Google Forms as a CALL Resource for English Language Teachers

November 2013 – Volume 17, Number 3

Title Google Forms
URL http://drive.google.com
Type of Product Form Creator
Registration Required
Price Free
Owner Google, Inc.
Terms of Service http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/terms/
Help Center https://support.google.com/drive/?hl=en

Introduction

Classroom assessments serve both the interests of the teacher and the students. To be effective, teachers need to ground their course design, development, and implementation decisions in the knowledge and beliefs they have of themselves and their students (Cheng, Rogers, & Hu, 2004). Only with a clear understanding of their students’ needs, interests, attitudes, learning styles, and abilities can educators tailor lessons to match their students. Likewise, to be successful, students need the feedback from assessments to gauge where they are in relation to the course objectives and to outline a path to close the gap (Chappuis & Stiggins, 2002). Students need a clear map to orient themselves within the learning process.

Ongoing assessments meet both teachers’ and students’ needs. They provide students with the opportunity to express their changing needs, assess their mastery of new material, reorient themselves towards meeting course objectives, and experience success while teachers are provided with the necessary insight to continuously reassess their beliefs, reflect on their approach to teaching and the effectiveness of course content, and tailor corrective instruction (Guskey, 2003).

In this article, I will provide an overview of Google Forms, an online form generator, and highlight ways in which this service can simplify and enhance ongoing classroom assessments.

An Overview of Google Forms

Google Forms, released in 2008 (Bonventre & Lee, 2008), is an online form generator offered within Google Drive which allows teachers to create, distribute, record, and analyze custom forms online. With this service, teachers can easily create custom assessments for their courses on an ongoing basis, distribute form links to students, and automatically record and analyze their responses.

A Guide to Google Forms

Signing up for a Google Account

Access to Google Forms is restricted to users who have an active Google Account. After clicking on the red ‘SIGN UP” button and filling out the online form, users can sign in using their newly created Gmail email address and password (see Figure 1).


Figure 1. Signing in

Google Drive

Once signed in, users are greeted by their Google Drive page (see Figure 2), which displays all the files they have created or uploaded to Google Drive. Files can be sorted by such factors as owner, last modified, last opened, last edited, and title.


Figure 2. Viewing the Google Drive folder

Google Forms

To create a new form, teachers can click on the red button “Create” (see Figure 2) and select the file type “Form.” A window will appear allowing the user to choose a title and theme for the form. Users are then able to create their first item (see Figure 3). In addition to specifying the “Question Title” and “Help Text,” users can choose from a variety of question types such as short and long text, multiple choice, list, checkbox, scale, and grid. These options provide teachers with the ability to create a variety of assessments. One of the most common classroom assessments is a questionnaire that uses a Likert scale allowing students to express the intensity of their feelings and beliefs.


Figure 3. Forming a question

Once an item is created, users can edit, duplicate, delete, or rearrange the order of existing items. Users can also click on “Add Item” to add an additional question, a section header, page break, or image (see Figure 4).


Figure 4. Adding items

After adding all the items and finalizing the layout, teachers are then given three options to choose from before posting their assessment online: Teachers can allow their students to submit multiple responses, edit their responses, and/or view the results which have been automatically analyzed for all the students who have taken the assessment (see Figure 5).


Figure 5. Posting options

Once the teacher clicks on “Send Form,” a link to the assessment is provided. The link can be embedded into a course webpage; shared via Google+, Facebook, or Twitter; or sent via email (see Figure 6).


Figure 6. Sending the Form


Figure 7. The Online Assessment Form

If the teacher has provided the option, students can then view a summary of the results (see Figure 8).


Figure 8. A Summary of the Results

Teachers can log into their Google Drive accounts, open an assessment form, and choose from a variety of options for handling the responses (see Figure 9). At any time, the teacher can stop accepting responses, delete all responses, view an automatically generated spreadsheet of the responses, or view a graphical summary of the responses.


Figure 9. Handling the Responses

Conclusion

Google Forms is well worth the minimal investment of time that is necessary to integrate it as a CALL resource in language learning classrooms. Google Forms is a simple and efficient online form generating service that provides teachers with the opportunity to assess their students on an ongoing basis. Using a variety of question types – from short answer, multiple choice, lists, and scales – forms can be easily generated, posted, and analyzed online to monitor such factors as the needs and interests of students; their perception of the teaching methods, materials, and instructor; their comprehension of course material; their beliefs and attitudes related to learning a foreign language; and their approach to learning a foreign language.

Overall, Google Forms is a powerful CALL resource. With ongoing classroom assessments, students are empowered to share their voice throughout the course and teachers are able to adapt and update their course design, development, and implementation decisions using current information from their students as the course unfolds and customize future lessons to match the changing needs of their students.

References

Bonventre, A. & Lee, M. (2008, February 7). Stop sharing spreadsheets, start collecting information. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://googledrive.blogspot.com

Chappuis, S. & Stiggins, R. (2002). Classroom assessment for learning. Educational Leadership, 60(1), 40-43. Retrieved June 14, 2013, from http://cusd.capousd.org/edusupport/Articles/Classroom%20Assessment.pdf

Cheng, L., Rogers, T., & Hu, H. (2004). ESL/EFL instructors’ classroom assessment practices: Purposes, methods, and procedures. Language Testing, 21(3), 360-389.

Guskey, T. (2003). How classroom assessments improve learning. Educational Leadership, 60(5), 6-11.

About the Reviewer

Brian E. Hutchinson <bhutchinson.gju.edugmail.com> is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Online Learning at Gyeongju University, South Korea. He holds a Master’s degree in TESOL from Azusa Pacific University. His research interests include computer assisted language learning, narrative writing, course assessments, and affective factors in second language acquisition.

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