One of my favorite features of Google Drive is Google Forms. If you’re unfamiliar with this, think of it as a way to create quick surveys that can be used for a number of applications. Google automatically aggregates this data into a Google Spreadsheet, making forms a great way to quickly collect and share information. I have seen educators and administrators use Google Forms in the most creative and inventive ways. If you’re just starting with Google Forms, here are five ways that you can use them to streamline your classroom!
At the beginning of the year, I find that a great ice-breaker with my students is to share a Google Form that asks their name, contact information, and something unique and interesting about themselves. Not only do I get pertinent information (like which email they check), but I also learn a little bit more about my them.
Similarly, it is often necessary to collect information from parents for special events. For example, if you are taking a field trip with your class, a Google Form is a quick and easy way to collect emergency contact information from parents/guardians. Again, the information is gathered into a Google Sheet so you don’t have to spend time entering data later and you can electronically store and share the information with other chaperones – no more clipboards or manila envelopes!
Google Forms are a great medium to engage students in bell ringer and exit ticket activities (a means to gauge what a student has learned at the end of a lesson). With a bell ringer via a Google Form, students have something to engage with right away when they enter your classroom. Some teachers elect to create a simple check-in (how are you feeling this morning?) or a reflection on the previous night’s homework. Likewise, if you want students to check in before leaving class with an exit ticket, a Google Form is a great way to check for understanding. You can ask key and reflective questions about the topics you covered that day. If you build your form as fill-in-the-blank or multiple choice, you can even use a tool called Flubaroo to automatically mark it!
Collecting homework is often an onerous task. Google Forms can help to organize the process. If students are answering exploratory questions, they can do this via a form that you create so that you have all of their responses timestamped and in one place. Even better, if students are working on projects that they post online (a blog post, a video, an audio recording) then a Google Form can allow you to collect the web links to their completed work. This is a great way to organize creative projects that can otherwise be cumbersome to track.
Touching base with students on a regular basis is crucial but can be difficult to do. Google Forms provide a great medium for you to check in with your classes and get individual responses. “How is the pace of the course?” “What has been your favorite lesson and why?” Using a check-in system regularly allows students to feel that you are invested in them and their education; it also provides a safe place for them to leave meaningful feedback such as what elements of the course are challenging, how they interact with their peers, and best ways to engage them in learning.
Google Forms can also be used to create rubrics for assignments, speeding up your grading and allowing for consistent feedback. Again, because the data aggregates into a spreadsheet, it’s easy to transfer that information directly into your gradebook. Here is a great video that shows you how to set up a grading rubric:
There are a lot of great things that you can do with Google Forms, and this is just a quick and simple list. Play with Google Forms to figure out new and interesting ways that you can employ them in your classroom and at your institution. To get started, check out this video tutorial from EdTechTeacher.