When you learn–teach.

By Gloria Mayorga, February 27, 2017

Grade Level

  • Middle School


  • Summer Design Institute

Subject Area

  • Language Arts
  • Technology

Lesson Time

90 minutes


Pairs will go through the stages of the Design Cycle to create instructional videos that teach their classmates how to accomplish a task on Google Docs. Pairs will define the problem after surveying classmates’ knowledge of tasks on Google Docs. Students will be paired with a knowledgeable peer to brainstorm steps. Pairs will then make an instructional video that details the steps to accomplish a task in Google Docs. They will then test their video on classmates who indicated lack of awareness on the initial survey. The viewer will evaluate the video by offering warm, cool and specific feedback. The pairs will then incorporate that feedback into the second draft of their design. This design cycle will continue until viewers find the video consistently useful.

National Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.5 Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.


Students will be able to create three to five minute videos where they show classmates how to accomplish specific tasks on Google Docs (ie: creating a new Google Doc, sharing a Google Doc, creating a table in Google Docs, etc). Students will be able to write and deliver a three to five-minute script that narrates the necessary steps to accomplish a task on Google Docs. Students will be able to record the process to accomplish a task on Google Docs. Students will be able to seek and incorporate feedback from a viewer of their video to improve its user-friendliness.


Chromebooks/ Google Chrome Browser Google Drive Design Cycle/Spiral Model (Boehm, 1986; Ulrich, 2012)


Chromebooks/ Google Chrome Browser Google Drive Video Camera/recording device Austin’s Butterfly video: https://vimeo.com/38247060 (useful to teach students how to offer detailed feedback)


Google Drive: platform for document creation and sharing Share: a feature of Google Drive in which you give someone permission to view or edit the document you created User-friendly: to make something that is easy for anyone to use Warm feedback: comments that highlight the areas of strength of the project Cool feedback: comments that highlight the areas of the project that need to be developed


  • The teacher creates a numbered list of necessary tasks to accomplish on Google Docs
  • All students take a survey about their ability to accomplish certain tasks on Google Docs.
  • Students are paired based on their mastery of certain tasks on Google Docs.
  • Each pair will randomly select a number that is associated with a task on the list
  • The pair will review the survey results for their specific task to define the problem of Google Doc users
  • Pairs will brainstorm the steps that are required to accomplish the task on Google Docs.
  • The pairs will then take this list and write a script.
  • The pairs will make an instructional video where each member of the pair has a responsibility. One student will narrate and demonstrate the steps to accomplish the assigned task on Google Docs while the other student records the procedure on a device (phone/tablet/etc.)
  • The pair will test the initial video on a student who indicated on the initial survey that they couldn’t accomplish a task on Google Docs.
  • The students testing the video will evaluate the video by providing specific, warm and cool feedback on the effectiveness of the process they suggested.
  • The pairs will adjust the video according to the feedback they are given.
  • They will show the video once more to the peer who provided them with feedback to verify the effectiveness of their video or to continue making adjustments.
  • They will also show the video to another pair of students who have never seen the video before. These students will follow the steps to ensure the video is consistently effective in teaching their peers how to accomplish specific tasks on Google Docs.


A pair of students would have created a script for their video. They would also have created a video to show to their peers and their peers would use the video to achieve a task on Google Docs. The degree of mastery of these tasks would be measured on a standards-based rubric.   Students would be paired according to their proficiency on Google Docs to ensure pairs have at least one proficient user of Google Docs.

Enrichment Extension Activities

Students could create instructional videos for other classes (a la Khan Academy).   Students could utilize other programs and technologies to produce and transmit instructional videos.

Teacher Reflection

This lesson requires that students have a basic understanding of Google Docs and have enough Chromebooks and recording devices to work in pairs.

Related Files

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