At a Glance

What is it?
With Google Forms, a tool in the Google Docs suite, teachers can create a wide variety of online surveys and quizzes.

About the Author

Diana Laufenberg has taught grade levels from 7 – 12 in Social Studies. She currently teaches at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on modern learning. She has also taught in Flagstaff, AZ, and was named Technology Teacher of the Year for Arizona and a member of the Governor's Master Teacher Corps. Her work has been published in, among other places, the New York Times Learning blog.

Google Forms

The Google suite of tools holds a number of free educational goldmines. In my classroom practice, Google Forms has become an indispensible tool for curricular application, classroom management, and work flow assistance. A form can be created, customized, and shared with students quickly and easily.

Getting Started

If you do not have an account with Google, you will need to register to set up a free account.

  1. Once you are logged into Google, click on “Docs.”
  2. Click on “Create New → Form”
  3. Enter the questions you would like to have answered. You can choose to collect information in multiple formats: text, paragraph text, multiple choice, checkboxes, select from a list, scale, or grid.
  4. For each new item, click “Add Item” at the top left.
  5. In addition, you can select a theme from a plethora of options.
  6. When you have finished the form, copy and paste the link found at the bottom of the page.

The responses will populate a corresponding spreadsheet in your Google Docs list and can then be sorted by question. A form can be used to simplify and coordinate basically any function where you need to collect student responses or information. The customizable backgrounds and range of question types allow for personalization of the forms. I am discovering new and interesting ways to use forms all the time in my classroom, and it has become a tool that I implement frequently.


At the beginning of the school year I use a Google Form to collect contact information for the students, including book numbers, email addresses, and parent names. The answers are then always accessible online whether I am at home or at school. We even created a contact form for the staff.

A second instance where I use Google Forms in the classroom is for self-assessment. During American Government, we completed a project called Story of a Bill. At the end of the project, I needed to find a quick way to collect the student assessment of their work. The form proved to be a quick and efficient manner of completing that goal.

For an advanced challenge, many teachers are using Google Forms to set up self-grading quizzes. Although I do not use this function in my classroom practice, there are a number of teachers who are finding it quite useful. For good resources and templates for the quiz function, visit Kern Kelly’s page from the Google Teacher Academy. Scroll down to the screencast and then the section on Form Templates.

For more information

If Google Forms isn't enough for you, check out our entry on Survey Monkey, another online tool for creating and administering forms and surveys.
10 minute video of how Google Apps work for the K-12 classroom.