Google Forms is an often overlooked product in the Google Apps Suite. I can see why, who likes to spend their time filling out surveys? But as is the case with most Google Apps products, Google Forms is capable of more than meets the eye. We put together five of our favorite outside-the-box uses for Google Forms that should be implemented at every school (and even most businesses).
If you are using Google Forms solely as a survey tool then you are missing out. With a little creativity, Forms can be used as grading rubrics, quizzes, student election ballots, job applications, and order forms with custom email confirmations. The possibilities are vast, but pay close attention, because each use case requires its own configuration.
1. Quickly grade assignments using a Google Forms grading rubric
Teachers can use Google Forms as a quick and easy way to grade assignments, ensuring grades are neatly organized in a spreadsheet automatically.
First make sure the option “Only allow one response per person” is NOT checked so you can fill out the Form for multiple student assignments.
I recommend adding ‘Student Name’ as a Form field, this makes it easy to associate grades with their respective students.
Lastly, check the box that says “Show link to submit another response”. This provides a faster way to access the Form again, and makes grading the next student even easier.
2. Create a cheat-proof quiz or exam
While Google Forms makes it a breeze to distribute quizzes and exams, we all know there are concerns about academic misconduct. The Form results page will actually track submission times, which makes it easy to see how long it took each student to complete their quiz. With all the submissions in a spreadsheet, you can quickly scan for students with suspiciously similar answers.
Tracking each quiz back to the correct student is crucial, and it’s easily accomplished by requiring students to login with their school account to view the Form. I also recommend limiting submissions to one per person and shuffling the order of the questions to hinder academic dishonesty.
To ensure every student gets a uniquely ordered quiz, go into advanced options for each question and shuffle the answer selections as well.
3. Show live results for student elections
Class Elections teach students about campaigning, responsibility, and leadership at an early age, but running a class election can be difficult if you are collecting paper ballots in an old shoebox. Google Forms takes the headache out of tallying votes and recording nominations.
Automatically record the email address of each voter and limit votes to one per person, guaranteeing a fair election.
Setting the Form to show a link to Form results will enable students to view live election results immediately after they cast their vote.
4. Add clarity to an application process
“Applying to jobs is easy and clear!”, said no one ever. Use Google Forms to efficiently create and distribute easy to understand applications for clubs and positions. After applications are submitted, you can accurately compare applicants in the Form results spreadsheet.
Edit the Form settings to display a progress bar that shows how far along the applicant is in the Form. This will add some much needed transparency to the application process.
No one will fill out an application if they don’t know where to find it.To link directly to the application Form from the position posting, click “Send Form” and copy the share link, then post it on the website where the position is advertised.
5. Send customized ‘thank you’ emails when receiving fundraiser donations
Whether you are selling t-shirts for a fundraiser or tickets to an upcoming school play, order forms are used by schools as much as they are used by businesses. Google Forms makes it easy to track your incoming orders and go the extra mile by sending a customized auto-response email. This email lets the customer know their order has been recorded and the personal touch will remind them that their business is appreciated.