Using Google Docs for student surveys and quizzes

If you’re interested in using Google Docs to create surveys or quizzes, I thought I’d post some helpful information here, since I’m sharing it with some colleagues as well. Here’s a (very un-edited) screencast of me explaining how to use Google Docs to create forms for quizzes and surveys, and below that are some typed directions. So if you watch, you get to hear my nasally voice recorded and how many times I say “um” in less than seven minutes. There are also a few glitches in the audio. These resources are probably available elsewhere, but I thought I’d have some fun creating them:

Here’s the survey I had my students take this week:

The survey asks questions related to computer usage because my students will be using the iPad (and, for instance, I wanted to know if they owned a computer or have experience with similar devices like the iPhone or iPod Touch). The last question (about Twitter and AIM) was purely curiosity.

Here’s the quiz I administered today:

How this works:

1. Log into Google Docs with a google account (if you don’t have one, it’s easy to set up)

2. Go to “Create New” (the drop down menu on the left side) and select “Form”

3. Give your form a title (e.g., “Quiz over Chapter 1”) and description if you want. Enter as many questions as you desire. Each question has a title (this is where I usually put the question) and help text (which isn’t necessary). Questions can be in the form of text (a very small box they enter text in), a paragraph of text, multiple choice, checkboxes (for multiple answers), or a drop down list (choose from list).

4. I suggest making your first question: Name. (I almost forgot to do this.) If you want to reorder questions, you can drag the questions up and down in the form editing tool.

5. Email form (a button toward the top of the editing page): you can email this form to anybody you want. What I did: I emailed it to myself, so that I had the link for the form in my inbox. Then, about a minute before class, from the podium, I copied the URL from my email and pasted it into an email to my students through ANGEL.

6. Once students have completed the survey or quiz, you can go to, click on the appropriate file name, and then go to File—>Download as–>Excel File (within the webpage). Then you have an excel file with everyone’s answers that you can easily browse through to summarize or grade.

7. Another cool feature: if you’re still in the spreadsheet file in Google Docs, and you used multiple choice answers, you can get a few info-graphics on the responses. Go to Form–>Show summary of Responses. A window will pop up with a summary of the responses, but the most useful one to me is seeing how people answered multiple choice questions, in pie chart form (this gave me a quick view: ah, all but two got that the revision in question 4 was about conciseness).

I hope these directions are clear and helpful.

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