Docs

Chapter 6: Forms

Table of Contents

Forms in the classroom

Create and customize forms

Create a new form

Form question types

Add and edit questions

Format form appearance

Allow respondents to skip or jump to different sections

Provide respondents a custom form submission message

Set default text and answer fields in a form

Collect Form Responses

Send form via email

Share the form to Google+

Access the form with a URL

Embed the form on a website

Allow individuals to edit form responses

Edit a submitted form response

Automatically collect username

Stop accepting form responses

Set notification for new form responses

View form results and share with others

Access form response spreadsheet

Make changes to the form response spreadsheet

Automatic summary of form responses

Share automatic summary with others

Share custom form results

Design and deliver quizzes and tests using forms

Deliver quizzes and tests online with forms

Create and use a quiz template

Tips for automatically grading quizzes

Structure peer reviews and feedback

Check and submit assignments

Log reports and information into a single database

File and track school-wide requests

Forms in the classroom

With Google Docs, you can quickly create a form or survey, send it to students, parents, teachers, or staff, and keep track of the answers in one spreadsheet.

Since forms are filled out online, there’s no need to enter in results manually. Responses are collected and displayed immediately in a corresponding Google Docs spreadsheet which allows you to sort, analyze, and visualize the information.

You can send forms to anyone - even those outside of your school Apps domain. Respondants can access the form via email, a published webpage, or embedded on a site.

Forms also generates an automatic summary with charts, graphs, and statistics about your form responses and can notify you when new responses are submitted.


In this chapter we will review how to create, customize, and publish forms as well as walk through examples of how forms can be used at your school.

Here are some live examples of forms you can preview and try:


And other ideas that could be conducted using forms:

Create and customize forms

Create a new form

Although forms are part of spreadsheets, you can also directly select the form type when creating a new doc. You can create a new form from your Docs list, from a spreadsheet or from a template.

Create a form from your Docs list:

  1. Click Create new > Form.
  2. In the form template that opens, you can add any questions and options you'd like.

Creating a form from a new or existing spreadsheet:

  1. Click the Tools drop-down menu and select Form then Create a form.
  2. If you already have names entered in the columns of the active sheet, the form will populate with those names as questions.
  3. In the form template that opens, you can add any questions and options you'd like.

Creating a form from a template:

  1. From your Docs list, click the Create button and select From template.... From within an existing document, click the File menu and select New and then From template....
  2. Click Forms under 'Narrow by type,' on the left side of the page.
  3. Browse through the different options. Once you decide what template to use, click Use this template next to it.

Forms have the same limitations as spreadsheets. Each spreadsheet can have up to 20,000 cells with formulas. Of this total, the following limits apply:

Form question types

When you create a form, you are automatically provided 2 questions. You can edit these questions however you like and add additional questions. To collect the information you need, select from 7 different types of questions, see this sample form below:






  1. Drop-down lists with options
  2. Single line text box
  3. Multiple choice
  4. Scale, to ask your invitees to grade something in a scale from 1-5, for instance.
  5. Checkboxes
  6. Paragraph text, which allow for long answers
  7. Grid

Please note: Forms only display in single columns. This image was created just for showing the different types of questions.

Add and edit questions

To add questions to your forms, follow these steps:

  1. Clicking Form in your spreadsheet
  2. Add item at the top of the editing page.
  3. Select the type of question you wish to add.

You can make any question a required question by selecting the option labeled 'Make this a required question.

Use the icons next to each question to edit, delete, or duplicate:

Edit: To edit an existing question, just click the Edit button to the right of the question you want to edit.

Delete: To delete a question, click the Delete button to the right of the question you want to delete.


Duplicate: To quickly duplicate a question, click the Duplicate button to the right of the question you want to duplicate.

If you are creating a form with your school Apps account, you can also choose to record the email addresses of people who fill out your form. This can help you identify who submitted the response and also filter to find those who submitted multiple responses.

To do this, select the checkbox next to 'Automatically collect respondent's myschool.org username' - where myschol.org is yous school Aps domain - while you create the form. Recipients of your survey will see a message at the top of the form explaining that their username will be collected automatically.


You can also require your respondents to sign in to view and fill out a form. This provides an additional layer of security for sensitive forms.

Note: if you're inviting people outside of your domain to fill out your form, make sure you don't require them to sign in; otherwise, they'll get to the domain sign-in page and won't be able to access the form.

Format form appearance

You can modify the layout of your form by rearranging questions, adding section headers, or selecting a designed theme.

Please note: Changing the formatting of your form in this way will not change anything in your spreadsheet. Question columns will not move to reflect a new arrangement, section headers are not included as a column, and the form does not appear while editing the spreadsheet. Making the following changes only reflect how individuals see your form.

Rearrange questions

You can move questions around simply by clicking and dragging. Make sure that you are not editing the question – if you are, you must click the Done button before rearranging your questions.




Section headers

To help make your form easier to read or to organize sets questions, you can add section headers. To add, simply select Section header from the Add item drop-down menu. Each section header can have a title, which appears in a larger font, and a section description.




Themes

There are nearly 100 themes of all different colors and styles you can choose from for displaying the form when viewed as a webpage or embedded on a website. Themes will not appear within an email client.


To pick a theme for your form, click the Themes button at the top of the form and select your favorite theme.

Then, click Apply and edit the form.

Allow respondents to skip or jump to different sections

Some forms you create for a diverse audience might require different sets of questions based on a previous answer.

Examples of when a form could have different questions for different respondents:

By adding page breaks into a form, you can separate information and allow respondents to skip irrelevant sections and go directly to other parts of the form.

To allow people to move to different parts of a form, use the multiple choice question type and select the option labeled Go to page based on answer.




To add a page, just click the
Add item drop-down menu, and select Page break.


Using page navigation, you can redirect form respondents previously split apart back to the same page. Under the
Add Itemmenu, select Page break. Then, select what page you’d like your form respondents to be directed to under the drop down menu in the page break.

Provide respondents a custom form submission message

If you have more instructions to provide after respondents complete a form, provide any additional information detailing what will happen next, or explain how you will be using the submitted information, you can edit the form confirmation message.

To customize the confirmation message, follow these steps:

  1. Go to edit your form if you are not already on the editing page (from the spreadsheet, click the Form menu and select Edit form).
  2. Click the More actions button at the top right of the form and select Edit confirmation from the drop down menu.
  3. Enter in your message. You can only include text in this message. If you include a URL, then it will be hyperlinked upon submission.

Set default text and answer fields in a form

You can pre-populate a form with default text and answers using URL encoding.

Please note: URL encoding only works when users click the direct URL of a form. Adding these default values will not appear for forms that are emailed.

To add pre-defined values to your form, you must append an entry string for each response field you'd like to pre-populate. Since each question has an unique id like "entry_0", in order to repopulate the entry, append "&entry_0=prepopulated answer" to the URL of the published form.

Tips for coding in your answers:

Here's an example:

The URL for this form:

http://spreadsheets2.google.com/a/g1usd.org/viewform?formkey=dDB6dXlGSGZzNG5vdkRyVFVYZjFKS0E6MQ&


entry_0=Final+presentation&entry_5=Book+report&entry_2=3

Adds pre-defined values to the form like this:


Note that the entry numbers do not correspond to the order of the questions. You may need to use trial and error, adding just one entry at a time, to correctly populate the fields.

Collect Form Responses

Send form via email

You can email the form to anyone in the world, even those outside your school Apps domain. This makes forms an ideal way to collect information for those outside the school such as contact information from parents or survey data for a research project.

If the individual has a Gmail account, they can actually respond to the form directly in the email message. Others can complete the form by clicking the link included in the email message.

The email message you send contains the form title, description, and a link to submit the form. At this time, you cannot add a separate email message when you send the form to recipients.

You can email you form as often as you like to recipients from two places:

  1. Response spreadsheet: Click the Form menu and select Send form. Enter the email addresses and click Send.
  2. Editing form page: Click the Email this form button and enter the email addresses of the recipients. Click Send.

You can also email recipients again for reminders or other notifications by going to the Form menu in your spreadsheet and selecting Email X Recipients, where X is the number of email addresses you’ve already sent the form.

Mailing to groups

You can take advantage of Groups in Google Apps or Google Groups to use a single email address to send to multiple people. If you view your group discussions on the group page only, not in email, you will be able to access the message and click the link to complete the form.

Share the form to Google+

Sharing to Google+ is a cinch! When you’re in edit mode, you can click the G+ Share button and then select the Google+ circle or contact you want to share the form with.

Access the form with a URL

Whenever you create a form, Google Docs automatically publishes it with a public URL that anyone can access. You can then tweet, IM, email, or post the link to inform others about your form.

To find the URL for your spreadsheet, follow these steps:

  1. While in the spreadsheet of form responses, go to the Form menu and select Go to live form
  1. Copy the URL of the form.

This is also how you would get the URL for adding pre-defined answers to your form.

Review how to add default text and answers »

Embed the form on a website

Another way to collect information from your form is to post it on a website. This can also be a way to collect information from visitors to your website.

For example, you can have a volunteer form on a class website or a feedback form on a school website.

If you have a common form that is used for students in your class, you can also post that form to the class website so students do not need to search for an email or the original URL. This could be useful for things like daily or weekly journal entries, equipment check-out forms, or tutoring requests.

If you'd like to embed your form in a website or blog, after you create and save your form, follow these steps:


Allow individuals to edit form responses

Google Docs now allows you to change your form response after you have submitted it. The modified response will not create a new entry, but modify the existing entry on the spreadsheet. These edits will be reflected in your spreadsheet and in your summary of responses.

Please note: If you provide the option to edit a response, an individual can modify their response as many times as they like.

Form respondents will receive a custom URL to access their response and resubmit answers on the form submission confirmation page. If you collect their school Apps username, they will also be sent an email with the link to edit.

To enable the option for respondents to edit submitted forms, check the Allow users to edit responses box displayed at the top of the form while editing.


All respondents will then have the option of editing their form responses via a custom Edit your response link on the form submission confirmation page. These links will be different for each respondent.

If you also check the Automatically collect respondent's domain.com username box, your respondents will have the option to have a copy of their responses sent to them via email. This email will have an Edit your response link that will allow them to edit their form responses.

Edit a submitted form response

If the creator of a form sent to you has enabled the Allow users to edit responses option, you'll be able to edit your responses to a form. There are two ways to do this. First, if you check the Send me a copy of my responses box on the form, the you'll receive an email confirmation showing your form responses.


If you click the Edit your response link in the confirmation email, you will be taken to a screen that allows you to edit your responses.



You will be able to see your previous answers and make edits. Once you click Submit, these changes will be reflected in the form owner's spreadsheet and summary of responses. You can edit your responses as many times as necessary using the Edit your response link.

Second, you can edit your form responses on the form submission confirmation page. On the confirmation page, click the Edit your response link.


You will be able to see your previous answers and make edits. Once you click Submit, these changes will be reflected in the form owner's spreadsheet and summary of responses. You can edit your responses as many times as necessary using the Edit your response link, as long as you keep the URL to the confirmation page.

Please note: If you give away the URL from the form submission confirmation page or forward your confirmation email, other people will be able to edit your responses.

Automatically collect username

At this time, it is not possible to limit responses to one per individual. However, when you create a form with your school Apps account, you can select to record the email addresses of people who fill out your form, and then easily identify any duplicate responses.

You can also use the timestamp included with each form entry to identify the earliest (or latest) response from a specific individual.

To automatically include a respondent’s username, select the checkbox next to Automatically collect respondent's myschool.org username while you create or edit the form, where myschool.org is your school Apps domain.



On the published, embedded, or emailed form, individuals will see a message at the top of the form explaining that their username will be collected automatically.

Stop accepting form responses

When you create a form, you begin accepting responses by default. If you have a specific end date or time in mind for accepting responses - as you might for an application or assignment - you will need to manually change the setting.

To stop accepting entries to the form, click the Form menu of your spreadsheet and uncheck Accepting responses by clicking on it.



Set notification for new form responses

You can set notifications to receive emails whenever someone fills out your form. These are the same notifications that alert you to changes in a spreadsheet.

This can be useful if you have embedded a web form that receives only occasional responses. The notification will alert you to any new submission. This can also be useful for tracking and graphing the rate of response for your forms.

You can set the frequency of notifications for form responses to be sent right away or aggregated into a single daily email.

To set up notifications for your form, follow these steps:

  1. Click Tools in the menu bar and select Notification Rules...
  2. Select When a user submits a form.
  3. Choose the frequency by selecting either daily digest or right away.
  4. Click Save.

View form results and share with others

Access form response spreadsheet

Responses to your form are automatically entered into a spreadsheet where you can view, organize, and visualize the data.

Your form response spreadsheet is created with the same name as your form and acts just as any other spreadsheet – in fact, it’s listed under spreadsheets in your Docs list.

To access your form response spreadsheet from the edit form page, click the See responses button at the top-right of the form and select Spreadsheet from the drop down menu.


Finding a form in your Docs list is the same as finding any other document: you can search for the form name, browse files owned by you, or look just at the spreadsheet file types.

Make changes to the form response spreadsheet

When you create a form, responses are automatically collected into a sheet in a spreadsheet. You can insert or move sheets, sort, and perform other operations you would in any other spreadsheet. The responses will continue to be collected in the same sheet.

Specifically with the sheet where form data is collected, you can do the following:

Please note: Some changes to your spreadsheet aren't allowed, once your spreadsheet is storing form responses in a table. This is so that you don't make changes that would stop your spreadsheet from being able to read your form responses properly. For example, you can't move columns in the table from side to side, since doing so would disrupt the structure of the table.

Automatic summary of form responses

Google automatically generates some basic statistics from the responses your receive in a form summary.

The summary will calculate totals, percentages, add graphs, and grab snippets of free responses. You will also be able to see a graph charting the daily response rate.

To access the summary from your form response spreadsheet, go to the Form menu and select Show summary.


The response summary page opens in a new window.

From the edit form page, you can access the summary by clicking the See responses button and selecting Summary from the drop down menu.

If you'd like to print your form responses summary, open your browser's Print menu.

Please note: Because the summary is automatically generated, there’s no way to select specific entries to be included. This means that if you have multiple responses from the same individual, they will all be included in the final summary. If you wish to have more control, you can generate charts and graphs as you would with any other spreadsheet data.

Review how to create charts and graphs in spreadsheets »

Share automatic summary with others

You can allow those who filled out your form to see the automatically generated summary of the responses. The link will be offered in the form confirmation window.

Please note: If you are collecting a username or name, those will also be displayed in the summary. However, the answers they submitted will not be associated in the charts and graphs.

To allow responders to see the summary, follow these steps:

  1. Go to edit your form if you are not already on the editing page (from the spreadsheet, click the Form menu and select Edit form).
  2. Click the More actions button at the top right of the form and select Edit confirmation from the drop down menu.
  3. Beneath the message area, select the option Publish response summary.

If you allow publish your form response summary, you can also generate the URL that displays the results, just follow these steps:

  1. Find the URL to your live form from your response spreadsheet (Form > Go to live form). It should look something like this: http://spreadsheets.google.com/a/myschool.org/viewform?hl=en&formkey=cnNIUF92UWZ2dDZUc2EweFBJMWpPemc6MA..#gid=0
  2. Replace viewform with viewanalytics.
  3. You can now send or post the URL for everyone to see the form summary.

Share custom form results

Google Docs creates an automatic summary that you can share, but you cannot customize which data appears and how.

If you wish to create custom form results, you can add formulas and create charts and graphs from your form results just as you would any other data in a spreadsheet.

Review how to analyze data in spreadsheets »

Review how to create charts in spreadsheets »

To share these custom results, you can then publish the charts and graphs to embed in websites.

Review how to publish charts »

You can also visualize the data with gadgets, then choose to publish or share the gadget.

Review gadgets in spreadsheets »

Design and deliver quizzes and tests using forms

Deliver quizzes and tests online with forms

You can use forms to create quizzes and tests with various types of questions. You can then post the exam on a website or send it directly to students or other recipients.

To set up an online quiz or test, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new form
  1. Add and arrange questions by clicking the Add item button at the top of the editing page.
  1. Add section headers to organize your exam by clicking the Add item button at the top of the editing page and selecting Section header. Enter the section header and a description
  2. Make the form available to students or recipients:
  1. When the time for submitting forms is over, stop accepting responses by going to the Form menu in your response spreadsheet and click Accepting responses to remove the checkmark.

Create and use a quiz template

You can browse the Google Docs template gallery to find existing forms that you can customize for your own courses and content.

Review how to create a form from a template »

If you have a standard format for a quiz that you think others may benefit from at your school, you can also choose to upload the form to your school Apps domain template gallery. This way other teachers could take advantage of the quizzes you have created for vocabulary, for example.

Review how to upload docs to the template gallery »

Tips for automatically grading quizzes

There are several templates available in the Google Docs template gallery that have pre-designed quizzes with spreadsheets that calculate the answers.

Using formulas to grade quizzes works best with the multiple choice, choose from a list, grid, and scale questions. You can use the checkboxes as well, but because all the selections are stored in a single cell separated by commas, you can’t easily check for partial credit. You can easily compare against an answer key that has the exact correct values.

If you wish to create your own template or spreadsheet to evaluate your form, here are a few useful formulas and tips:

Structure peer reviews and feedback

In addition to testing knowledge, forms can be used instructionally to provide feedback or conduct peer reviews. Creating forms with a clear structure and detailed step-by-step instructions guide students to complete assignments and tasks.

Here’s one way you can use forms to conduct peer reviews:

  1. Create a new peer review form
  1. Add and arrange questions by clicking the Add item button at the top of the editing page.
  1. Add section headers to organize your exam by clicking the Add item button at the top of the editing page and selecting Section header. Enter the section header and a description.
  1. Make the form available to students:
  1. Organize feedback by student, subject, class, or date.
  1. Compile a list of feedback for each student
  1. Share feedback with student

Check and submit assignments

Forms can help teachers streamline assignment submissions and ensure that students have completed all parts of the assignments. Students will have to review a checklist before entering an assignment to be submitted.

You can have a form for each assignment that collects all the student information, and then save each of the assignment spreadsheets in a folder for each class. You should then be able to easily find information by assignment for any class.

Here’s one way you can use forms as a way to check assignments before they are submitted:

  1. Create a new assignment submission form
  1. Add and arrange questions by clicking the Add item button at the top of the editing page.
  1. Make the form available to students:
  1. Organize feedback by student, subject, class, or date.
  1. Organize assignment spreadsheets in your Docs list.

Log reports and information into a single database

The structured setup of forms makes it easy for teachers to log information into a shared database that everyone can search and access. Forms can be filled out anywhere - embedded on a website, viewed in an email or published URL, or even on a mobile device - allowing teachers the convenience to log this information immediately.

For example, you could create a form and response spreadsheet for school-wide student behavioural logs. Teachers could access a single form and file a structured log that is added to the spreadsheet database. Each Google Spreadsheet can store up to 200,000 cells of information. For a row with ten pieces of information (such as first name, last name, ID, year, teacher name, subject, period, type of log, log report, and notes), a single spreadsheet could store 20,000 students logs. Teachers could then open the log and search or filter for a specific student to have relevant information from all the other teachers on hand for evaluations or parent teacher conferences. School administrators would then also be able to easily analyze the log reports and track patterns.

Here’s one way you can use forms to create a student log database:

  1. Create a new peer review form
  1. Add and arrange questions by clicking the Add item button at the top of the editing page.
  1. Make the form available to teachers:
  1. Organize feedback by student, subject, period, teacher, log type, or date.
  1. Compile a list of feedback for each student - useful if evaluating the activities of a single student

File and track school-wide requests

Forms can bring transparency and organization to administrative processes in a school.

For example, instead of filling out paper requests that could potentially be lost en route to the correct department (IT, library, central office), a teacher could submit an online form that feeds directly into a spreadsheet. Administrators can then update the spreadsheet with the status of the requests and share it with all the faculty so they can track the progress as well.

Here’s one way you can use forms to track and receive school-wide requests:

  1. Create a new request form
  1. Add and arrange questions by clicking the Add item button at the top of the editing page.
  1. Add section headers to organize your exam by clicking the Add item button at the top of the editing page and selecting Section header. Enter the section header and a description.
  1. Make the form available to students:
  1. Organize feedback by student, subject, class, or date.
  1. Compile a list of feedback for each student
  1. Share feedback with student