3 Pros and Tips for Google Forms

The first time I used Google Forms, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I basically saw a purple rectangle in the G-Suite and said, “Cool! I like purple! What does this do..?” Turns out, there are some really awesome features in Google Forms that can fill a virtual need in a classroom: in person or online.

Google Forms is a great resource for surveys and quizzes. Some teachers even use it for assessments! In my experience, Google Forms can be used a myriad of ways, some helpful, some not-so-helpful. I’ll be sharing a little of what I’ve found to be the most advantageous when working with Forms.

I’ve been using Google Forms for the last few years, mostly for quick surveys or simple multiple-choice quizzes. I used to use it for some math and literacy assessments but fell away from that for a few reasons I’ll explain in a minute. 

Self-Grading

One pro of utilizing a Google Form is that it provides you with a resource that can effectively grade itself. With a few simple tricks, you can create (and re-use!) a quiz that will literally grade itself. #teachergoals

Before I learned how to get my quick questionnaires dialed in, I spent a lot of time creating the form, and then even longer grading; that’s a recipe for a loss of time and a loss of motivation.

The fix was simple: I just needed to alter the types of questions I was asking and then change my Form into a “Quiz” in the Settings. Sure, I had to choose to eliminate certain question types, like Short Response or a Writing Prompt. But I figured if I was using these Forms for a quick checking of understanding, I could afford to stick to multiple choice. 

I tell people it’s basically the opposite of a paper quiz: harder to make at the beginning, easier to grade at the end. 

Easy Classroom Tip: For something that needs to be graded, change the Setting to “Make This a Quiz”, then fill in your Answer Key on each question.

Customizationability (not a word)

There are a lot of easy survey platforms out there. I like to use Google Forms because I can customize a lot of what the students will see when interacting with the Form.

Setting up a Google Form is simple, yet there are some easy tricks that make your experience (and your students’ experiences) just *that* much better. 

Did you know you can customize the top banner image on your Google Form? Did you know you can change the theme colors of your Form? On the right side of the top of your screen, there’s a little paint palette that holds your base-level visual settings. You can upload an image you have downloaded onto your computer, and Forms will actually try to pick a matching color as well! 

(If you’re not sure what type of image to grab, go to my post about Google Classroom and scroll down to #3)

A good place to start is the entry “tour” that Google Forms offers when you first log-in. It shows you how to embed videos as well as use pictures in accordance with your questions/answers. 

(If you’re not sure where these are located, the “Video” option is on the right when you’ve selected an item in the middle of the form; the “Image” icon floats around, and you can input images by themselves, or on the right side of an answer item.)

Easy Classroom Tip: Use the paint palette to make your Forms come to life for your students!

Element of Intrigue

Google Forms can be used for lots of different tasks, but I like to use them most with short, simple quizzes or get-to-know-you-type of questionnaires. Kids in my class are always highly motivated when I tell them they’ll be using the Chromebooks for a fun survey!

Typically, when all of the students have finished, I have them gather on the front carpet and we look at our answers together! Whether it’s an Exit Ticket quiz or a “Would You Rather” inquiry, most students are highly intrigued with the results.  

This data can also be used for discussion. Surface-level conversations can help kids feel more comfortable with their peers; intentional conversations can drive deeper learning. 

Google Forms help provide insight into what your students think, without having them to answer a direct, verbal question; I’ve found that many of my shy-est students enjoy my Google Forms the most-est!

Easy Classroom Tip: Use the data to generate conversations: either to revisit misconceptions or to discuss if Cats or Dogs are better!

Closure

I tend to employ Google Forms when I need a simple task that translates well over a Chromebook; my students really enjoy responding on these surveys, whether they’re educational or not!

Google Forms can be challenging and a little foggy at first, and sometimes seem to be more work than what it yields. But, with a little bit of practice, and with some simple tweaks to how you make your Forms, you can effectively mass-produce quick content for your students, as well as provide your classroom some discussion topics, or exit tickets tied to a specific standard. 

And the best part is they’re safely tucked away in your well-organized Google Drive! Remember??

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