Google Forms are an efficient, simple way to collect data. Some teachers use it to record data on themselves (i.e. a record of travel, self evaluation, or what I had for dinner last night). Others distribute forms to their colleagues to collect information about a training session, workload, what they had for dinner last night, etc... But most teachers use Google Forms to obtain data from their students. Some ask their kids what their next read aloud book should be. Some administer short formative assessments with Forms. And still others gather their student's thoughts and the best lunches from the cafeteria. Phew, maybe I should not have written this on an empty stomach!
Google has just announced that developers can start creating Add-Ons to Google Forms to further increase their flexibility and functionality. For instance, one of the first Add-Ons is called g(Math), and it can be used to embed mathematical expressions, graphs, or statistical models into a Google Form.
If you're a math teacher who has wanted to use Google Forms but found the lack of an equation editor a sticking point, this is the Add-On for you! More information about g(Math) can be found here.
formLimiter is another simple Add-On that performs a useful function that was previously missing from Google Forms. With this tool, you have the ability to limit the date and time that the form is available, as well as the number of responses that the form will accept. A good example of how this can be used is if you want to have a sign up for an activity, but can only allow 45 individuals to attend. formLimiter will close down your form once that limit has been reached. More information about formLimiter can be found here.
docAppender is an intriguing Add-On that allow you to take selected answers from your Google Form and append them to the bottom of Google Documents. Using an example is the best way to illustrate how this could be useful.
Let's say that you want to provide feedback to your students on a project that they are working on. You can share a Google Doc with them (perhaps it has the project rubric on it as well), use a Google Form in class as you observe their work to record your thoughts and observations, and when you submit the Google Form, the answers to your Form questions will be appended automatically to the bottom of the Google Doc that is shared with the kids. And what is great about this method is that you can choose which questions from your form get appended to the Google Doc. That means that you have have questions whose answers remain private to you, only showing up in the responses spreadsheet. Administrators could use this method with walkthroughs. Special Education teachers could use this method to collect data on their students by having each teacher fill in the form and then sharing the resulting Google Document when those who need it (possibly even the student).
Google Forms are incredibly powerful and the addition of Add-Ons will only expand their functionality and range of uses. There are other very exciting Add-Ons that will be discussed in future Teacher's Corner posts. For more details, you can view the official Google post here.