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Jayne Miller By Jayne Miller • January 4, 2016

Creating Self-Grading Quizzes and Other Must-Watch Google Forms Tutorials


Google Forms are a free survey tool included within the Google Apps for Education suite. We know many of our users leverage these forms in the classroom to survey students and create self-grading quizzes.

Today we’re covering basic how-tos for users who are creating surveys and quizzes for the first time. We’re also sharing a few ideas for using forms in new and interesting ways.

(And quick reminder - you can always lean on Chalkup for real-time polling of your class. Here’s a refresher on how to do that.)

The Basics

Never created a Google Form? That’s okay. The best and most straight-forward tutorial comes straight out of Google.

Forms were made to solicit feedback. Let's start by covering the situations in which you’d want to do that, including a few that perhaps you haven’t considered yet:

Course Survey/Department Survey - Forms are ideal for collecting information on how students are feeling about your course, where they’re getting stuck, opinions on associated edtech, etc. We also got a great recommendation from professors who use Google Forms for students to rate guest lecturers.

And forms aren’t limited to the classroom. They’re also a tool worth considering before your next faculty or department meeting. Really into these ideas from the folks at Google Apps for Work.

Control Where Responses Go - Once you master basic form creation, you can step up the way you organize responses.

When creating a form, Google will create a new spreadsheet to house responses. You’ll also have the option to send responses to a pre-existing spreadsheet, allowing you to send course surveys or quizzes into master planning or survey documents. (Here’s how to do that.)

Forms as Quizzes - Forms are attractive to educators because it's possible to use them for quizzes. Before we give you an overview of how to do this, we must recommend these quiz add-ons that harness the power of Google Forms. They make it a little easier to set up the quiz of your dreams. 100% recommend. 

If you're going to set up a self-grading Google Forms quiz without any extenstions or scripts, here's an overview of what you'll need to do:

  1. Create a new form.

  2. Add your questions. (Recommend making some required, like a student's name.)

  3. Save the awesomeness you just created.

  4. Take the test to create an answer key.

  5. This is the admittedly complicated part. Copy your correct answers into a new tab and build a grading formula using the correct answers. Google Sheets can help you here. You want your formula to communicate that if the contents of a response in your first sheet equals the answer found in your answer key, a certain amount of points should be awarded. If not, a zero should be recorded. 

This video does a nice job explaining how to build your formula:

For more of the nitty gritty, we really liked this tutorial. And we found a few quiz templates you might want to peruse.

UPDATE: Now, you can use the newly released update to Google Forms which adds the ability to create quizzes with an answer key right inside your form without any add-ons. Check out our full tutorial here.

Next-Level Google Form-ing


Give Students Choice, Use Forms As Reading Log - For lessons that aim to give students freedom to choose what they’d like to read or research, Google Forms can track who has chosen what.

For example, a reading log form is a place a student could record what novels he or she has chosen for an assignment in which a student may select a book of choice. (Here's a template for that!)

Or one of your Google Forms could serve as a log for what articles, blog posts, or podcasts students are consuming. (This idea came to us from the Twitterverse - users had lots of positive things to say about using forms as logs.)


Students Build the Quizzes - Quick study idea. Students build the quizzes and swap several times before a big exam. It’s one way to build in test prep into your lesson.

The Assignment is to Improve the Quiz - Have students think about what they should be taking away from a lesson. What is it important to understand or express in an assessment? An interesting way to push students is to design a quiz in Google Forms that is perhaps lacking in material covered or employs questions that miss nuances from your course discussions.

Next, ask your students to edit/improve the quiz. What is missing? What should an assessment ask a student to do that the original does not?

Pre and Post-Assignment Tickets - When a lesson is complete, is there a process in place to assess how students felt about a unit? Do they think they learned a lot? Are they leaving the lesson confused? Do they think it’s knowledge they will retain? Why or why not? Going into the next unit, are they nervous or excited about anything? 

Forms to the rescue. Here's a look at how one teacher uses Google Forms to craft exit tickets for her classoom. 


Getting Googly With It