Collecting data using forms

Posted on September 11th, 2009 by

Throughout the semester, it is sometimes useful to survey your students’ knowledge or familiarity with a particular subject.  For example, you could find out about their familiarity with Excel or see how frequently they have used the PsychInfo database at the library.  You can do this by visiting your Gustavus Google account (if you have never used your account, you will first see a registration page before your Gustavus Google Calendar loads), selecting “Documents” from the menu bar at the top left, and then creating a new “Form”.  Pictured below is an example survey I made inquiring about software.

Survey Input

As people take the survey, you can view quick data summaries for each question.  As you can see in the screenshots below, most students are comfortable calculating averages in Excel, but not many students have ever used Excel pivot tables.

Excel Averages

Excel Pivot Tables

If you need to do fancier data summaries or actual statistics, you can export your survey data into an Excel file (or other spreadsheet equivalents).



  1. Sean Cobb says:

    I tried this out and I love it. It was amazingly easy and I think it helps me and my students. My students know what to focus on and what I consider important. And I can tailor my lessons to address what the students feel less comfortable and certain about.

    I know that you can construct knowledge surveys with Moodle, and there was a visit from a professor last year who talked about combining Bloom’s taxonomies with the knowledge surveys on Moodle. But I find the Google Document forms much more intuitive and easier to use. With a Google Doc form, using knowledge surveys is not purely a pipe dream.

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