Grading takes up a lot of time in an academic’s life; there’s a reason we’ve written a lot about it in this space over the past few years. It’s no one’s favorite thing to do, but knowing that our students need feedback on their work, we all realize its necessity.
Still, it would be nice, when possible, to streamline the grading process. Finding ways to streamline is certainly nothing new; Scantron has been around for quite a while.
But dealing with machine-readable answer sheets isn’t always worth the hassle, especially for shorter exams and quizzes. So I was pleased when I recently discovered Flubaroo.
Flubaroo works in conjunction with Google Drive. To use it, you set up your exam or quiz as a series of questions in a Google Form; one of those questions should identify the student. You then have your students take the exam or quiz using the form. You also take it yourself, so that there’ll be a set of responses that can be used as the answer key.
With that done, all that’s necessary is to go to the spreadsheet containing the form responses, and install the Flubaroo script (just go to the Insert menu and choose Script; search for Flubaroo and click the install button). That will add the Flubaroo menu to your spreadsheet. Choosing “Grade Assignment” from that menu will let you set point values for each question, select which set of answers should be used for the answer key, and grade the students’ responses. You’ll also be able to see a report of how students did, individually and as a class, on both individual questions and the exam or quiz as a whole.
Flubaroo’s user guide provides step-by-step instructions, and their demo video gives a good overview of what the tool can do:
Flubaroo will, of course, only work well with true-false, multiple-choice, and short answer (very short; really just a word or two) questions. For many courses, it simply won’t be useful. But for those whose assessments contain such questions (even if there are also essay questions; students could always submit essay questions separately), Flubaroo could save a lot of grading time.
Have you tried Flubaroo (or a similar tool)? How well has it worked for you? Let us know in the comments.Return to Top