Falling in Love with {Google} Forms

It's Erin from Super In Second...And Beyond! I'm pleased as punch to be writing about one of my obsessions....Google Forms. It's a little tiny speck in the grand scheme of all things Google, but in my humble opinion, it's a major workhorse that meets the needs of so many teachers and should be used more. 

Google Forms is 100% free and works with any gmail account (and google drive - also free). If your school uses Google Apps For Education (GApps or GAFE) you're squared away. If not, get a free gmail account and that comes with google drive.

In my Lazy Teacher's Guide to Open House post I talked about one way to use Google Forms to get student information from parents. That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do.

More than likely your experience with Google Forms comes in the guise of "survey or feedback" after Professional Development. While there's nothing wrong with collecting data, it's not engaging or fun....but it can be!

Here's a list of things you can use Google Forms for:
(in no particular order)
1. Spelling Tests (and it can be computer graded!)
2. Workstations - show a video and have students answer questions
3. Lesson Plans*
4. Admin - Observations, Minor Incident Reports, etc
5. RTI data collections (oh yeah!)
6. Reading Logs
7. Reflection Journals (or any kind of journal)
8. Quick Checks/Exit Tickets
9. Any assessment that you don't want to make copies

Are you feeling that little flutter near your heart? It just might be love!

So, you're interested...but how does it work?

Let's figure out how to OPEN Google Forms and then we'll take a look at how it works.

In Google Forms, you create the form and questions and then share the finished form with your students (the easiest way is to put a link on your class website). Students go to your live form and submit their answers. Generally, answers are submitted in a Google Sheet (very similar to Excel) and you can find the responses in your Drive or by clicking "View Responses" while in your form.

Types of Questions:

There are several types of questions you can use when creating a form.

Text: This is great for basic info like Name, Email, Teacher, short phrases like spelling words, etc
Paragraph Text: Is used for much longer responses - reflections, journals, explanations
Multiple Choice: You can only select one option/answer
Checkboxes: You can select more than one answer/option. Great for those tricky SOL questions like "choose all that apply"
Choose from a list: This is just like multiple choice as you can only select one, but it's a drop down list. Great when there are lots of options and you don't want to clutter up your space.
Scale: I use these as reflection tools. You set the range (1-5) and choose what one is (Face Palm) and what 5 is (Nailed it!) and students select where they fell on the range. IDEAL for exit tickets -How well did you understand.....
Grid: I'm still playing with this, but so far it's a great reflective piece - it's hard to explain, so here's a picture of a grid style question:
Date and Time:  Both are simply ways to insert that data. I can image using these questions with a picture of a calendar or analog clock and asking students to put in the correct date and/or time.

There are Add Ons in Google Forms that will make rainbows and unicorns flock to your yard and you'll wonder how you ever managed before. 

Truly, these add ons will help streamline your form responses and even grade your student work (I KNOW!)
Add OnWhat It DoesExamples
Form NotifierSends EmailsWhen a form is submitted, it can email you or even a list of people a notification that the form was submitted. Great for forms you won't check everyday (parent data, reading logs, etc)
FlubarooGrades and EmailsThis will grade student work against an answer key you create- perfect for multiple choice, T/F, spelling tests, etc
Form PublisherCreates individual documents or spreadsheets base on form responses.This is currently my favorite add on and I use it for tons of projects. The reading specialist and I just created an entire F&P RTI form for teachers to use that creates a working document to be used in RTI meetings to discuss goals and strategies. This Add On has a steeper learning curve than the others listed, but it's worth it. You can have student responses turned into documents- great for writing prompts.
Form LimiterCloses Form submissions after a certain date/time or number of submissionsThis is great for time sensitive material. You can set up a volunteer form and say you only need 4 volunteers. The first four to submit are in and the rest are unable to submit their form. Also works for assignments you'd like a due date for.

To see some of these add ons in action and discover first hand some pretty amazing things you do in Google Forms - fill out the sample form by clicking HERE. Please include your actual email address (I will NEVER contact you) so you can see what a form completed with Form Publisher looks like. Trust me, it's awesome.

Again, here's the link for the form sample - Google Form Sample of Awesomeness

New posts are up on my blog. We're digging into Google Forms in a 5 part series. Click here to go to the first post: Google Forms- Customizing

Until next time,

1 comment

  1. This is a great post! I didn't know you could do all of this with google forms! Thanks!