Getting Started with Google Forms

What is Google Forms?

Google Forms is a simple online survey and questionnaire creator. The surveys can be published online as public or private within a Google Apps organization. Surveys you create can be linked to or embedded within existing web pages/blogs. All the responses to the survey can be automatically collected into a Google Sheet, making analysis of results simple. Best of all, Google Forms is completely free if you have a Google account (Gmail or Google Apps).

How can I use Google Forms?

There are a ton of ways that you can utilize Google Forms in schools (just do a Google Search and you find a bunch), but here are a few ideas to get you started:

What do I need to get started?

Because Google Forms is web-based and free for all existing Google accounts, you need very little to get started creating your first online form. You will need:

  1. A Google account, either Gmail or Google Apps
  2. A computer with a modern web browser (Internet Explorer 10+, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari)
  3. A method to distribute the survey to your audience (email, web page, school notification system, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.)

Creating a Form

Login to your Google account

  1. Open a web browser and go to http://www.google.com
  2. Click on the “Sign In” button


  1. Enter your Google account email address and password and click “Login”

Create a new Form

  1. Go to your Google Drive by clicking on the “Drive” link at the top of the page or by going directly to http://drive.google.com
  2. Click on “New”, choose “More”, and then select “Google Forms”
    2014-07-28_15-12-06.png2014-07-28_15-12-33.png

  1. Enter a name for your form and then click “OK”
  2. A new blank Form has been created in your Google Drive “My Drive” list
    2014-07-28_15-15-36.png


Getting around the Form Editor

The Google Form Editor is divided into sections that; manage different aspects of the Form, choose a theme or view the live Form, assign privileges within your Google Apps organization (only for Google Apps accounts), change the title and description of the Form, add and edit Form questions, and choose how the Form should be distributed or sent.

Change the Theme, view the live Form, or access advanced options

Set whether users within your Google Apps organization are required to sign-in in order to fill-out the Form

Set the title and description of the Form

Add and edit Form questions

Edit the confirmation responders see when submitting the Form and share the Form via email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, link, or embed in an existing web page

Form Question Types

There are a number of different question types to choose from to collect the type of information that you are looking for and to provide some basic data validation.

Text

A text question allows the person answering the question to enter a single line of text. This question is best for short answer types of questions.

Paragraph Text

A paragraph text question allows the person answering the question to enter multiple lines of text. This question is best for extended or open ended types of questions.

Multiple Choice

A multiple choice question allows the person answering the question to choose from a list of pre-defined options. They can only select one answer from the list of options.

Checkbox

A checkbox question allows the person answering the question to select values from a list of pre-defined options. They can select any number of choices from the list of options.

Choose from a List

This type of question is very similar to a multiple choice question. The difference is really in the appearance of question itself. The person answering the question clicks on a pull-down menu and selects their answer from that menu.

Scale

A scale question allows the person answering the question to rate or grade a single item along a numeric scale that you define.

Grid

A grid question allows the person answering the question to rate or grade multiple items along a numeric scale that you define.

 

Editing Form Questions

When you start out with a new form, you are provided with one question. You can edit this question to fit your own needs, as well as add additional questions.

  1. Click the “Edit” icon next to an existing question
  2. Change the “Question Title” and “Help Text”
  3. Select the “Question Type”
  4. Depending on the question type, you may need to create different choices or options for that question
  5. Select whether or not you want the question to be required
  6. Click “Done”

Adding Form Questions

  1. Click the “Add Item” button under the last Form question. (Tip: you can also click on the “Insert” menu at the top of the page and choose exactly what type of question to add)
  2. Change the “Question Title” and “Help Text”
  3. Select the “Question Type” (if necessary)
  4. Depending on the question type, you may need to create different choices or options for that question
  5. Select whether or not you want the question to be required
  6. Click “Done”

Editing the Form Confirmation Message

When users complete and submit a Google Form, they receive a confirmation letting them know that their responses were successfully submitted. You can customize the confirmation message that your respondents see when they click “Submit”.

  1. Scroll to the “Confirmation Page” section at the bottom of the Form and enter your confirmation message in the text box
  2. There are options available below the confirmation message that allow you to add links or a summary of the results of the Form to the Confirmation Page that will be visible to users. Be VERY careful not to accidentally publish the results of the Form!

Setting a destination for Form responses

Once you send out a Form via email, link or social media, it will automatically begin collecting the responses that users submit. You should choose a destination for those responses before you let users know about the Form. Unless you anticipate the response to your Form to be gigantic (over 400,000 data items), the simplest and most flexible destination is to use a Google Sheet. This will allow you to monitor responses as they are submitted, perform data analysis (sorting, filtering), and export the results to other formats (Excel, CSV, PDF).

  1. At the top of the page, click “Choose response destinations”
  2. Click the “New spreadsheet” button and, either accept the name Google suggests or enter your own name
  3. Click the “Create” button
  4. A new Google Sheet to capture the Form responses has been created in your Google Drive “My Drive” list
    2014-07-28_15-17-53.png

Restricting access to a Form to your Google Apps organization

If you have a Google Apps account, you have the ability to restrict access to the Form to people within your Google Apps organization. Regular Gmail accounts do not have this feature.

  1. At the top of the Form, click the box labeled “Require <your organization> login to view this form”. Users will need to login with their Google Apps account before they are able to fill out the form. This is a terrific feature to assist with internal paperwork, data collection and workflows
    2014-07-28_15-18-55.png

Directing users to your Form

There are multiple ways that you can direct people to your Form. Using the “Send form” feature will present you with a number of options, including a link to share, a quick way to email a link to the Form directly to people, buttons to share the link on social media sites, and provide you with the “embed” code to include the Form within an existing web page or blog.

  1. Click the “Send form” button at the top or the bottom of the Form
  2. First option; click the “Link to share” field to copy the URL/link to the online Form. You could share this link in an email or post it on an existing web page
  3. Second option; click one of the “Share link via” social media buttons to share the link to the Form directly through Twitter, Facebook or Google+
  4. Third option; click the “Embed” button to copy the embed code you can use to embed the actual Form in an existing web page or blog
  5. Fourth option; click in the “Send form via email” field and fill in the email addresses of the people you would like to send the link to the Form. If you use Google Apps, you can also send the Form to entire existing groups of users. You can also customize the email message to be more informative and descriptive
  6. Click “Done”

Accessing the Form responses

Once you have shared the Form, you can view the progress of the responses at any time by opening up the Google Sheet you identified as the destination of the responses

  1. Go back to your Google Drive documents list at http://drive.google.com
  2. Open the Form destination Google Sheet
    2014-07-28_15-17-53.png
  3. The submitted responses will be listed in the spreadsheet, along with a date and time stamp for each submission. You can actually leave the spreadsheet open and watch responses come in as they are submitted!


Viewing a Summary of the Responses

As the creator of the Form, you can view a summary of the responses at any time. If you share the destination Google Sheet that is collecting the responses, others will also be able to view the summary of responses

  1. Open the Form destination Google Sheet
  2. Click on the “Form” menu at the top of the page and click “Show summary of responses”
  3. Depending on the types of questions in the Form, you will be presented with a variety of different data summaries and graphs
  4. You can also access the response summaries directly from the Form by clicking the “Responses” menu and choosing “Summary of responses”


Closing Access to the Form

When you are done collecting responses, you will want to close access to the Form so that people can no longer add additional responses. You can close and open the Form at any time

  1. Go back to your Google Drive documents list at http://drive.google.com
  2. Open the the Form
    2014-07-28_15-15-36.png
  3. Click on the “Responses” menu at the top of the page. You will notice that there is a checkmark next to “Accepting responses”. Click “Accepting responses” to clear the checkmark and stop accepting Form responses

Providing Users a Link to a Pre-Populated Form

In some situations, you may want people to start with a form that has some answers pre-populated. For example, if you use a form to collect links to student work, you may want to pre-fill the field with the name of the assignment so that it’s consistent for all student responses. Otherwise, you may get different spellings, different spacing, and different wording.

  1. Inside the form editor, click the Responses menu and select “Get pre-filled URL”
    2014-07-28_15-37-03.png
  2. Fill in the questions or form items that you want to be pre-populated for the respondents and click “Submit”
    2014-07-28_15-41-13.png
  3. Copy the URL shown and distribute it to your respondents or students
    2014-07-28_15-41-37.png

Basic Data Analysis

Once your respondents or students have completed a form, you can use the tools within Google Sheets to do some basic data analysis.

Sorting the Responses Spreadsheet

One of the simplest ways to analyze data within a Google Sheet is to sort it based upon the various columns. For example, you could sort the responses by grade level to see if there were any obvious patterns based upon the grade level of the student answering the survey.

  1. Open the form Responses Google Sheet
    2014-07-28_15-17-53.png
  2. Click the box in the top left corner of the spreadsheet to select the entire sheet
    2014-07-28_15-58-05.png
  3. Click the Data menu and select “Sort range”
    2014-07-28_15-59-32.png
  4. Check the “Data has header row” checkbox
  5. Choose which column to sort by
  6. Add an additional column, if you choose, by clicking “Add another sort column”
  7. Click “Sort”
    2014-07-28_16-00-32.png


Filtering the Responses Spreadsheet

Another simple way to analyze the data within a Google Sheet is to “filter” and temporarily hide data that you do not currently want to see. You can filter a Google Sheet using multiple criteria, making developing a basic query fairly simple. When you want to view all of the data again, just disable the filter.

  1. Open the form Responses Google Sheet
    2014-07-28_15-17-53.png
  2. Click the box in the top left corner of the spreadsheet to select the entire sheet
    2014-07-28_15-58-05.png
  3. Click the Data menu and select “Filter”
    2014-07-28_16-11-16.png
  4. Click the arrow above a column to access the data filtering options
    2014-07-28_16-12-06.png
  5. Select the options you want to view and click “OK”
    2014-07-28_16-13-49.png
  6. You can tell when a column is being filtered because a “funnel” icon will appear next to the column heading
    2014-07-28_16-15-48.png
  7. To turn off filtering, click the Data menu and select “Turn off filter”
    2014-07-28_16-16-24.png

Getting Started with Google Forms                        Page                                         Paul Barrette