Saturday, September 19, 2015

Creating a Counselor Activity Log with Google Forms

Another new school year and I am renewing my vow to myself to use technology and give my best effort to going paperless. Again.  I truly LOVE Google Forms and have found lots of ways to use them.  All were successful but one, recording my daily activities.  And it wasn't the form, it was me. Last year, try as I might to make them work, I just wasn't able to keep up with it. When I sat down and analyzed what had happened I identified 3 problems.  One, my form was not on my desk top so it was not readily accessible and  I would spend too much time searching for it in my Google Drive. Second, I think I tried to collect too much information.   Rather just trying to click that I had performed a specific task for a specific amount of time I was trying to keep notes too. A bad idea for time and confidentiality sake.  Third once I got behind, psychologically, it just seemed like to much to do to catch up.

Google forms, round 2!
But now I am ready to try again.  I have redesigned my form a bit, adding a drop down menu of teachers, grade level, reasons students may want to see me, and who referred them.  Anything to make it click and go.  I still have my notes section in case there is something I did not think of or that needs to be part of my record. Another great thing about Google forms is you can continue to edit them even after you have started collecting data. Click the black "edit this form" button at the top of the page of the "color" form and you will get the gray "editable version."  Make your additions, deletions or corrections, close it up and continue collecting  data.  Need to edit a response?  Click on the "edit form" button on the color form, go to the gray form and click on the "View Responses" tab.  When it opens, scroll down to the entry you want to edit and make your needed changes.  I will still keep a file on each student I see with more specific notes and memory aides. This form will allow me to track my daily time  and whether it is spent on direct/indirect services and non-counselor related duties.

How's my progress?
Four weeks in and I am up-to-date on my daily entries!  Looking at my data, already I see I am spending more time with classes than individuals,  However, that is okay, as classroom lessons are a Tier 1 intervention where I lay the foundation of my program and skills training with ALL students. It is where I feel I get the biggest and best value for my time.  With all my classes plus the individuals I am seeing, it comes out to more than 80% of my daily time is being spent in direct services to students and what could be better than that!

Truly, creating a shortcut on my desk top to my form has made a huge difference.  It only takes a minute, literally, to click down the list of items on my form to record each activity.  If you are interested in using Google forms, here is a link to my form to help get you started. You are welcome to make a copy and make edits that fit for you and your counseling program. I love Google forms and find them easy to create and edit.  It is also easy to share data about your program and how your time is being spent (or encumbered!).  Google forms also creates beautiful graphs.  All you have to do is click on summary of responses to see its colorful creations.This is essential as we advocate for the best use of the School Counselor's time and also provides us with a valuable accountability piece.






Google forms step by step.
If you are new to Google forms, I am linking a PowerPoint presentation about some of their many uses and how to create your own forms.  You will find slides 30, 31 and 32 especially helpful for taking a copy of my form and making it your own.  Remember you must make a copy of my form before it will show up on your Google Drive.  Otherwise, your data will be stored on my form, in my drive and you will not be able  to access it.  Also, anyone else who decides to edit my form will also be editing your form. And, I wouldn't want your hard work to go to waste!

Please feel free to contact me with questions or more ideas for forms. Good Luck with your forms!  I think you're going to love them!

21 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing!! This is incredible!!! You make it sound less daunting. I have a renewed motivation to get this started for my program. 🐸

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm glad I could provide some motivation. You will love it once you started using it. And it really is easier if create a shortcut to your desktop for your form. Good Luck! Let me hear how it goes!

      Delete
  2. This is wonderful, nice work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Russell ! This is high praise coming from the Google Master!!! I am honored.

      Delete
  3. This is great; however, I still feel leery about documenting this information digitally. Do you feel comfortable documenting this way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great question Andi! Yes, I am totally comfortable with it. And I will tell you why. I am not entering full student names and not writing detailed notes. Either I use initials, or first name and last name initial and in the notes section I write very little- mostly "see notes"- referring to my old fashioned file folder system. This is really more about documenting how my time is spent rather than who the individual student is and what we talked about. I am looking more at the process data piece, keeping a record what I did for whom and how much time I spent doing direct/indirect and non-counseling related services. I think this sort of data can be extremely valuable for those of us in situations whose administration needs a visual to see what we do or how our time is not being used most effectively. I hope this helps with some of your discomfort. Great question! I should have thought to have include this explanation in my post. Thanks for asking!

      Delete
  4. I am trying to copy the document into my drive. It shows up as the live form and I'm not able to copy. Please help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joyann! First open the link to my form. Next look at the top right corner of the colored form and you will see a black button that says "edit form," click on this button. Next you will see the gray editable version of the form. Look to the far upper left on the tool bar to "File," and click there. You will get a drop down menu and one of your choices is "Make a copy." Click that and you will get a white box that says "Copy document" and the name of my form will be highlighted in blue. Directly above that will say "Enter new document name." Delete the blue highlighted name and type in the name of your document and click ok and your copy of my document with its new name and a response sheet should be automatically in your Google drive and you should be ready for editing. I hope that helps. Let me know how it goes.

      Delete
  5. Hello! Thank you do much for this info. I just went through your power point and lived the teacher assessment form. Is there any way I can take a look at the entire form???

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello! Yes, I can send you the link to the form, but you must make a copy for your own drive before using it or making any edits. Email me via the contact form near the top of the page and I will send it to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, can you send me a link to the forms too, please? I know I'll have to make a copy.

      Delete
    2. Hi Sharissa,
      Thanks for letting me know the form had been tampered with and no longer worked. I have fixed the link and have sent you a fresh link from which to copy.

      Delete
  7. Hi Jeannie,

    It looks like the link has been tampered with again. Can you refresh the link or e-mail me a copy. This looks like a fabulous resource.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is a new link. Please make a copy first so we can try to keep the link active for a while. Thanks for you interest in my form!
      https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1o7BQjZyVmvPPo0XUjyuFIxKl_eEgiEHxo_hGpUCW-1w/edit

      Delete
  8. I would also love to be emailed a copy of the link. As we work through the ASCA model, this would be an awesome resource!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Check your email, click below, or click above, the link should be working now. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1o7BQjZyVmvPPo0XUjyuFIxKl_eEgiEHxo_hGpUCW-1w/edit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! I am trying to use link above and it won't let me.. what should I do? Thanks!

      Delete
  10. Hi! I requested edit access so I can make a copy of this form. I look forward to using it to track my data!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I had to do the same. Thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete