Google Forms Update: Theme Options Expanded

Google works and reworks their apps on a regular basis as they try to stay within that gForms Customize theme iconsweet spot of having just the right amount of customization options without going overboard or getting too complex. Google Forms is one app that has gone through many versions with options coming and going. One option that has recently made a comeback is the expanded themes option.

How it works

gForms Customize theme sidebar panel toolsWhen you click on the color palette icon inside of a Google Form file a new sidebar will appear on the right. The first thing you’ll see is the the standard option to customize the forms HEADER with an image of your choosing, either from their library or you can upload one of your own.

Next you will see a selection of theme colors, where not only have the number of choices expanded but by clicking on the plus (+) sign you can select any color on the rainbow. In addition, the list of suggested colors can change based on the HEADER image selected. If you choose not to add an image to the header then your theme color will be reflected in the header background, as well as the section titles and action buttons (e.g. BACK, NEXT, SUBMIT).

When you select a THEME COLOR, the BACKGROUND COLOR options of your Google From will also change. The number of background color choices is limited and designed to compliment your theme color selection.

Finally, now you have the option to modify the FONT STYLE of your Google Form. Currently there are four font options to choose from: Basic, Decorative, Formal, and Playful.

Remember, if at any time you are not happen with your theme selections you can use the Undo option found under the three vertical dots icon (i.e. traffic light).

For more information about these and other updates to Google Forms, please check out this post on the G Suite Updates Blog.


Google Forms Update: Total Number of Points in a Quiz is Totally Cool!

Last fall our school librarian and I were tasked with creating an online Digital Citizenship curriculum for our student population in grades seven and eight. We decided to use Google Classroom to deliver the content and Google Forms with the quiz feature enabled to assess students on their comprehension. It wasn’t until a good portion of our student population had completed several of the assessments that we discovered a discrepancy in the scores being returned by Google Forms. Specifically, we failed to assign a point value to one of the quiz questions.

How it works

  • In Google Forms, click on the Settings gear icon.
  • From the pop-up window, click on the Quizzes tab.
  • Toggle the switch at the top to “Make this a quiz,” then click SAVE.

Google Forms Settings window with the QUIZZES tab active.

  • And that’s it, you’re done!

Google Forms with Quiz feature enabled showing new total points option.

The “Total points:” option:

  • Will stay visible at the top of the gForms editor as you scroll up and down through your questions.
  • Will be visible both in the QUESTIONS and the RESPONSES windows.
  • Will update automatically in real time as you assign, change, or remove point values on your questions.

Google Forms Total points feature in the RESPONSES view.

For more information on this and other recent additions to Google Forms, please check out Google’s post on The Keyword blog.

Google Forms Update: Grid Q.’s Join the Grading Bandwagon

gForms question types: linear scale, multiple choice grid, & checkbox grid.When Google introduced their quiz feature inside of Google Forms, not all of the questions types available in Forms were able to be recognized. This included both the Multiple Choice and Checkbox grid question types. Both question types are handy when you want to assess students on their ability to sort concepts into specific categories. Now Google has updated their quiz feature to support automatic grading in both question types.

How it works

  • In Google Forms, create a question and then use the drop-down menu to configure it as either a Multiple choice or Checkbox grid question. The difference between the two question types is that a Checkbox grid question will allow a student to place a checkmark in every column for each row value, while a Multiple Choice grid question will allow a student only one answer choice per row.
Checkbox grid question with multiple answers in a single row.

Checkbox grid question

Multiple choice grid question with only one answer per row.

Multiple Choice grid question

  • Configure your rows and columns with the variables and categories you want your students to evaluate. When done, go to the bottom of the question and click on the blue ANSWER KEY text to switch modes.
  • From here, you can set the correct answers for each row and/or column.
  • Note that you can also configure each row to have a specific point value. You can set the point value to any number including zero.
Checkbox Grid question with answer key and point values.

Checkbox Grid question with answer key


Multiple Choice Grid question with answer key and point values.

Multiple Choice Grid question with answer key

Wait! Something’s Missing…

gForms Report a problem toolThat’s right, the one thing that is missing from these question types is the ADD ANSWER FEEDBACK option. In my post from last week I talked about the awesome addition of being able to embed YouTube videos into the feedback feature of a question. Sufficed to say, I am disappointed that the feedback feature is completely missing from these two question types. Please help me get this feature added to the Multiple Choice and Checkbox grid types of questions by sending Google feedback through their Report a problem tool located in the bottom-right corner of the Forms editor window.

For more information on this and other recent additions to Google Forms, please check out Google’s post on The Keyword blog.

Google Forms Update: Give Feedback via YouTube

Feedback is an important part of the assessment process. When using Google Forms in the quiz configuration, every question comes with the option to add feedback to students for both correct and incorrect answers. In addition to text, teachers could also include a link with their feedback to anything from a website that they had used in class or perhaps a Google Doc that contains notes from a previous class discussion.  Now teachers can also embed a YouTube video into the feedback section of a question.

How it works

  • In Google Forms, create a question and add the possible answer choices.
  • When done, go to the bottom of the question and click on ANSWER KEY to switch panels.

Forms question panel with question and answer choices

  • In the ANSWER KEY panel, if you have not added feedback yet then you will see the option to ADD ANSWER FEEDBACK at the bottom.

Forms answer key without feedback yet

  • If feedback has already been provided, then click on the pencil icon to edit.

Forms answer key with feedback already added

  • On the feedback window, you have the option to add text, insert a link, and now embed a YouTube video. Clicking on the YouTube icon will open the same window seen when using the “Add video” option in Google Forms where you can search YouTube be keywords or paste a direct link into the search box.

Forms "add video" search window

  • NOTE: Depending on what type of question you have chosen, there are feedback options for both INCORRECT ANSWERS and CORRECT ANSWERS.

Forms feedback window with text and YouTube video

  • When you have finished configuring your feedback, click the SAVE button. You will return to the ANSWER KEY panel and a preview of the YouTube video you selected will be embedded below the answer choices.

Forms question with YouTube feedback added

For more information on this and other recent additions to Google Forms, please check out Google’s post on The Keyword blog.

Google Tips & Tricks: Scrolling Banner in Sites

In the days of old, users could add text to their websites that would scroll across the screen, informing visitors of new and important information. Today, with the new Google Sites and their recent addition of the embed tool, users have the option again to add a scrolling banner to their websites…with a little help from Google Slides that is.

To see how this is done, check out the video below from Shawn Beard over at The Techy Coach. Shawn will show you how some text, a little object animation, a smidge of copy-&-paste, and the Publish to the web… option in Google Slides can help you create your own custom banner in a format that can easily be embedded onto a new Google Sites webpage.

The NEW Gmail “Offline”

A little over a year ago, as part of my blog series on how to use your Chromebook effectively and efficiently, I did a post on how to access your Gmail even when you are offline. With the recent release of the NEW Gmail last month Google has chosen to integrate the offline app into the new interface.

When you enable Gmail offline you are enabling access to your email data so that you can manage your mailbox (e.g. search, label, delete, and archive). You can even compose new messages despite the fact that you are offline. Any changes made will be synced up to the cloud when your device is able to go online again.

Where is it?NEW Gmail Settings menu

From the NEW Gmail home screen…

  • Click on the Settings gear icon in the top-right corner of the window and from the drop-down menu choose Settings.
  • Move right across the row of tabs until you find the Offline tab.

NOTE: If you are using an organizational Gmail account, then your Google Admin will need to enable Gmail offline before you can access this feature. If you are using a personal Gmail account than this feature is already available.

New Gmail Offline unavailable message

How it works

  • To start, place a checkmark in the box to Enable offline mail.
  • Gmail will analyze the current size of your mailbox and determine how much local storage space will be needed from your device’s hard drive.
  • Select how long you want Gmail offline to store your emails. Your choices are 7, 30, or 90 days.
  • Choose whether or not to download attachments with your email. Checking off this box will increase the amount of storage space needed.
  • Determine what Gmail offline should do when you log out of your Google account on the device:
    • Keep offline data on my computer: Selecting this option will keep your data saved locally on the device’s hard drive even after you sign out, shut down, or changing your password. This option is recommended if you are the only user of the device.
    • Remove offline data from my computer: Selecting this option will delete the offline data when you log out of your account and will need to be resynced when you log back in to Gmail. This option is recommended if you are using a shared or public device.
  • Remember to click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the window to enable/update your Gmail offline preferences.

New Gmail Offline Settings options

For more information, please check out this post on the G Suite Updates blog.

Socratica: Beautiful Science, Math & More!

Socratica is a YouTube channel chalk-full of high-quality videos on a variety of subjects with a focus on math, science, and arts and humanities. Clicking on the Playlists tab will show the variety of subtopics available on the channel, 25 in total, ranging from Astronomy and Biology to Algebra and Geometric Constructions to even a Glossary of Art terms and Shakespeare Sonnets.

Socratica YouTube playlists screenshot

The number of videos in each playlist varies as does the length of individual videos. For the longer videos that you might want to use only a portion of, check out my post on how to clip the beginning AND end points of a YouTube video.

Ever since I started using the quiz feature in Google Forms to conduct assessments I have been on the lookout for high-quality videos like these. I will insert them into the “Add feedback” panel of a Form question so that students can use them to help “brush up” on the material and as a study tool if a re-assessment is needed.

Google Forms quiz question "Add feedback" panel