DAILY INSIGHT: Administrators learn from others through Google Forms

By Harry Tuttle, CIO Advisor

Superintendents and other central office people often need to find out information or collect real-time data and opinions. Likewise, a building principal might want to survey the views of his/her staff. He/she may be looking for alternative ways of solving a possible school problem. When administrators receive suggestions, opinions, etc., from others and have up-to-the-minute data, they can make wiser decisions. An easy way to quickly get information from others is through Google Forms.

You just need a Google email and then you can create a Google Form.

Go to Documents on the Google menu bar.

Click on New.

Click on Form.

Type in the title of the form, such as Hall Problem.

Add in any directions.

Select from several type of questions. Can use as many different types, each in a different question. Those questions that allow for a specific answer (multiple choice, checkboxes, choose from a lists, scale, and grid) can automatically analyze the number of responses for each choice. If you include numerical or very short answers, people can answer these from their smartphones.

Text – short phrases or a short sentence
Paragraph – longer answers such as multiple sentences
Multiple choice (select one of the answers)
Checkboxes (select one or more of the answers)
Choose from a list
Scale rate something on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10
Grid rate a series of items on a scale of 1-5

Remember to click on “Makes this a required question” if the survey takers have to answer the question.

Move any question up and down by clicking on it, holding down on it, and moving it up or down.

Click on Save.

Go to Forms, Edit and copy the url (http://..). at the bottom of the page. Email that url to the people you want to take the survey or take that long URL and shorten it using bit.ly so that people can type it directly in their smartphone or tablet. Be specific about when the closing date is for taking the survey.

To see the results, go to Forms – Show Summary of responses. The numerical answers will be a graph form. The text answers for any question will be grouped together.

For administrators that want real-time data at a meeting, get the URL of the form, shorten it using bit.ly, and display that shortened URL at a meeting so the people can take the survey right then. Show them the results instantly.

Are you ready to learn from others? Are you ready to make better decisions based on real-time information from others?Harry Tuttle has been a classroom teacher, a technology integration teacher and a director/coordinator of K-12 technology in two districts. He focuses on improving student learning. Check out his formative assessment books at http://bit.ly/Tutbks.

This blog is cross posted at Education with Technology