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Anecdotal Comments and Observations with Google Forms and Mobile Devices
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Anecdotal Comments and Observations with Google Forms and Mobile Devices

How to Set up your Form

Adding Comments on Your Tablet/Phone

Using Your Form

Managing Your Comments


Click here to watch a video demonstration of how to set up the form and organize your responses.

How to Set up your Form

  1. Start a new Google form.

  2. Form Details
  1. Give your form a title like Anecdotal Comments.
  2. Add the three questions below (modify anyway you’d like).
  1. Type of question:  Drop Down
    Question Prompt: Name
    Options:  List all of your students names (Random Names Example)
    Note: These can be copied and pasted from a spreadsheet or document. Best if they are in alphabetical order (by first name?) so that they are quick and easy to find.
    Required Question: Yes

  2. Click “Add Item” to add another question.
    Type of question:
     Change to Drop Down List

    Question Prompt: Subject
    Options:  List all of the subjects and or categories that you might want to collect comments on (i.e. math, language, reading, etc., but you may also include notes about behaviour, etc.)

    Click here to open a list of Learning Skills, Subjects and Math/Language Strands

This question becomes a category that you can sort your observations by. If you are going to organize your observations by strand, you may want to make separate forms for each subject.

Required Question: Yes

  1. Add another question
    Type of question:
      Paragraph Text
    Question Prompt: Comment/Observation
    Required Question: Yes

Note:  You can add additional questions if you would like. For example, if you wanted to record a grade or score, you could add a text question, rating scale, or another drop down list.

  1. To see what the form looks like online, click on View Live Form to get the URL of your form.
  1. You may want to shorten that URL using a tool like,or etc.

Adding Comments on Your Tablet/Phone

  1. Return to the design view of your Google Form (it’s probably one tab to the left of the Live Form View page you have open).
  2. Click on the Send button.

  3. Enter an email address that you receive on your mobile device (phone, tablet, etc.).

    You can add a relevant subject or message if you’d like.

    Press send

  4. If you get a message asking you to confirm that you want to open the form to users outside your domain, you can click OK. Remember, you’re just sending this form to yourself (or a colleague) who should have access to it.

  5. Switch to your mobile device and open up your email.
  6. Open the email message that you just sent yourself.
  7. Click on the link to the form in the Email.

  8. The link will open in your browser.
  9. Add the form to your Homepage.



Click on the 3 dots in the top right of the screen and choose Add to homescreen

Click on the Upload/Share button and then the Add to Home Screen

Using Your Form

  1. Use your drop down lists to choose student and subject.
  1. For your third field, click on the microphone on your tablet/phone (Siri, etc.)
  2. Speak    :)  
    You can also type into these forms for more discreet entries, or enter comments on your laptop/desktop computer through your browser.
  3. When you’re finished making your comment, click done, and submit your entry.

Managing Your Comments

To manage your comments you will use the spreadsheet where your comments have been collected. You can practice with this sheet that uses fake names.

  1. Open the spreadsheet.  You should see all of your students, subjects, and the comments you’ve made.
  2. Select all of the columns in your spreadsheet or click into cell A1, then go to Data and choose Filter.

  3. You can now use your drop down button beside your headers to filter and sort your comments.
    Press the
    Clear button and then select the subjects you would like to view. Then press OK.

  4. To clear all of your filters return to the Data menu and choose Turn off filter.   You can also press the Filter button.

  5. Example
  1. Click on the Subject header drop down list.
  2. Press Clear to clear all subjects, and then select the subject you’d like to view.
  3. Click on the Student Header and choose Sort A - Z.
  4. Tada!  You have all of your comments, for that subject, sorted by student.
  5. Want to see all comments or switch to a different subject?  Click on the header and choose Select All.  
  6. You can use the same filtering processes to find all of the comments for a student across a subject.