Feb 18, 2016

Draftback: Watch Your Student's Creation Process in Google Docs

Welcome to Draftback, a Google Chrome extension that allows you to gain a wealth of knowledge about the writing process of your students.  With Draftback you can rewatch a "video" of your student typing out their paper.  Additionally, you can view detailed statistics about the document, such as how many individual writing sessions it took before the paper was complete, and how long students were typing in each of those sessions.  Let's take a look at what Draftback can do in a bit more detail...

Installing Draftback

Your first step is to install Draftback from the Chrome Web Store.

Using the Video Feature

With Draftback installed, you can now use the extension when you open up a Google Doc.  The process is as easy as can be; simply click on the "Drafback" button at the top of the Google Doc that you are viewing, and it will start to create a "video" of the revisions.

This video allows you to visualize your student's writing process.  You can see if they write in a linear fashion, or jump around to different topics at different times.  You can also see if a large portion of text was entered at one time, which is a good indication that they copy/pasted from another source!

Using the Graphs and Statistics Feature

Finally, and what I feel is most powerful about this tool, there is a link on the video page to open "Document Graphs and Statistics".  On this screen you have the ability to view how many writing sessions it took to create the document, how long each session was, and who else contributed to the writing.  The data here can help you visualize the hard work, or lack thereof, that went into creating a paper, and can even help identify plagiarism by seeing if too much of the paper was created in a very short amount of time (evidence of copy/pasting).

For a complete discussion about Draftback, please watch this video in which Sean walks through the
installation, setup, and application of the tool.

Sean Mullins | Secondary Instructional Coach

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