If you’ve been around me for long you know that Google Forms are one of my favorite digital tools.
They were started back in 2008 and I started using them in my teaching not long after that — they are one of my favorites, so I want to give you a quick tutorial.
There is no way for me to provide detailed tutorial in this blog post, so I’ll hit some of the highlights and offer a webinar for those who want to learn how to use these tools.
You might be wondering why I included both Google Forms and Google Sheets in the image above. Well, as far as I’m concerned these two are really one tool.
Whenever I create a form, I link it to a sheet so that I can organize, sort, and collate the information gathered. One click and the sheet is created for the form … just that easy.
Accessing Forms & Sheets
In order to create a Google Form you’ll need a Google account. Logging in will take you to your Gmail account. Click on the 3×3 dots in the upper right corner by your picture (or the blank icon if you haven’t added a picture).
Scroll down until you find the Drive icon and click on it.
Click on the NEW button, then click on the Google Forms icon.
Type in a name – either in the upper left corner where it says Untitled form … or on the first line of the form where it also says Untitled form.
You’re ready to create!
Basic Question Types
Here are the types of questions that you can choose from. Short answer provide smaller text boxes for filling in, while Paragraph are best for longer responses.
Multiple choice and Dropdown allow only one answer, while Checkboxes enable more than one choice.
You can request a file upload in your form. Maybe you want people to submit a picture or resumé as part of your form. Lots of options for this question.
Multiple choice grids and checkbox grids will give you information as it relates to multiple factors.
By the way, don’t worry about saving, the form will automatically save every few seconds … as long as you’re connected to the Internet.
Pretty It Up
There are a variety of themes, colors, and images that you can choose from. I try to choose a theme that goes with the purpose of the form.
For example, when I send a form during the fall I might choose a volleyball theme; if it’s for teaching/learning, I’ll pick a book or library theme.
I have to admit, sometimes it takes me longer to choose the theme than to create the form itself! 🙂 To choose a theme, click on the palette icon in the upper right, near the VIEW button.
You can also upload your own header image. I put my company logo at the top.
- Click on Choose image
- Upload your image
Notice in the image below that it changes the theme and background colors to match your image!!
Connecting the Form to a Google Sheet
Follow these three steps to link your form to a sheet:
- Click Responses
- Click on the Google Sheets icon. Choose “Create a new spreadsheet” when the little window pops up.
- Make sure the toggle says Accepting responses
Now you have a spreadsheet with all the fields of the form filled in. In addition, there’s a time stamp for each submission.
This helps you keep track of when people started filling out the form and when they stopped.
Sharing Your Form
There are several ways to share the form. As can you see in this screen shot, you can send an invitation by email, click on the link to get the URL, or click on the brackets to get the embed code.
Notice that you can also add collaborators – a common feature in all of the Google tools.
Preview Your Form
Take a look by clicking on the eye next to the palette in the upper right corner of the page.
Send Your Form
There are several ways to share the form: email, link, embed, Facebook post, & Twitter post.
I normally use the link. I’ll email it, post it in social media, or put it on my website.
You can shorten the long URL by clicking the box OR you can use another URL shortener like bitly or tinyurl.
Check it Out!
Go to this form I created and you’ll see each of the question types.
Notice, too, that I used the tinyurl URL shortener: https://tinyurl.com/formsforme