I use a system with a Google Form, Google Sheet and document merger to keep a weekly log of participation for each student. The document merger will create a PDF for each student which I can upload as an attachment to their grade in our grade book system (Synergy). By having a more detailed log of what participation expectations are, I am able to show my administrators that a participation grade is not simply showing up to class. I can also show students (and their parents) exactly what areas they are losing points in.
1. Create a rubric for participation
My rubric is broken down into three main categories based off of our school's PBIS expectations (Respectful, Responsible, and Safe). Each area underneath the category is worth 5 points (Max. of 45 points/week).
Was a positive influence on the classroom environment
Was actively engaged in all rehearsal activities
Treated classroom and materials with respect
Had instrument ready in time to participate in tuning
Had music folder and Sound Innovations book daily
Had a pencil on stand every day
Refrained from eating and drinking in the orchestra room
Kept instrument, bow and case out of harm's way
Cleaned up their area before leaving class
2. Transfer this rubric into a Google Form
Originally I ran this evaluation through a Google Form, but found that it was faster/easier to work directly in Google Sheets.
5. Create a merge template in a Google Doc
You will use <<merge tags>> to tell the document merger where to place the data it finds in your spreadsheet
6. Back in Google Sheets, add the AutoCrat extension
You can get the extension here. In the sheet with your responses, go to "Add Ons" in the menu, find AutoCrat, and select Launch. Select "New Merge Job" and choose the Google Doc you just created as your merge template. Once the document loads, you will need to match the <<merge tags>> with the columns in your spreadsheet.
Your next step will be to tell AutoCrat how to name each PDF that it creates, as well as select a destination folder for your responses (located under "Advanced Settings").
7. Run your merge job
I suggest that you use the "preview" function to make sure that your merge tags were correct and that the merged document is formatted to your liking. Once all of your ducks are in a row, run the merge job!
Once you run a merge job in your Google Sheet, AutoCrat will add columns to your sheet that contains a link to the document and information on when the merge job took place. The next time you create merge data (which for me is every week), AutoCrat will skip the responses which have already been merged into a document.
If you need to re-do the merge job for a row, you will need to delete the data from those added columns.