Google Forms + Student Self-Reflection for Coaching Students to Own their Learning!


John Hattie and his team (learn more at ) have done some amazing research on what instructional strategies have the most impact on student growth. One of the top strategies is called Self-Reported Grades – which has a 1.33 effect size! This is a HUGELY effective strategy! Check out how Hattie describes this strategy in the short video below:

In the video, Hattie defines self-reported grades as being when students predict how well they know the content prior to a test. Hattie goes on to challenge us as educators not to let students settle for what they think they can achieve, but to find ways to help students excel beyond their own predictions.

How can we do that?

I’ve been thinking deeply about this highly effective instructional strategy as well as Hattie’s challenge to educators to move students beyond just meeting their predictions of their own performance.

I started to think, “What makes me move beyond my current state to want to become more?” Self-reflection.

Now, I need to be honest here – I do not claim to be an expert on Hattie’s research AT ALL. I simply wanted to share the thoughts and reflections his research inspired in me and the reflection activity I came up with as a result.

If I want students to not only predict how well they will do on a test or assignment but reflect on how they can get better, what got in their way, what they need to achieve at an even higher level… I need to start with great prompts and a plan to implement those prompts regularly with students.

In the book, Bold School, Weston Kieschnick recommends using a Google Form to have students complete one problem mid-lesson with all students’ anonymous results displayed so that students can self-reflect on how they are performing compared to their classmates and then again at the end of the lesson.

I want to take this model even further into the self-reflection realm by prompting students to reflect on different aspects of their learning, effort, and needs as my attempt to answer Hattie’s challenge to push students beyond their current expectations for themselves to achieve even more.

I want to propose the following lesson sequence to challenge students to self-reflect mid-lesson and at the end of the lesson. Think of this as amped-up reflective formative assessment and exit tickets.

The lesson sequence:

  • Teach a concept
  • Students practice: This could be independent, partner work, or collaborative
  • Reflective Mid-point Check-in*: Student submit their answer to one reflective question using a Google Form so that the teacher can see all of the answers on one Google Sheet
  • Students keep working – Teacher checks in with students based on their feedback in the Reflective Mid-Point Check-in
  • Reflective Exit Ticket*: Students complete another quick one-question Google Form as an exit ticket
  • Teacher reviews Exit Tickets and plans for productive conversations with students in the next class.

*Teachers could implement one or the other instead of both. Any reflection is better than none! 🙂

The follow-up with students on their answers to these self-reflective questions IS HUGE. If we, as educators, actually follow-up with the students based on their answers, meet their needs, give advice, and coach them, I believe we will see students taking OWNERSHIP of their learning and achievement! If we just ask the questions and don’t follow up with accountability, I doubt the impact will be as effective.

Here are some reflective questions I propose to get students to think deeply about their learning, achievement, and effort:

  • During my work today, I wish I would have…
  • During my work today, I wish I knew…
  • During today’s work, I am glad I…
  • To make sure I get better, I need to…
  • One part I don’t get YET is…
  • One thing I know I learned well is…
  • A mistake I made that helped me learn was…
  • Something I can do better as I continue to learn about this is…
  • Something I need to change to do a better job is…
  • This learning is like something else I’ve already learned… it is like… because…
  • I’m glad I’m a learner. I still want to learn more about…
  • When I was working, I felt like I got stuck when…
  • I don’t know everything about this yet, but I do know…
  • When we finish this topic, I want to be able to…
  • When I’m working, I know I’m on the right track if…
  • I can apply this learning to other areas, like…
  • Learning this will be beneficial to me because…
  • Today, I spent most of my time…
  • In the future, I hope to spend my time…
  • What can I do better today than I did yesterday?
  • Something that’s going well in my learning is…
  • What is my biggest challenge with this learning? How can I overcome that challenge?
  • How can I challenge myself tomorrow so that I grow?
  • If I could create my very best self, I would…
  • in order to be my best for this class, I need to…
  • I know… so well that I could help another student with it.
  • Did I work as hard as I could have?
  • Did I set and maintain high standards for myself?
  • Did I spend enough time to do my best quality work?
  • Did I review and look over my work to edit for possible errors?
  • Does the work I created today make me proud?
  • Is my work worthy of being shared with a large, global audience?
  • Did I stay focused and work to ignore distractions?
  • When I was stuck, something that helped me move forward was…
  • A barrier to my learning today was… To help me move past it, tomorrow I will…
  • Something I am proud that I’m doing well today is…
  • Here’s a tip I can share with a classmate:

If you’re on board with the idea, but you’re thinking – “Yeah, Meredith, that all sounds good… but I can’t actually get ALL students onto a Google Form two times during my class period! Here are some ideas for making it work with a lack of electronics or time:

  • Make it a regular part of your class, but only have half of the students participate each time – this takes fewer tech devices and allows individual follow-up with each student the same day to be more feasible.
    • So if Group A answers the mid-point check-in question, Group B answers the Exit Ticket and you switch groups the next day.
  • Plan for one Reflective Question per day and ask students to complete it at any point during their independent or group work time. You check in with students as you see their answers populating on the connected Google Sheet
  • Dedicate one computer as the Reflection Station – keep it logged in to the Google Form and allow for more than one response. This speeds things up as students do not have to log in to fill out the form, they just click on “Submit another response”
    • Be sure to include their name as the first question so you can follow up

To make this EVEN EASIER – I utilized to create a bank of these questions where you can pull up a random question to post to students. This means – all you have to do is create a simple Google Form that asks for student name and answer to the question, then show them a question from this link. Be sure to click on the tab for SINGLE NAME at the top so it shows only one question at a time (instead of the default wheel with all of the questions).

Hattie’s research proves that having students reflect on how much they’ve learned has a huge effect on their growth and he challenges us to get them to achieve beyond what they predict they can. I challenge you to coach students to go beyond their expectations for themselves by challenging them to self-reflect on their learning, effort, and goals for themselves and follow up with coaching to hold them accountable for going beyond!

4 thoughts on “Google Forms + Student Self-Reflection for Coaching Students to Own their Learning!

  1. Lorena Gonzalez says:

    I am on board and will set this in motion by Friday! I love acountability for their learning, this helps with the classroom becoming more self directed.


    Mrs. Gonzalez 5th grade Educator of Science and ELAR Walker Elementary 6424 Settlers Village Dr Katy, TX 77449 (281) 345-3200 Email Twitter @lgonzalezteach1 #wearewalker Dream, Believe, Achieve ________________________________


    Liked by 1 person

  2. suehellman says:

    I think the idea in this post is that the wheel is spun by one person and then everyone in the class responds to that question using the feedback form for the day. That’s why only the student name & response are entered.

    As far as I know, there’s no way to use embed code or an iframe in a Ggl Doc, Slide, or Form. [Oh, how I wish you could!] You can, however, insert a picture and link that to the spinner page. Or you could create a quick Ggl Site or Edublog or some other other webpage and embed both the spinner and the Form side-by-side. If each student spins to get his/her own question, you have to adjust the Form so students enter their names, the question, and their responses.

    BTW @Meredith I’ve been looking for a website about reflection to share with a new ESL teacher in the Middle East. She’s going to love your spinner.

    Is there a way to copy your spinner spreadsheet & edit it. It would help me if the question were numbered. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s