I’d rather be last than first!

Google Forms and its attendant spreadsheet conveniences, conditional formatting and webpage publishing at a click of a button has been a boon to project registration in one of my modules.

Some two hundred students are being (relatively) effortlessly registered into groups of four with the relevant data all accounted for. Individuals, pairs or trios in search of groups are also being fixed up and their needs have been identified by the colours of conditional formatting (or “change colours with rules” in Google’s plain speak). And email alerts ensure form submissions do not go unnoticed.

A subset of data has been updated live on a webpage for a sneak preview of group allocation, enough for them to get an early warning about presentation, peer-review and tutorial sessions they will attend as a group.

As the hours wear on, the prediction of the long-suffering TA who used to do this mannually is fleshed out. Everyone has edged away from the first week—it’s as taboo as the first row of seats in a lecture theatre.

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