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Technology in the Classroom: Google Forms for Quizzes

Jordan Catapano

Google Forms has consistently been a fantastic technology in the classroom tool for teachers to quickly gather data about what students know, like, or need. Recently, Google created a “Quiz” feature that allows teachers to turn their form into a self-grading quiz. Here are the basics on how to use Google Forms as a technology in the classroom quiz tool and what you can get out of it.

Technology in the Classroom: Getting Started

First, open a new Google Form and click on the Settings tab at the top right. You may need to log in. In the Settings box, click on the “Quizzes” tab and check “Make this a quiz.” Now you’re ready to go!

Below that you’ll also see other options for when students can see their grades and what other details they can view. Consider what you’d like students to see and check the boxes accordingly.

Remember as you get started that everything you make can be changed later, so don’t feel anxious about making some irreversible error. You can update the settings, the theme, the questions, and the answers at any point in the future.

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Creating Your Quiz

If you’re familiar with using Google Forms, then creating a quiz is very simple. You can create your form in much the same way you have before … but with a quiz you can identify which answers are correct and Google will grade it for you. Here’s what to do:

First, compose your questions like you normally would for a quiz. The formats for questions and answers you can use are text boxes, multiple-choice questions, check boxes, and drop-down answers. Short and paragraph answer textboxes allow students to submit written answers; the last three types are pretty similar to one another, although dropdown answers only allows one answer choice to be correct.

Make sure that you check the “Required” marker at the bottom right of each question – this makes sure that students answer the question and cannot skip it.

Once you compose one question and set of answers, all you have to do is press the “Plus” (+) sign on the right to add your next question. Then select your format and you’re all set to write your next quiz item.

Google Form quizzes also allow teachers to insert descriptions, images, and videos to their questions. A teacher can pull images and videos just by adding a link; for example you can find a YouTube clip and insert that into your quiz. These are the types of features that make Google Forms and other digital quiz tools much more dynamic than traditional paper-and-pencil quizzes.

Teachers can also break the test down into multiple sections and pages, which allows for useful formatting and organization features.

You’ll notice you have other questions formats available, such as Linear Scale, Multiple-Choice Grid, Date, and Time. These question formats do NOT allow for a specific answer to be identified and will not self-score. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them on your quiz, it just means they can’t be counted for points.

So compose your quiz simply by typing in questions and creating the answer choices you want to engage your students with!

Adding an Answer Key

After you compose your questions and answer options, it’s time to make your answer key. Google also make this extremely easy. Underneath each question you’ll see “Answer Key” in blue letters. Click on this.

When you open the Answer Key, the form lets you click on the answer or answers you’d like to identify as correct. Click on the correct answer(s), then identify the number of points you’d like to make the question worth. You can make each question worth anywhere from 0 to 999,999 points.

Identify the correct answer(s) and point value for each question on your quiz. Then you’re ready to give it!

Remember that you cannot assign a specific answer for textboxes, but you can manually review the quizzes once they’re submitted.

Giving and Scoring Your Quiz

All you have to do is give students the link to the quiz, just like you would with any Google Form. Make sure that you go through the Settings tab and mark the options that best fit what you want students to do or see.

Also, it’s helpful to start your quiz by including a “Name” question at the very beginning. Select the “Short Answer” format option, and ask students to write their name. You can also collect each respondent’s email address if you select that option in the Settings tab.

All students have to do is answer the questions like they would on an ordinary quiz. Once a student presses “Submit” at the end of the question, Google will automatically grade the quiz based on the answers and point values you input. Depending on your settings, students may be able to see their scores immediately after they take it.

Once all your students take the quiz, you will need to go through the results and update the grades to your grade book if you want to use this for part of their grade.

Regardless of counting the quiz as part of students’ grades or not, my favorite feature of Google Forms is the way it automatically breaks down information for you. Click the “Responses” tab and you’ll immediately see the overall class totals question by question. This gives you and your students fantastic information regarding their performance and understanding of each question. Not only will the Google Form give you the totals, but it represents the information in easy-to-understand charts and graphs. It really it amazing!

You can choose to look at a class “Summary” of results, or you can view the “Individual” tab to look at students’ quizzes one by one. If you want to manually grade quizzes, then you’ll need to click the “Individual” tab under the responses option.

Google Forms will automatically grade multiple-choice, checkboxes, and dropdown question formats. You will need to manually grade any textbox answers or other answer formats. Right now, unfortunately, Google Forms does NOT offer a way for users to enter feedback for any of the answers. This may become available in subsequent updates, but for now teachers will need to find some other way to provide feedback for any student answers.

Streamlined Functionality and Results

You can share your quizzes with students via email, through your LMS, or even through Google Classroom. In fact, one of the previous shortcomings of Google Classroom was that it lacked a quiz format that teachers could easily integrate, but this boost to Google Forms now allows teachers an easy way to create, share, and score quizzes entirely via Google.

As with any digital autoscoring quiz platform, the Google Form quiz saves both teachers and students time by immediately giving scores. Teachers don’t have to spend time scoring quizzes, and they don’t have to spend time processing the class results. Google does the work, and teachers can begin analyzing the results immediately and make adjustments to their instruction as necessary.

Google Forms will continue to develop its quiz features to make it easier for both students and teachers to take advantage of. If you have created Google Forms before, you now have one more way to make the most of this tool. If you have not used Google Forms before, making quizzes is the perfect opportunity to see how streamlined and user-friendly the tool has become.

If you’re looking for more detailed tutorials to help guide you through the process, check out this (slightly outdated but still helpful) step-by-step guide, or this more recent screencast that will walk you through the process. Good luck!

Have you used Google Forms to make quizzes? Share your thoughts on how teachers can best use this tool in their classroom with our TeachHUB.com community!

Jordan Catapano is a high school English teacher in a Chicago suburb. In addition to being National Board Certificated and head of his school’s Instructional Development Committee, he also has worked with the Illinois Association of Teachers of English and has experience as a school board member for a private school. You can follow him on Twitter at @BuffEnglish, or visit his website www.jordancatapano.us.

JuliusKielaitis / Shutterstock.com