Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Creating a Form with Google Docs

Here are some simple directions:

1) Go to Google Drive. Select Create. Select Form. Select a Theme. (Select a Theme is in the short menu bar at the top of the screen once you Select Form.)
2) Give your form a name. Type in basic directions for the respondent.
3) Begin to author questions. Note the question types: text, paragraph text, multiple choice, check box, etc. Select the appropriate type. Type in the necessary information. Suggestion: make all questions required. You can edit a question, using the pencil icon. Use Add Item to continue to next question. (Note the options to Duplicate and Delete, which are next to the pencil icon. Use Duplicate if your next question will be similar but just will need some wording changes. This option is handy if using the "check box" format, for instance, offering choices such as Yes, No, Undecided, because you won't have to retype the choices, but will just need to type in your question.)
4) Continue the process until all questions are entered. Remember you can use the pencil icon to edit any question.
5) When finished, use the option Send Form. You will have a URL for the form. One option is to embed the form. Select that option if you plan to embed the form in a blog post. However, if you were emailing the link to someone, you can copy and paste the long URL into a URL shortener, such as Google URL Shortener at:

Here is an example of a form I created and embedded in this post. Because I am embedding it, you will see the actual form and not a link to it. You need to use the HTML tab in Blogger to paste in the embed code. The embed code will paste in the form with a width of "760," which you can change. Suggested change for width: "375"

To view the responses to your form, go to Google Drive. Find the name of the form. Click to open it. You will see your responses in spreadsheet format (rows and columns). This is just the basics to get you started with forms. If you have further questions, type them in the comment section. Also, let us know how you might use forms in your teaching or professional work. Remember, you don't have to embed a form in a blog post or website to send it to respondents. You can send the URL, but if doing so, it is a good idea to  shorten the URL by using a site such as Google URL Shortener (see above).

Remember to complete the survey, you will need to use the scroll bar alongside the survey. If you were to send the form to someone, this would not be necessary. The respondent would see the whole form. I am inserting a link here for you to see the form in full. To do so, I copied the URL for the form in full, and using that URL, typed text and used the Link option in Blogger to make a hyperlink to that URL. Ice Cream Survey. However, for convenience, the option to embed a form right into a blog post, as done here, makes the process more immediate for the reader/viewer.

Here is a quick YouTube tutorial that reviews some of these basics.

Remember if you have lingering questions, use the comment feature, and also let us know how you might use Google Forms in the future. If you have already used Google Forms, share how you have used it with students or professionals.