Google Forms is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to gather information. Whether it’s assigning book clubs or collecting mock election nominations, Google Forms gives teachers the ability to sort through large groups of data without having to fumble through pesky paper stacks.
A simple way you can use Google Forms to make your life easier is by collecting information from parents at the beginning of the year.
What’s the best time and method to contact them? How involved are they in their child’s education? What do they want you to know about their child? You can gather all of this information and more, and the results are easily accessible from anywhere at any time.
To create a Google Form, simply go to www.forms.google.com. You can choose a template or start from scratch.
From there, you can create your questions by clicking the little circle with the plus sign to the right.
Start with the student’s basic information. I like to have a separate question for First Name and Last Name — this makes it easier to sort the Google Sheet alphabetically by last name. If you teach multiple hours, you’ll want to include that as a multiple choice question.
You’ll notice that Google Forms will automatically adjust the answer type depending on the type of question it detects. You can change this by clicking on the drop-down menu.
Next, you can enter the rest of your questions. Here are some questions ideas to get you started:
- What is the most important thing you want me to know about your child?
- Has your child had any academic difficulties in the past that you want me to know about?
- Has your child had any social difficulties in the past that you you want me to know about?
- How does your child learn best?
- What is your child passionate about?
- What is your child’s favorite subject?
- On a scale of 1-5, how much does your child enjoy reading?
It’s best to include a combination of question types (short answer, multiple choice, linear scale, etc). so you’re not asking parents to write you a novel. You’re more likely to get responses back if your survey looks quick and easy to complete.
To send out your survey, double check the settings (the little gear icon next to SEND). If you’re on a school Google account, sometimes it’ll default to requiring a district sign in to complete the form. Simply uncheck this option so that the survey is accessible to anyone with the link.
Then, share the survey clicking SEND. You have three options: Send via email, via link, or via embedded HTML. If you have a class website, you may want to choose the embedded HTML option to post on your page. If you’re not sure what that means, it’s probably best to choose one of the other options.
Personally, I like to grab the shareable link and send it out in a message through our district’s management system.
Once the responses come in, you can view them from the Responses tab or send them to a Google Sheet by clicking the little green icon on the right.
And that’s all there is to it. Now you don’t have to worry about sorting, filing, or (gasp!) losing all those paper forms this year. Google Forms for the win!
(Psst – if you’re looking for an already completed form, you can grab mine by signing up for my email list here.)