The NEW Google Forms: 9 classroom uses

Ed Tech

Ed Tech | Friday, February 12, 2016

The NEW Google Forms: 9 classroom uses

The NEW Google Forms: 9 classroom uses
The new Google Forms makes classroom activities more efficient and more attractive. Here are 9 ways you can use Google Forms.

The new Google Forms makes classroom activities more efficient and more attractive. Here are 9 ways you can use Google Forms.

For years, educators have been using Google Forms to gather data, assess learning and create fun techy learning experiences.

Recently, Google Forms got a facelift, and even more recently, it added some new features. These features make some new things possible in the classroom, and they make some things easier — and prettier — than before.

Here are some of the changes and what you can do with them in class. If you’ve used Google Forms before, please keep your favorite uses of Forms in mind and add them as a comment at the end of the post!

The new Google Forms makes viewing submissions easier than ever.

The new Google Forms makes viewing submissions easier than ever. (Click for full-size image.)

1. Hustle through student responses to quizzes, assignments and surveys. Responses in Google Forms are much easier to review now. Before, you could view them in a spreadsheet or see a brief summary of them. Now they’re all gathered right in the form editor under the “responses” tab. You can now view a summary of answers (all in one place … nice!) OR click through each individual response.

You can still view results in spreadsheet view. However, as I learned on Twitter from Google guru Alice Keeler, Forms won’t automatically create a spreadsheet for you like it did. You’ll have to click the little green spreadsheet icon to create one now.

2. Get an email when students submit forms. Before, to see whether there were new submissions to a form, you had to go into the form (or the spreadsheet of results) and check. Now, you can opt to have Forms email you with new submissions.

This is GREAT for infrequently-used forms, and it’s GREAT to turn on after most of your student submissions have come in. I would NOT turn it on right before giving a quiz or test in Forms. Your inbox will be flooded!

CLASSROOM USE IDEA: Create a “late work submission” form. Since Google Classroom (and other assignment collection options) won’t notify you when late work comes in, a form for that (with email notifications on) would notify you! It’s great for absent students, too.

Click here to get a copy of a late work submission form that you can save to your own Google Drive and use!

3. Use add-ons and scripts. This was possible with the old Google Forms, but it was just added with new Google Forms. Add-ons and scripts let you add new functions to your Google Forms for your specific needs. They’re available by clicking the three dots in the top right and clicking “Get add-ons …” or “Script editor …”.

Unless you write code or have some to copy into a form, you probably won’t use the script editor.

ANYONE can use add-ons, though, and there are a few that are really useful in education. I’ll show you one here and one later.

A graph added with the g(Math) add-on.

A graph added with the g(Math) add-on.

CLASSROOM USE IDEA: Add math equations to Google Forms with the g(Math) add-on.

  • Click the three dots in the top right and choose, “Get add-ons …”.
  • Find the g(Math) add-on by searching or clicking on its icon.
  • Click the “free” button and install it.
  • Click the puzzle piece icon in the top right and choose “g(Math) for Forms”.
  • Choose which type of entry you want. (At first, if you’re not sure, experiment. If you don’t like what you create, you can always delete it!)
  • Add all the details you need. It will add an image to your question!

4. Make sharp-looking forms with templates and themes. If you’re not exactly sure how you want to make a form, there might be one already created for you. Forms has a library of templates you can choose from as soon as you load it up.

PRO TIP: Type “” in your browser to get to forms quickly. (In the past, you had to go to Drive and click “New” and “Google Forms.”)

Forms offers several templates that do a lot of the work for you.

Forms offers several templates that do a lot of the work for you. (Click to see full-size.)

Some of the templates available:

  • Contact information (users submit their name, address, email, etc.)
  • T-shirt sign up (users give their name, t-shirt size, etc.)
  • Exit ticket (students say what they learned, whether they were prepared, and what would have made the lesson more effective)
  • Assessment (students fill in their name/email and answer quiz questions that you add)
  • Worksheet (students fill in their name/email and answer questions that you add)
  • Course evaluation (students fill in class name and instructor and rate the course in various areas … this one is a good example of how a multiple choice grid works!)

Once you choose a template, you can customize it however you’d like (i.e. add text, images, videos, different kinds of questions, etc.).

Customize your forms by clicking the paint palette in the top right. Choose a color for color scheme or click the photo icon in the bottom right to choose a theme. Themes provide colors and images for forms. You can also upload your own photo to create a theme.

OTHER USES OF FORMS: In a recent reader survey, many people said they wanted to better understand Forms and how it could be used in the classroom. The following ideas were possible in the old Google Forms and are still available in new Google Forms.

5. Create and grade a quiz or test with Flubaroo. Host your quizzes, tests and other assessments digitally with Google Forms. Then, with responses in a spreadsheet, autograde the closed-ended questions (multiple choice, true false, matching) with Flubaroo, an add-on for educators using Google Forms.

  • Create your quiz in a Google Form (from scratch or using one of the templates). If you want to email results to students later, make sure you make a short-answer question called “Email”.
  • Click the eye icon in the top right to view the assessment. Fill it in with all the correct answers and use the words “ANSWER KEY” as the name. Submit it with the button at the bottom.
  • Deliver your quiz to your students:
    • Use the “send” button to get a link to the assessment that you can give students
    • Use the “send” button to email a link to students
    • Add the form to an assignment in Google Classroom
  • When students have taken the assessment, click the “responses” tab and click the green spreadsheet button to see responses.
  • Go to that spreadsheet and click “Add-ons > Get add-ons …”. Search for Flubaroo and add it. (If you already have Flubaroo installed, you won’t need this step.
  • Go to “Add-ons > Flubaroo > Enable Flubaroo for this sheet”.
  • Go to “Add-ons > Flubaroo > Grade assignment”.
  • Use the drop-down menus to tell Flubaroo what to do with each question. Click “Continue.”
  • Choose the answer key you created earlier. (This will be easy if you made the name “ANSWER KEY”!)
  • Flubaroo will create a grading report for you with student scores and more.

Get more information about Flubaroo and its advanced features at the Flubaroo website.

6. Create a place for you to store quick grades. When students completed simple assignments for me, sometimes I would walk around the room, quickly grade their assignments on the students’ desks and write a grade on them. Instead of collecting those assignments, I wanted a place where I could store those grades to transfer to my gradebook later.

I created a Google Form with all of my students’ names on them. As I walked around the room, I had the form loaded on my iPad. I put each student’s scores into that form. Later, I pulled up the responses and transferred them to the grade book.

Here’s an example form of what that might look like that you can copy into your Drive!

7. Create a digital sign-out sheet. Need an easy way to track students as they leave and return to your class? Create a Google Form where they log their name and their destination, as well as whether they’re leaving or returning. In the spreadsheet view, it will time stamp their submission, so they won’t need to write the time. (That way, the return time can’t be fudged to make it look like they weren’t gone as long as they were!)

Here’s an example form of what that might look like that you can copy into your Drive!

8. Create a flipped classroom assessment. The flipped classroom comes in many different shapes and sizes, but many teachers have students watch a video and then answer some comprehension questions afterward. This is easily done in Google Forms.

  • Create a form. Add a YouTube video (click the icon to the right of the form with the triangle “play” button).
    • Note: You can also add a link to a website, an image, etc. … whatever content you want to deliver to students.
  • Add questions afterward to gauge their understanding.
  • Deliver the form to students:
    • Use the “send” button to get a link to the assessment that you can give students
    • Use the “send” button to email a link to students
    • Add the form to an assignment in Google Classroom

Here’s what a form like that would look like when students loaded it.

Here’s an example form that you can copy into your Drive!

9. Make a Choose Your Own Adventure activity. By using branching (the “go to section based on answer” choice in the three-dots menu in a multiple-choice question), you can create fun Choose Your Own Adventure Story-type activities. Create them for your students or let students create their own!

Here’s a screencast video tutorial I created a while ago to show you how it works. The basics are still there, although the video shows how to do it with the old Google Forms.

[reminder]How have you used Google Forms in your own school? Which of these are you most likely to use yourself?[/reminder]

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  • […] The NEW Google Forms: 9 classroom uses #edtech #gafechat @jmattmiller… […]

  • Tracy Buchanan says:

    I love Google Forms, and I love the ideas you shared. Thank you for your willingness to share your Google Form templates. I will definitely be expanding my use of Google Forms. I loved the ideas of a Quick Check form and Turn in Late form. Thanks Matt!

  • Autumn says:

    So glad the new Google Forms has the add-ons back… I had switched to the new forms because I love the look of it, but it was frustrating not being able to use add-ons!

  • Cheryl Hymes says:

    Several of our teachers in my K-2 building use Google Forms to keep track of writing and reading student conferences. We have created a form with questions they consistently ask during a conference. It also includes the teacher observations, a strength and an area of focus to work on. There is also a notes box for any other comments a teacher wants to add. Finally it has a place to set a goal and time frame to meet the goal. Now all the teacher’s anecdotal notes are in one place, dated and easily filtered to view individual students. Teachers can also see at a quick glance as they look over the sheets page who they haven’t visited with lately.

  • Janet Mowen says:

    I use forms in my research class. Students create questionnaires to gather information from their target group. Students have to do a trial within the class to determine if the questions are good before distributing it to their target.

  • Jan Cox says:

    I use Google Forms for many types of assignments that used to be on paper. The best thing about using Forms is that by combining it with Flubaroo’s autograde function, I can provide instant feedback for every student all the time. I have always encouraged students to redo the questions they miss because I believe that learning occurs when they analyze the error and correct it. Using paper assignments it would take a day or more for turn-around. This way, they immediately see where they made mistakes and correct them.

  • Kelly says:

    I have been using Google Forms since June 2015 to develop what I call “VBQs” or Video-Based Questions. These can be created by students or teachers, for introducing or reviewing a unit, and most importantly VBQs allow students to work at their own pace. Having the ability to replay videos as many times as necessary is really crucial to ensuring students understanding as well as engagement. Check out my website for more on #VBQs @MsGrotrian

  • Ann says:

    I use a Google form for my students to choose a project for our Ancient Egypt summative assessment. Students simply choose their top three choices from a drop down list. Then I show the results on the Smartboard and we tweak it in real time so that everyone knows what they will be working on and changes can be made in real time.

  • Hello Matt,
    Thank you Matt for all of your thoughtful tool and process exploration for us teachers. I notice that when I pulled up your Google Doc, it prompted me to make a copy. I am sure you explain this somewhere and I did do a brief scroll for this information, but did not find it. I often share Google Docs for my students to make copies of and would like to know how you set a Doc to prompt the opener to make a copy. My students are currently pretty good about making a copy and not taking over mine, but it would be handy to have it prompt them to make a copy, especially in the beginning of the year.
    Thank you, Kristin

    • Matt Miller says:

      Great question, Kristin. I didn’t explain it in this blog post, so you’re not missing it! When you get a link to a Google Doc (or Slides or Sheets or Drawings … pretty much anything), you’ll notice that it often has the word “edit” or “view” at the end of the link. Simply change that word to “copy” instead. It will prompt the user to make a copy. Pretty easy once you know how to do it! 🙂

  • David C Tran says:

    I’ve used forms for awhile now. It was my understanding that the new Google Forms did not support add-ons yet… Has this changed recently?

  • Lynn says:

    Hi, Matt! I love the late work form. What a great idea! And I love that you said Forms can now email me when a student turns something in…but I can’t figure out how to do that! It’s probably really obvious. 🙂

  • […] are some new features that Google Forms have that make them even […]

  • Dawn says:

    Thank you for the great ideas! I use Forms as a grading rubric and then use Functions in the Response Spreadsheet to calculate grades to then copy into the gradebook. I also use Forms for students to sign in and out of class. So much easier and doesn’t waste paper.

  • […] (Note: If you’re using Google Classroom, teachers are not notified when late work is submitted, but thankfully there is a workaround for that). Students are more likely to be engaged when their learning is mastery-based. You can help keep […]

  • Kathi says:

    Thanks! Great tips.

  • carmelita says:

    I use Google Sheets on a weekly basis for inputting behavior points for students in our therapeutic program. I also use Google Docs to record meeting minutes 4 x per week program’s morning meetings, which then can be shared to staff.

  • judy says:

    Great article! Not a teacher, but wanted to know what was new with Forms in 2016 and see how it could be applicable to what I’m doing. Thanks so much!

  • […] Google Forms just got a facelift!  Take a look at the following link to see what’s new……it’s better than botox! NEW Google Forms […]

  • […] Forms has some great classroom uses but when it comes to something as important as bully and incident reporting and tracking, it […]

  • Dipti says:

    Some years ago, we used to distribute textbooks to every students in the math classes. I used to make Google Forms for the students to enter their textbook information – their name, textbook bar code, condition of the textbook. At the end of the year when they returned their textbooks, it was an easy check for me as all information was on one table.

  • Diem says:

    Wow! Lots of good ideas. I can’t wait to use them. This is a good way to get reluctant students to answer questions as well as do it faster instead of waiting for each one to respond individually. Just wish we had 1 to 1 devices. It’s hard to do all I want to do in 30 minutes.

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