Creating a Survey with Google Drive

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

Google Drive is a service that allows you to create documents (spreadsheets, word processing, slide shows, etc.) in the cloud. I talked about how Google Drive plays into the cloud storage landscape at IU in the article Pros & Cons of Using Different Types of Cloud Storage at IU. Today, we will be looking into one of the most powerful features of Google Drive, Google Forms. With a form, you can create surveys that include logic branching, unlimited questions, and unlimited surveys. The surveys you can create using Google Drive are completely mobile-friendly and store their data in a spreadsheet that can be easily downloaded and analyzed with a spreadsheet application like Microsoft Excel.

Before we dive into the content of the post, I would like to remind you that Google Drive is not approved for institutional data storage. It does have some really handy features, but it cannot be used for storing data that is a part of the day-to-day operations of Indiana University. To learn more, see the following articles:

That said, let’s explore how to use Google Drive to create an online survey!

Google Drive has a lot of functionality available for free. Anyone can sign up for a Google account, and once you do, the entire suite of Google Apps are available to you. Drive is one of those apps, and Forms is a part of Drive. Today, I will show you how to create a Form to conduct a short survey. First, log in to your Google Account at https://drive.google.com.

Screenshot of the Google Drive interface upon login.

When you log in, you will be presented with a list of all the folders, documents, and files shared with you. We’re most interested today in creating a new form. Click the New button, point to More, and click Google Forms:

Screenshot of the Google Drive New menu showing where to find Google Forms (Under the More sub-menu).

You’ll see a new form appear:

Screenshot of a blank Google Form.

To change the title, click Untitled form at the top of the screen and type a new name.

Here are the options available and a brief explanation:

Form Settings 

  • Show progress bar at the bottom of form pages – Gives respondents a visual cue to their progress in filling out the survey.
  • Only allow one response per person – Requires a Google account. Allows one response per Google account. Users can use multiple Google accounts to create multiple responses*.
  • Shuffle question order – Shuffles the questions on each page. Does not shuffle pages.

Page

  • Form Name & Description – The title and description for the form. Each page can have its own title and description.
  • Question Title – A little deceiving, but this is where you type the question.
  • Help Text – Text that is displayed below the question.
  • Question Type – Text (short text), Paragraph text (long text), Multiple choice (radio buttons), Checkboxes, Choose from a list, Scale (numeric), Grid (rows of questions, all with the same respones), Date, Time.
    • Go to page based on answer – Send respondents to a page out of sequence based on how they responded to the question. Pages must be created first (use the Page break option in the Add Item menu).
  • Advanced settings – Options related to the type of question.
  • Required Question – Question must be answered before the respondent moves to the next page.
  • Add Item – Add questions, headers, images, video, and page breaks to a form. The menu looks like this:
    Image of Google Forms Add Item Menu. This is how you add Text, Paragraph text, Multiple choice, Checkboxes, Choose from a list, Scale, Grid, Date, Time question types, Section headers, Page breaks, Images, and Video.

Confirmation Page

  • Confirmation Text – Type the text that will be visible to the respondents upon submission of the survey.
  • Show link to submit another response – Allow users to submit multiple responses.
  • Publish and show a public link to form results – Share results of the survey with respondents.
  • Allow responders to edit responses after submitting – Always keep the survey accurate by allowing respondents to edit their responses.

* Only if the form is a public form.

You can customize your form further using the options in the toolbar:

Google Forms Toolbar

When you are finished, you don’t just save the form, you send the form. Sending the form allows you to share via a link, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, or a list of email addresses. This also allows you to add other collaborators to the form.

The Send form button is at the top right of the screen:

Google Forms Send Form Button

Once clicked, you see the following:

Image of the Send Form modal box.

For more information and a more in-depth description of using Google Forms to create a survey, see the following training articles:

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