Google Forms lets you easily create surveys, polls, quizzes, and tests in your Web browser. No special software is required, no saving is required, and multiple people can work together on the same document at the same time.
Google Forms is part of G Suite for Education.

If you're looking for a quick-yet-great way to easily build, deliver, and administer surveys, tests, knowledge checks, bell quizzes, conference registrations, opinion polls, lunch orders, volunteer sign-ups, and a ton more, Google Forms is probably just the thing you've been looking for. (And if not, it's adaptable enough to make it that thing!) Simple to learn but worth the time to master, Forms can be an essential part of any teacher's tool kit.

 

Would You Like to Take a Survey?

Picture of the home screen for Google Forms

 

Gif demonstrating using the Google Apps menu to launch Google FormsThe quickest way to access Google Forms (other than clicking the link above, of course) is probably forms.google.com. As with everything Google, you have a lot of options, so you can also access it from Drive, forms.new, and through the Google apps menu (the nine-dots menu.)

You're gonna have to click the More button on this one, though.

 

Creating and Customizing a New Form

So, you're ready to create your brand-new Form: If you're already in Forms, just click + Blank Picture of the new (blank) form button in Google Forms, or you can choose a template from the Template Gallery to begin with. Google provides some great templates that can help you get started, and there's a metric ton of templates out there on the Interwebs that are just a Google search away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you're in Google Drive, click + New > More > Google Forms > Blank document or From a Template. But dang it, that's a lot of steps, so here's a picture:

 

Gif demonstrating creating a new Form from Google Drive

 

Again, you can always type forms.new in your Web browser to create a brand-new, blank Google Form in one step!

Call me a labeler, but the first thing I like to do when creating a new document is to name it. That's easy enough here, as you simply have to click on the words Untitled form to type a new title.

 

Gif demonstrating naming a Google Form

 

Likewise, you can also click on Form description right under the Form's title to add any additional information you'd like, such as assignment instructions, quiz directions, survey goals, or even a great recipe for one-pot Instapot Greek chicken and rice. (Actually, just send that last one right over to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

 

Gif demonstrating entering a description for a Google Form

 

If you're a style maven ready to venture beyond the defaults, go ahead and click on the pallette button Picture of the palette customization icon in Google Forms  toward the top right of your window for more customization goodness.

 

Picture of the theme options menu in Google Forms

 

Here, you can choose a header image (or upload your own), and change the theme color, font, and background color. (The "background" here refers to everything except for the top portion of your form, where you can insert a photo.)

 

Adding Questions to Your Form

What good is a Form without good questions? A great Google Form has great questions, so let's add some of those. Thankfully, Forms is so intuitive it will only take literally seconds to create nearly any question type. Your newly created Form already has one placeholder question, and we'll start with that. Click on Untitled Question and begin typing your question. Notice that, depending on the wording of your question, Forms' superintelligent AI will attempt to predict and — much like the T-1000 of yore  — adapt and change the question type to match.

 

Gif demonstrating adding a question to a Google Form 

 

 Of course, you can always manually change the question type with the down arrow:

 

 Gif demonstrating changing the question type on a Google Form

 

Picture showing the question types available in Google Forms (also in article text)

Before we start adding response options, let's look at each of your question types here in more detail:

Short Answer: Creates a fill-in-the-blank type response field, best for one or a few words. Also for low-effort short jokes. Seriously, come up with something original, guys.
Paragraph: Like Short Answer, but longer. This is best for responses ranging from a few sentences to short essays.
Multiple Choice: Often referred to as "limited response" or "selected response" by confusing people. This allows multiple options for responses, but limits students' choice to one. 
Checkboxes: This allows you to create a list of many possible responses, and users can choose one or more answers from a list.
Dropdown: Like creating Multiple-Choice questions that have many possible responses to choose from? Are you that teacher who includes "All of the Above," "None of the Above," and "A,B,C, and F, but not D or E" -type delimmas in every question? This is your jam. Like Multiple Choice, users can select exactly one choice, but this time from a drop-down menu. 
File Upload: Students can upload files as responses to your question. Brace yourself: Memes will be coming.
Linear Scale: Creates a range from 1-10 from which students can choose a response. Great for opinion polling.
Multiple-Choice Grid: Here's another great way to include more possible responses to Multiple-Choice questions. This allows your to create rows and columns of answers, and students can select one response per row.
Checkbox Grid: Like the Multiple-Choice Grid, but with checkboxes, and students can select multiple answers per row. 
Date: This is a convienent way to allow students to select a date from a calendar for a response.
Time: Allows students to select a time of day for a response.

 

Picture showing a blank question in Google Forms

 

Like your first question, your first response already has a placeholder. For questions with options for answers (like Multiple Choice), click on Option 1 and type away to create a response.

 

Gif demonstrating adding possible multiple-choice responses to a Google Form

 

Then click on Add option to create more possilbe answers. (ADD "OTHER" is literal, and gives students an the option to select "other" and type in their own responses to your question.)

But wait, there's more! You can add images to your question and/or your individual response options. Look for the Add image button Picture of the Add image button in Google Formson the menu just to the right of the question (you can see it in the gif above).

 

Gif demonstrating adding an image as a response to a question in Google Forms

 

For responses, select the response and you'll see that same button appear on the right side of that response (you can also see it above).

To add a (YouTube) video to your question, click the Add video button Picture of the Add video button in Google Formson the panel to the right of your question.

On that same panel on the right, to add a new question to your form, click the Add question button Picture of the Add question button in Google Forms 

Now, let's check out the bottom area of your question, right below the responses. Here you'll find the Duplicate question button Picture of the duplicate question button in Google Forms which is useful when creating a Form with many simliar questions or responses. You can also delete a question with the Delete question button Picture of the Delete question button in Google Forms, appropriately styled as a trash can. To require users to answer a question before they can submit/complete the form, toggle the Required slider Picture of the required slider in Google Forms on the bottom-right of each question.

As usual, you'll find more options with the More options button Picture of the More options button in Google Formsat the bottom-right of your question field. Depending on the type of question you've selected, you'll see options like the ability to add hints for questions, shuffle answers, and response validation

Back to the top of your question, right in the middle, look for a six-dots icon Picture of the Move button in Google Forms, the Move button

 

Gif demonstrating dragging to reorder questions in Google Forms

 

Click and drag this button to rearrange the order questions appear on your Form. Nice! 

 

Beyond Customizing: Settings for Your Form

To change preferences for your entire Form, look to the top of your screen for your Settings button Picture of the Settings button in Google Forms (the gear icon).

 

Picture of the General Settings menu in Google Forms

 

This opens up a whole host of great options, and you'll want to dive into this before sending out quizzes or surveys to students. Some will be selected by default, such as Collect email addresses and Restrict to users in Weber School District, but you can change most of them. (If you're using Locked Mode, others will be auto-selected for you, like Limit to 1 response — more on that later.) For quizzes, you'll probably want to leave options like Edit after submit off, but you do you here.

 

Picture of the Presentation tab in Google Forms' settings

 

Clicking on the Presentation tab reveals more customization-type settings to personalize your Form.

Show progress bar displays a ... well ... a progress bar on your students' screen as they complete your Form, which can be comforting on those longer, more arduous quizzes.

Shuffle question order is always a favorite to preserve test integrity, and hails the end of days for those trips to the school copy center for different-colored quiz printouts with painstakingly manually created differentially ordered quizzes. Remember those?

Here, under Confirmation message, you can customize the message students receive when they complete your form or quiz from the default, "Your response has been recorded" to something more your style, like "Great work! See me if you have questions!" or "Your fate will soon be determined. Prepare yourself." You can also include a link to something useful, like cool (wait for it: Setting up a pun here) additional information about the topic you're studying, in your confirmation message, which will be displayed as a URL such as this one right here: https://www.alpacaprojects.com/inferno/en/ 

 

Picture of the Quizzes tab in Google Forms 

 

The Quizzes tab may become your favorite. Clicking the Make this a quiz toggle sets up auto grading and point values for each question, and opens up all the options here.

Locked mode on Chromebooks keeps students all on the same page, literally (they won't be able to open other browser tabs or applications until they complete the form), but only if they're using a WSD-issued Chromebook (good thing we have a few of those!) Don't let the beta tag spook you; this feature works great! (Also, most of G Suite was in "beta" for five years after its public release, when more than 100 million people were already using it, so there's that.)

Sharing and Sending Your Google Form

G Suite is all about sharing and sending, and Google Forms makes both of these incredibly easy.

Important distinction here: with Forms:

  • Sharing means "adding collaborators," people who can edit the questions and content of your Form. Generally, this is with other editing teachers.
  • Sending means "publishing," i.e. distributing your finished form or quiz (usually send it to students) so they can answer your questions and take your quizzes. 

 

Gif demonstrating clicking the More options button to add collaborators to a Google Form

Cool. With that said, to share your form with your colleagues, so they can either contribute to or copy your Form for their use, click on the More options button Picture of the More options button in Google Forms  on the upper-right-hand corner of your document, right next to that gorgeous staff photo of you (seriously, you look great today!) and select Add collaborators

 Picture of the Sharing settings screen in Google Forms 

In the Sharing settings screen that appears, enter the email addresses of people you'd like to invite to edit your Form (again, this isn't the way you want to send the form to students).

 

Ready for prime time? Before sending your form (or quiz) out to students, you can see what it will look like on their end by clicking the Preview button Picture of the Preview button in Google Forms  (it's at the tip of your screen, right next to the Settings button from earlier).

 

Picture of the Preview Form screen for Google Forms

 

When you're satisfied that your masterpiece Google Form looks as good on the outside as it does on the inside, click the Edit button Picture of the Edit button in Google Forms to return to editing. 

To send your form (to students or whoever you're collecting responses from), click the Send button Picture of the Send button in Google Forms promininently placed at the top right of your screen. You can send Google Forms via Google Classroom, email, social media, link sharing, or you can even embed your form in a Web page. Also, you can customize the invitation your recipients will receive as well. So many options!

 

Collecting and Reviewing Your Form's Responses

 

Picture of the Responses screen for Google Forms

 

It's been there the entire time, but you might not have noticed it until now: the Reponses tab. (You've been in the Questions tab up until now.) Go ahead and click on Responses to see the myriad responses you've received on your Form so far.

 

Gif demonstrating scanning through a summary of responses in Google Forms

 

You can view a summary of all the responses to your questions here, and you can also drill down to individual answers as well.

 

Gif demonstrating turning off responses in a  Google Forms

 

Toggle the Accepting responses switch to close your Form if you'd like, and you can customize the message people will see if your Form is closed. 

 

Gif demonstrating creating a new spreadsheet for responses in Google Forms

 

Click the Create Spreadsheet button Picture of the Create Spreadsheet button in Google Forms to either create a new Sheets document with your Form's responses, or to add those responses to an existing spreadsheet.

 

Picture of the More options for Responses screen for Google Forms

 

As usual, clicking More options Picture of the More options button in Google Forms gives you, well, more options. Here you can unlink your Form from a spreadsheet, change the response destination, export your responses to a .csv file, or just delete all the responses to your Form.

 

... And that's it for this episode of Google Forms. Stay tuned for next time, when we digitize the Electoral College. See you then!

 

 

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