphabetical.

The goal is that you can copy-paste (paste values only) the last column straight into your Doctopus "Group" column and you will be able to easily create groups of all sizes!

You can view and make a copy of my 6-period Random Group Generator with formulas here.

Please let me know if you catch any errors or mistakes as I have just put this together and will be trialing it out this week.

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