Google Forms – A Teacher’s Digital Swiss Army Knife

Google Forms is a free tool that comes with your Google account. Forms can be used for a variety of different educational purposes, making it the perfect edtech utility tool for educators.


Google Forms allows the user to create quick surveys that can be shared via email, social media apps like Twitter and Facebook or embedded in a website. Setting up a Google Form is intuitive and easy which allows for quick survey creation and real-time data collection and analysis.

Getting Started

If you already have a Google account most of your setup work is already complete. If you do not have a Google account you will have to sign up for an account. If you have an account already simply log in and navigate to From there, click the “New” button, then select “More” and finally “Google Forms”. The following video does a great job of walking you through the process.

Teaching Ideas

Diagnostic Assessments (General)

Google Forms allow you to create quick diagnostic assessments that can be used at the beginning of your lesson. The results of your diagnostic questions can be analyzed in real-time, which you can view either as a summary (charts and graphs) or as a spreadsheet. These kinds of diagnostic activities could be modified slightly to be a lesson summary activity as well.

Peer Evaluations (General)

Creating a form for peer evaluations is made possible by selecting the “Multiple choice grid” and placing all of the criteria you want students to assess each other on in the appropriate row.  The score the student assigns to their peer(s) will be selected with a check in the appropriate column.  There is also a question type that allows for linear scale questions which might be preferred as they can be followed up with a short answer question asking the student for a rationale for the mark they awarded.

Rubrics (General)

Instead of creating rubrics in a word processor, try using a Google Form.  Creating your rubric as a Form allows you to easily grade student work on any device that has access to the Internet. Once you have finished assessing the student work you can quickly copy the feedback for each student and share it with them.

  • Example of a Google Forms rubric

Helpful Resources

Getting Started with Forms

A quick introduction to using Google Forms.

Practical ways to use Google Forms

Matt Miller from DitchthatTextbook lists 20 practical ways educators can use Google Forms.

Google Forms Add-ons

Some of the best Google Forms and Google Sheets add-ons for teachers.


Google Forms is free of cost. The only requirement is that you must have a Google account to create a Form, you do not have to have a Google account to respond to a form. The only other requirement for Google Forms is that you need an internet connection. If you think you are going to be in a location where connectivity is an issue, you may want to have your students fill out the Form(s) prior to coming to class. As of the publication date of this post, there is no paid version of Google Forms.

Author: David Swerdfeger



David Swerdfeger is an eLearning Content Developer for the Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment at Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario Canada.  David also works as a part-time professor of mathematics and communications for the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and the School of Skilled Trades, Apprentices and Renewable Technologies at Durham College.  David has been working in the field of education since 2010 and enjoys integrating the right pieces of technology into his teaching practice.

One thought on “Google Forms – A Teacher’s Digital Swiss Army Knife”

  1. Great post. I am extremely intrigued by the use of Google Forms for simplification of Rubrics and assessing on any device. If only it would connect to my current grade book….
    Thanks for a very useful review of a great classroom resource.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s