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Google Forms

Photography, Digital Character Animation campus at VFS, 8 May 2008, Vancouver Fi

The Google suite of tools holds a number of free educational goldmines. In my classroom practice, Google Forms has become an indispensible tool for curricular application, classroom management, and work flow assistance. A form can be created, customized, and shared with students quickly and easily.

Getting Started 

If you do not have an account with Google, you will need to register to set up a free account.

  1. Once you are logged into Google, click on “Docs.”
  2. Click on “Create New → Form”
  3. Enter the questions you would like to have answered. You can choose to collect information in multiple formats: text, paragraph text, multiple choice, checkboxes, select from a list, scale, or grid.
  4. For each new item, click “Add Item” at the top left.
  5. In addition, you can select a theme from a plethora of options.
  6. When you have finished the form, copy and paste the link found at the bottom of the page.

The responses will populate a corresponding spreadsheet in your Google Docs list and can then be sorted by question.

A form can be used to simplify and coordinate basically any function where you need to collect student responses or information. The customizable backgrounds and range of question types allow for personalization of the forms. I am discovering new and interesting ways to use forms all the time in my classroom, and it has become a tool that I implement frequently.

Examples 

At the beginning of the school year I use a Google Form to collect contact information for the students, including book numbers, email addresses, and parent names. The answers are then always accessible online whether I am at home or at school. We even created a contact form for the staff.

A second instance where I use Google Forms in the classroom is for self-assessment. During American Government, we completed a project called Story of a Bill. At the end of the project, I needed to find a quick way to collect the student assessment of their work. The form proved to be a quick and efficient manner of completing that goal.

In addition, I have also used a form to quickly gather student responses to prompts. For instance, at the beginning of American History I ask students what 10 words describe America or Americans. Then the students submit those words into an incredibly simple form. From the corresponding spreadsheet I copy and paste the words into Wordle and voila, I can see the trending words to look for patterns and frequently mentioned ideas.

For an advanced challenge, many teachers are using Google Forms to set up self-grading quizzes. Although I do not use this function in my classroom practice, there are a number of teachers who are finding it quite useful. For good resources and templates for the quiz function, visit Kern Kelly’s page from the Google Teacher Academy. Scroll down to the screencast and then the section on Form Templates.

For more information 

If Google Forms isn't enough for you, check out our entry on Survey Monkey, another online tool for creating and administering forms and surveys.
10 minute video of how Google Apps work for the K-12 classroom.

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