Google Forms interface

Previous step: Questionnaire

You are allowed to use a digital form such as a Google Form to create your Phase 2 questionnaire. Be careful to “self-mark” to ensure that you fulfil all the requirements of the PAT. To do this, unfortunately at this stage, you must still create a form in Microsoft Word as per the requirements and then recreate it digitally as a Google Form.

In this post:

  1. Creating a new Google Form
  2. Setting up your Form
  3. Adding questions
  4. Form settings
  5. Fulfilling the PAT requirements
  6. Distributing your Questionnaire
  7. Viewing responses
  8. Changing questions
  9. Downloading your data

With current COVID regulations, using a Google Form is undoubtedly the smart choice!

1. Creating a new Google Form

Navigate to your Google Drive. Create a new folder in your Drive. Create your Form using the Add button. If you do not work in Google Drive, open Google Forms in your browser (Chrome works best) and create a new Form. There is no need to save your work, it is auto-saved for you.

Google Forms interface
Google Forms interface

The POPI Act was fully enacted on 1 July 2021.

2. Setting up your Form

Put yourself in the shoes of a person who receives a link to your questionnaire: unlike a survey where you are present to explain the nature of your research, you will not have an opportunity to give background information to the respondent. With this in mind:

  • A sensible, descriptive title to your Form (it should include your topic), for example:
    • Grade 10: Fake News Questionnaire
    • Grade 11: Internet of Things Questionnaire
    • Grade 12: Questionnaire: Building a Resilient Future – ICT in a time of crisis
  • Add a short introductory passage at the top of your questionnaire explaining:
    • who you are (name & school)
    • what the questionnaire is for (your Grade 12 Computer Applications Technology project)
    • what you are using their data for (statistical analysis)
    • that you will not make their private information public (you will not include their name, surname or e-mail address in your project)
  • Add fields for Name, Surname & E-mail address, but do NOT make them Required
  • You could even provide a link to POPIA!
  1. Click and type a name for your Form (include your surname at the beginning of the name)
  2. Click and type a title for your Form
  3. Add a description and/or message to your form
  4. Click the plus icon to add a question to the Form
  5. Select a question type
  6. Click and type your question label
  7. Set the question to required if appropriate
  8. You cannot save — your work is automatically saved
  9. Click the Customise Theme button to change the colour and design elements of your form
  10. Click the Preview button to view the form & test it at any time

Re-order your questions by drag-and-dropping!
Delete a question by clicking on the little dirt bin icon!

3. Adding questions

Add questions for each piece of information you need to collect by clicking on the plus button in the floating vertical menu on the right of the screen. Each question has a number of settings much in the same way that you can apply properties to fields in Microsoft Access.

You can add a Section to separate your biographical questions from your topic questions.

Questions types & Validation

If you set Name, Surname and E-mail fields as Required you might put some people off due to privacy concerns. The same goes for setting the Form to automatically collect e-mail addresses. Consider leaving these as optional.

Pay attention to settings for required answers and validation of answers.

Use checkboxes and radio buttons correctly. If you have a closed question that requires only one selection from the options offered, remember that a radio button control only allows one option to be selected so you do not need to add an instruction such as “Select one answer only”.

Test your form frequently before sending out invite links.

4. Form settings

General settings tab for a Google Form
General settings tab for a Google Form
  1. Activate the General settings tab
  2. Do not select Collect emails as this forces respondents to provide an e-mail address
  3. Do not Restrict users in Wittedrift High School and its trusted organisations as this will prevent anyone who is not signed in with a Wittedrift School account from accessing your Form
  4. Do not activate Limit to 1 response as this requires the repondent to provide an e-mail address
  5. Do not activate Edit after submit
  6. Do not activate See summary charts and text responses
Presentation settings tab for a Google Form
Presentation settings tab for a Google Form
  1. Activate the Presentation tab
  2. Activate the Show progress bar option if your Form has multiple sections so that the Progress bar shows while the Respondent is completing the questionnaire (this is completely optional).
  3. Do not activate the Shuffle the question order
  4. Do not activate the Do not Show link to submit another response options
  5. Add a custom message at Confirmation message to thank the respondent upon completion of the Form

Do not activate any of the settings on the Quizzes tab.

5. Fulfilling the PAT requirements

Invite your Educator to complete the Google Form by clicking the “Send” button and entering their e-mail address. Also, add your Educator to the Google Form as a collaborator. That way they have access to the Form for the purpose of assisting you and of course marking the finished work

Save (“print”) your finished Google Form as a PDF as evidence of your work: in Chrome use the CTRL + P keyboard-combination to print the Form to a PDF. Export the Google Form results to a Google Sheet and share that Sheet with your Educator.

6. Distributing your Questionnaire

Click the Settings button to open the Send options panel (the panel has three tabs: Email, Link, Embed HTML) :

Send options for a Google FormLink sending options for a Google Form
  1. Do not select the Collect emails option
  2. On the Email tab
  3. Add multiple e-mails addresses in the To field
  4. Add a meaninful Subject for the subject field of the e-mail
  5. Add a short Message to appear in the e-mail body (optional)
  6. Do not use the option Include form in email
  7. Add your teacher as a collaborater
  8. Use the Facebook & Twitter options if you have accounts
  9. Click the Send button to send the e-mail(s)
  10. Use the Shorten URL option if you would like to
  11. Click the Copy button to copy the link to your Form to the Clipboard

7. Viewing responses

Click on the Responses tab of your Form. There are a number of options for viewing the responses you have received. You can view responses at any time.

Avoid problems by testing your Form repeatedly before sending it out!

8. Changing questions

So you have been watching those responses rolling in: MAGIC! But you asked the question: “What are your favourite three flavours of ice-cream?” (you even offered the option for the respondent to add their own option) and you keep seeing people adding the same flavour that you don’t have in your options. You missed one.

No problem: add that flavour to your options now!

What you CAN’T do is make changes like adding or removing an entire question (or even just removing an option for a question) or any other major changes.

Unsure? Drop me a line!

Don’t delete your test data.

9. Downloading your data

If at any stage during the process of creating your Google Form you thought it was not worth the effort, this step is for you! Once you have collected enough responses:

  1. Click on the Responses tab of your Form.
  2. Click on the button to change the Form from “Accepting responses” to “Not accepting responses”.
  3. Click on the green Create spreadsheet button.
  4. Use the default option Create a new spreasheet
  5. Click on the Create button

A Google Sheet populated with all your data will open in a new tab.

  1. Download the Google Sheet data
  2. Select the File menu
  3. Select the Download option
  4. Select the Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) option

Save the workbook in your Phase 2 folder. Name it something meaningful (example: add the word “downloaded” to the existing name.

Check out the totally amazing JotForm Form Builder for an alternative to Google Forms!


Next step: Excel data capture

By MisterFoxOnline

CAT Educator

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