Google Forms-the Basics

Google Forms are a great way to collect data.  I have used them to register teachers for PD, find out how comfortable teachers are with IT and schedule my IT lessons.  I will attempt to explain the basics of how to use Google Forms in this post.

Start by opening your Google Drive.  Then click ‘Create” and choose Form.  You will open into the default screen where you can name your form and choose a template.  At the moment Google’s templates are very limited.  Once you have chosen a template, which you can change later, it will open into the editing screen.  You are able to give your form a title and a description. Unfortunately at this moment in time, you can’t change any of the format features like font, size and color.

I have found that on nearly all of the forms I create “your name” is the first question I make.  Once you type your first question into the “question title” box, you can add more information in the “help text” where you can give an example of more information on what you want the question to be about.  Then you choose the type of answer that you want.  All of these things can be edited at a later date.  You can also move questions up and down on the form by clicking them and dragging it to where you want it. You can add as many questions as you want in this section.  Google has also recently added the option to add images to your form.

Once you are finished with your questions you need to tell the form where to send your responses.  At the top you will see a “choose response destination” button.  When you click on it you can choose to send your responses to a new spreadsheet or a new page in an existing one.

You also see a button towards the top called “view live form” which allows you to see the form as it looks to viewers.  This is helpful to get an idea of what it looks like, if the questions are in the order you would like and if you want to test it.  Viewing the live form is also where you get the URL to email people who you would like to use your form.

One of the things that you might want to do occasionally is unlink and relink a form so that you can de-clutter your responses page.  I do this at the end of each month so that I don’t have to scroll through so many responses.  You do this on the form by clicking “responses” then “unlink” form.  They you can click the “choose response destination” and then add a new page to the existing response page.  This will keep all of your responses in one spreadsheet workbook but on different tabs.

You might want to set up your form so that it sends you an email notification each time you receive a response.  You will need to do this by going to the spreadsheet that the form is connected to.  Click on “Tools” then click “notification rules”.  You have several options to choose from here for how the form notifies you.

If you would like to see these in action check out this video from Google on Google Forms.

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