This is a compilation of a few tips for alleviating stress when using Google Docs and Slides as worksheets. First let me state I feel traditional worksheets aren’t always the best method for supporting learning, but if a teacher is going to digitize a traditional looking worksheet. “Why make it frustrating?”
When it comes to using technology there are many different factors which can slow a person down filling in a digitized worksheet. If one has small motor issues or are challenged by eye to hand coordination typing digital answers may be challenging. Keep in mind frustration doesn’t only set in due to physical issues, it could be as simple as the accidental deletion of text. This can change the whole layout of the worksheet making it difficult to find where the answer belongs. Below are a couple of other scenarios to support the above statements:
- Imagine if you have difficulties highlighting and were told to highlight the line followed by typing the answer. Wouldn’t this frustrate you if the teacher moved on and you were still typing the answer? Highlighting is a skill which even slows down the experienced adult user when typing and editing a document.
- What if the answer was long and changed the format of the worksheet? When you looked up at the interactive whiteboard to copy down the next bit of information everything looks different!
If the worksheets were setup differently this could prevent undue challenges while typing traditional notes and answers into a worksheet.
Make It Easy for Students to Use
When using a Google Doc Type the questions and place a single cell table for the answer. This will provide the student with a clickable area to type the answer. If you color fill the cell this would make it even easier for the student to find where they left off.
How to Insert One Cell as Answer Placeholder
- Open a Google Doc
- In the Tool Bar Click Table
- Select Insert Table 1×1
- Click More
- Select Paint Bucket Tool
- Choose a light color
- Repeat Steps 4 to 7
- Click Custom and adjust color shade
Alleviate Errors Due to Deletions
Google Slides offers a magical tool called, “View Master” this allows you to customize layouts by locking down graphics and text. When using this tool it lessens the chances of students deleting worksheet information while typing. This is because the words and images you edit in “View Master” are locked into the background of the slides template.
How to Edit Google Slides View Master
This demonstration is going to use the George Washington Worksheet represented in the above Google Doc.Open a Google Slides
- Select Page Setup
- Next to Screen size
- Click Downarrow
- Choose Custom
- Type 8.5 x 11
- Click Done
- Next to Screen size
- Click View
- Select Master
- Delete Slides
- Edit Master
- image, shapes,
- placeholders or text
- Click Slide Deck