Tracking Counseling Services with Google Forms

Last semester, our middle school counselor (Kit) asked for some advice on how she might best use technology to keep track of her time throughout the year. I suggested she create a custom Google Form. She did some brainstorming about what kind of data she would want and then we met to create her form.

Kit added 2 icons to her iPad – one linked to the form, a second linked to the results. Every time she provided a service she documented it by filling out the form.

Yesterday I met with her to walk her through analyzing the data.

First, we sorted the data on the Results tab by column. We copied and pasted the relevant data into a new sheet (one sheet for each category). We used the sum function to total the minutes she had spent on each service/category. Once each of the categories had been totaled, we created a new sheet with only the totals. We used this simplified data table to create a pie chart.

It was incredibly eye-opening for Kitr to see this data. She was not pleased that she had spent so much of her time in meetings (as opposed to working with students).

She did admit that although she had been diligent in documenting her time October through December, she did fall off the wagon in January (and completely stopped in March). She did feel as though the data she did collect was a good snapshot and could be extrapolated. She wanted advice for how she might be more consistent next year. We came up with a few ideas:

  • chunk her time by setting aside 5-10 minutes twice a day to fill out the form (instead of after every service).
  • put a copy of the pie chart on her wall so that she remembered how rewarding it was to see the data at the end of the year.

Kit does not see herself as tech-savvy…but I think the way she is using Google Forms is pretty awesome! It takes her time to learn, but she is eager to make her life easier and always appreciative. I love working with colleagues like that! She was also the brains behind the allowing grade 5 & 6 Buddies to communicate over the summer. I hope she keeps the challenges coming next year! 🙂

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