A Digital Workflow: autoCrat add-on for Google Spreadsheets

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Have you ever wanted documents to personalized, but still be formatted the same way? For example, for the Active Learning Destination 2015 track, the goal was to have the mini-teach lesson plans all formatted in the same fashion, but with each unique teacher’s information/ideas/objectives/plans….following me?

So what’s the solution? We used a great combo package of Google Forms-Google Spreadsheets-autoCrat Add-on (for Google Spreadsheets)-Google Docs.

Here’s the workflow:

1. Create a Google Form for users to submit the information you want. For this scenario, we took the lesson plan Word doc and used that to model the Form. Here’s a Copy of the Form we used Copy of Active Learning Lesson Plan Form.

2. Create your Google Doc template with “tags” for the input from the Form where you want it. For example, if you want the First Name to show up in your document where it says First Name (duh!) then you would tag it as <<First Name>>. The tag would match the question in the Google Form. (don’t worry, I’ve included a great video I found on YouTube that shows you how to do this all.)

3. Send your Form–Have people fill out your Form–Check out the responses in the Spreadsheet (yay!)

4. Get the autoCrat add-on for Google Spreadsheets and Launch It! WOO-HOO! The add-on will walk you the rest of the way. So will this YouTube Video on How to Use the autoCrat add-on.

So why autoCrat?

  • Maybe you want to gamify your classroom and have personalized student certificates for an acheivement at the end of the course…you can gather student information on a Spreadsheet (or have them submit a Form) and then run autoCrat to make the certificates and send them to the students! (it SENDS IT TO THEM, TOO!? Yes, if you collect their email addresses!!)
  • If you teach an Education course, you can use this same format to gather student teacher personalized lesson plans in the same format.
  • Composition class can do a “Mad Libs” activity using autoCrat add-on. Check out this blog post for a neat idea http://edtechchic.blogspot.com/2014/01/automated-mad-libs-using-google-forms.html

Do you have any other ideas for how you can use this super cool add-on?? Do share!! 🙂

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