Use Autocrat to Create Personalized Vocabulary Quizzes

There are a lot of parts of teaching English that I love. But there are also some that I think are stupid and that I hate. 

One of my responsibilities is to teach students more vocabulary words. Characteristically, this means giving students a list of vocab words, asking them to look them up in the dictionary, and then giving them a multiple choice quiz. However, in my experience, that doesn't at all help them learn the words. 

So a couple years ago I threw away my dictionaries and stopped spending class time or homework time having students find definitions. Instead, I have them a pre-made Quizlet deck, so that the focus could be on learning the words instead of finding them. 

However, my students still weren't learning vocabulary like I wanted. For one thing, my list made all the kids look at the same words, when in fact my students all came with different levels of vocabulary. Some students needed easier words and others needed more of a challenge. 

In a bout of laziness last year, I started having students choose their own vocabulary words and began making them individual quizzes. Instead of a multiple choice quiz, 

I gave students a question and their list of words and asked them to use the words in their response. They really struggled at first. This requires a much deeper understanding of the words. 

So last year I laboriously copied and pasted their words into a Pages document filled with lines. Today I realized how dumb that was when there's the power of Autocrat. Here's how I'm reworking it this year:

Step 1: Create Form

My students love Quizlet, and make their own decks now whenever they have something to study. I made this simple form to gather their words in addition to their Quizlet deck. 

Step 2: Decide a Question & Create Template

I like my students to use words in context. I choose questions that allow them to show their knowledge of the words and their understanding of the novel. 

I then made a word box with tags, which Autocrat will merge with the vocab words they entered in their form.

I then added a merge tag of their names so that I knew whose quiz belonged to whom. 

Step 3: Run Autocrat

I then went back over to the form responses and ran the Autocrat Add-On. I matched the tags I created with their form responses and ran the merge and voila -- individualized quizzes!

Step 4: Print Quizzes

Sadly, this is dumb, and I first need to download the folder because you can't print a folder. 

Right-click on the folder Autocrat creates in your Drive and click "Download..."

Then choose the PDF option & it will create a zipped file for you.

Open the zipped folder & hit shift+A to highlight all of the documents. Double-click and it will open them all in one document in Preview if you're on a Mac. From there, you just print the PDF of your students' individual vocabulary quizzes that actually show if they know the vocab words. {gasp}

I'm super excited for how much easier Autocrat is going to make this process for me. I really believe that these vocabulary quizzes show a much deeper level of understanding of what my students know, and that will, hopefully, make them actually apply that vocabulary outside of my classroom.