This functionality has been available on Google Documents for awhile, but this evening I finally took some time to try it for myself. Like commercial survey services like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms (a feature of Google Spreadsheets on Google Docs) now supports branching, or conditional survey questions!

Branching surveys in Google Forms

This means you can ask a question, and route survey participants to different survey pages and questions based on their answers. This is VERY powerful and useful for many purposes. I remember around 2002 helping a doctoral student in our college setup a survey for her dissertation using Dragon Web Surveys and Filemaker Pro. Commercial survey options have been available now for a few years, but those all cost money. A single user license for Dragon Web Surveys with Filemaker lists for $1899 US, and a copy of Filemaker Pro 9 is also required. Web-based survey companies charge far less, usually for a monthly subscription, but the dollars can still add up for these costs.

The price of branching surveys in Google Forms / Google Docs? FREE. 🙂

Among many other things tomorrow at the Google Workshop for Teachers in Austin, I’ll be helping participants learn how to create a self-grading quiz using Google Forms. Lisa Thumann is the lead leader for this workshop, and I’m thrilled to be assisting. This 5 minute YouTube video provides a tutorial on how to create a quiz as a Google Form.

This screencast, which is just under 10 minutes long, not only explains how to create a quiz but also how to make it SELF GRADING. This may sound a little misleading: With this method, students will NOT immediately be able to view the specific questions they got right and wrong. YOU, as the teacher, will be able to make the spreadsheet “grade” (evaluate) all the multiple choice questions in the quiz with this method. To do this, you will be able to copy / fill down simple formulas you create with the IF and AVG functions (just as you would in Excel or another spreadsheet application) once students have submitted their answers so the spreadsheet can grade responses for you. These steps are explained in the screencast!

Hat tip to Sarah Sutter, Alice Barr, Cheryl Oakes and Kern Kelly for including these resource links in their GWE online curriculum on Google Docs for ACTEM09.

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  • Does anyone have an easy way to automatically grade the google quiz? Some programs do this for quizzes. I know we can do If-Then statements but that is fairly complicated for the average teacher.

  • Brandt: Using IF formulas in Google Forms / Spreadsheets is the only way I know of currently to make quizzes self grade. This does take a little effort and learning, but helping teachers understand BASIC spreadsheet functions is a really good thing. Calculation fields epitomize the power of spreadsheets. Self-grading quizzes provide a great context in which we can help other teachers personally experience and begin to understand this power.

  • Google Forms and Docs continue to be very powerful tools, especially from the instructional standpoint. I would just like to put in my plug for LimeSurvey – an open source survey system. I bumped into it using my cPanel with my hosting service (Bluehost), and have found it to be extremely powerful for my needs, and I get to have it under my domain (In my case, http://surveys.labanca.net). I use it primarily for data collection for research projects, but I also use it for my applied research class when they complete their monthly meeting with me. I require them to do a self evaluation – the LimeSurvey system works great.

  • Here is the link to a complete video on creating self-grading quizzes with Google Forms since the one provided cuts off. I too used that video until getting this link from the video creator. Here is the screen-o-matic.com link: http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cjXeqwnDe

  • Joe

    Google Forms is a great way to collect survey data that before would have required a commercial tool, but I find Google Spreadsheets to be lacking on the analysis-side. Being able to quickly make a graph of my data and see the trends in the data easily would make Google Forms more useful especially with large surveys.

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