3.22.2015

Creating "Fill In" Responses in Google Docs

Why not have Google Docs work for you...you can turn a Google Document into a 'fillable form' by making questionnaires, investigations, worksheets, etc. I know that Google Forms exist and you can ask questions for people to fill out but sometimes, you just do not want your responses to be located in one big Google Sheet.

Where I see this method work great is for investigations or worksheets that students might typically have done with paper and pencil in the past. That is right, students can do the same work electronically, allowing them to 'turn it in' through Google Classroom or other electronic collection means.

Examples
Below are some examples of how I see this working out:

1. Questionnaire or Form - wanting to collect basic information from people but need the information separate from others in a document.


2. Investigation or Worksheet - students completing their work electronically in a document - getting away from the traditional paper and pencil method.


Process

There is a little trick to this madness. Follow these steps and you will be golden:
  1. First you must determine the questions that you want to ask. 
  2. Then you must insert tables in your document. This is how you create those text boxes for users to fill out.
  3. Next, you need to customize the look of your tables so that they don't look like tables. It is also recommended that if you want the responses to have its own style, you will want to customize that as well.

Things to Know/Consider
  • If you are going to use this method for all of your required course work, you will want to be consistent. In other words, keep your response boxes the same color, type of font, etc.
  • When choosing a color for your box, do not choose a dark color. It might be good to just keep it basic and choose a light grey color.
  • Depending on responses - documents may look different. What I mean by this is if a response by a student is extra thoughtful, it will push all content below it - which might result in things showing up on a different page.
Why this Method?

I like this method as students know exactly what is expected of them. There is no confusion for students as they know where a response must be given. There is no room for 'well I didn't know I had to answer that'!

Just this year, our administration team had all teachers complete their professional goals and self reflections in an Google Document that was set up as a questionnaire. Again, this allowed teachers to know exactly what they had to fill out and complete.

As always, if you want to learn more as to how you can use this tool in your classroom/curriculum, you know where to find me!

3.19.2015

Finding Key Words

We all are in situations from time to time where we are either reading a multi-page Google Document or article on a website and all you want to do is find a particular part. Sometimes skimming takes longer than it would have taken if you just read the article to begin with.

The trick you ask? By using shortcut keys, you can have a search window pop up to locate the word or words that you are looking for.

Shortcut Keys

Mac Users: 
  • command key and f key
Chromebook Users:
  • control key and f key


No matter if you are on the web browsing a website or in a Google Product, a similar window will show up (in the image above) for you to type in the key word you are looking for. In my particular example, the key word Wellness showed up 11 times in this particular Google Sheet. With the help of the arrows next to the key word, you are able to quickly jump through the page to locate the exact thing you are trying to find.