I’d been toying with GoogleForms for a while last year, but didn’t have a lot of success. The link always seemed wrong or the privacy settings weren’t quite right, and I got away from them. But this year, for a number of reasons, the most prominent of which is the 1:1, I decided to return to give them a try and, to be honest, I’m glad I did.

GoogleForms is a quick, efficient way to collect information from students without having to go around to each of them or take time out of class to record it. Here are the ways I’m using them this year (with screenshots):

  • Book Numbers. I teach three English classes, two of which have 8 or so books, so keeping track of those book numbers through the course of the year proved challenging. Now with a simple GoogleForm not only do I have a self-populating spreadsheet with all of my book numbers but the students complete it on their own rather than me taking class time to do it; it’s linked in their CMS. (One note: I had originally created the form with a field for each book, but then realized that students wouldn’t be able to return to their original form as they received books throughout the year, so in the end, rather than having a spreadsheet with [student name] and then [book name] for each book, I’ll have 8 [student name] rows with a title and a book #. Not ideal, but still better than the old way.)
  • Contact Information. As a soccer coach, I’d spend part of the first practice’s stretching session passing a clipboard around and having the team fill out their contact information. I would then type it up and pass it around again to make sure I had read their handwriting correctly. Now, I have a GoogleForm linked to our page on the school’s CMS, and they took care of it on their own. I’m also using a Google form to collect sizes and customization for the t-shirts we’re ordering.

  • Standardized Testing Sign-ups. I’m the Testing Coordinator at school, and this is my first year running PSATs, for which students register themselves with the school (as opposed to SATs for which students register directly with College Board). I’d had some experience with this as AP coordinator and it isn’t efficient (and that’s with the majority of AP takers set by virtue of taking an AP course). I was hoping for a more efficient way to sign students up. GoogleForms did it. Students now go to our testing website (http://www.whstesting.com) and follow the link to a GoogleForm. So far, I have over 160 sign-ups, all organized in a spreadsheet with me doing little other than checking it, answering some questions, and setting the form up. Much more efficient.

I’ve not quite reached the point of using GoogleForms for class; I aspire to that. But to see some nice examples of that, check out this post here.