I’m sitting here with Kevin Willson, and we are talking about Google Forms. Many of you have already discovered the many ways that this technology can save you time and hassle. Just remember this one very important thing: You have to uncheck the box at the top of the form as you are creating it. It looks like this:
Our apologies that we can’t make “unchecked” the default setting. This setting is on Google’s end, and it is beyond our control. Some districts configure their Google Apps domains so that this feature actually collects student log-in information. At York Suburban, for various “techie” reasons, we decided to create two domains (one for teachers and one for students). We gain a lot with this configuration, but alas — this feature in Google forms will not work. We suspect that Google will come up with a solution at some point, but for now, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
If you forget to uncheck the box, you’ll hear about it soon enough. Your students will get to a log-in page when they click on your link to the form, but Google will not accept their log-in. You’ll soon hear cries of “This isn’t working! I can’t get in! This thing is broken!” If this happens, just go into your spreadsheet, select “Form” in the menu bar, then “Edit Form” and then uncheck that box and save. Ask the students to refresh their browsers and try again — it will then work.
So, you’ve committed this pesky little reality to memory. So, why and when would you use a Google Form?
- To collect contact info on the first day of school/semester
- To assess student understanding in self-grading homework (my daughter did math HW this way last year)
- To quiz students as a bell ringer or ticket out the door
- To collect book numbers
- To review — students can create forms and share them with each other or the whole class
- To track progress in a struggling student
- To poll students on their preferences for a project
- Etc. etc. etc.!
Please remember that you don’t need to sign out an entire computer cart to use Google Forms regularly in your classroom. If you place the link in Moodle (or even embed the actual form IN Moodle), you can assign the work to be completed outside of class. Just remember to give more than one night for the students to access a computer. You can also provide “stations” in the room and allow kids to rotate through the Google Form station.
If you are interested in getting started and would like some help the first time around, just ask!