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!
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.
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.
CLASSROOM USE IDEA: Add math equations to Google Forms with the g(Math) add-on.
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 “forms.google.com” in your browser to get to forms quickly. (In the past, you had to go to Drive and click “New” and “Google Forms.”)
Some of the templates available:
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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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