Google Forms & Chromebooks “Lock” Hands

Google Forms Locked Mode icon

Back in late summer Google announced that they would allow educators the ability to administer assessments with Google Forms in a distraction-free or “locked” environment. Last week they finally announced that the beta program is finally ready and are looking for help from us to test this new feature out (pun intended).

[NOTE: This feature is currently in beta and not available to all users yet. If you’d like to try it out, then you can sign up using this form.]

How it works

  • Once enabled, navigate to a Google Forms file that you have setup to act as a quiz and click on the Settings gear icon.
Google Forms Settings icon
  • In Settings click on the QUIZZES tab to locate the Locked mode on Chromebooks option that is currently in Beta.
  • Check off the box below to Turn on locked mode.

Notifications (teachers)

  • Once enabled, a notification will be added to the front page of the Google Form stating that this assessment has the locked mode option enabled.
Google Forms locked mode notification msg.
  • A similar reminder will be displayed on the assignment description window for teachers in Google Classroom.
Google Forms locked mode indicator inside of a Google Classroom assignment
  • Note that once locked mode has been enabled, certain options under the GENERAL tab in Settings will be turned off as well.
Google Forms General tab in Settings

Notifications (students)

  • If a student attempts to access the Google Forms assessment from a non-Chromebook device, they will receive an error message:
Google Forms locked mode error msg.
  • Otherwise, students using managed Chromebooks will be greeted with the following message window upon accessing the assessment:
gForms locked mode student notification
  • Once students click the START QUIZ button, the browser window will switch to full screen mode and disable any shortcuts, touchpad gestures, etc. that could allow them to leave the Google Form. Students do have the option to exit by clicking on the CLOSE QUIZ button located in the top-right corner, but if so then none of their responses will be saved.
  • NOTE: In addition to the window/tab navigation tools being locked down, other features like taking a screenshot have also been disabled.

For more information please visit Google’s The Keyword blog which contains additional information include a step-by-step guide, Help Center directions, and a link to sign-up to participate in the beta program. And if you do decide to sign-up please don’t forget to send Google lots of constructive feedback.

Create “.new” Docs, Sheets, Slides, & More!

The New button inside of Google DriveIn a recent episode of the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast, co-host Matt Miller shared a new, interesting, and quick way to create “new” files in various Google Drive apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

How it works

With the entry of new domain name types into the World Wide Web playground (to add to veterans like .com, .net, and .edu), Google took advantage of the .new domain and acquired several of them to match its suite of Google Drive apps. So for example, if you type into your browser’s address bar then you will instantaneously get a new blank Google Docs file. The same is true if you swap out the keyword “docs” and replace it with sheets, slides, forms, and even sites. Once you give the file a name, then it will automatically save into the main directory of your Google Drive app.

If you want to stay traditional then you can certainly still go to Google Drive and create a new file of your choice from the NEW button located in the top-left corner. And, if you want to access the template gallery you can go to each file types Google Slides Template Galleryrespective website:

But, now we have one more way to quickly create new blank files in many of the native Google Drive apps thanks to the new “.new” domain type.

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.

EquatIO & Google Forms: A Formula for Success

Google Forms and EquatIO icons shake handsIn a previous post I highlighted a great tool to help teachers generate mathematical formulas and equations, EquatIO, which is now FREE for teachers. And now with the help of the EquatIO Chrome extension, you can insert formulas and equations into questions and answer choices in Google Forms.


  1. If you haven’t done so already, get setup with an account with EquatIO and then apply for a FREE premium teacher account (directions can be found here).
  2. Next, add the EquatIO extension to your Chrome web browser.
  3. Create a new Google Form or open a pre-existing one.
  4. Create/select a question and hover over the question field and/or answer choice field to see the blue EquatIO icon. Click the icon to activate the extension.
  5. A toolbar with pop-up at the bottom of your window with all of the EquatIO editor tools at your disposal including text, graph, handwriting, and speech input editors.EquatIO toolbar icons
  6. Once you have created your equation, click on the blue INSERT MATH button in the bottom-right corner to add it to your form. Equations act the same way as if you were using the ‘add image’ tool in Google Forms.
  7. In the screencast below I demonstrate how to use EquatIO to add a formula to a Google Forms question as well as several answer choices.


EquatIO Free for Teachers: You Do The Math

EquatIO is a powerful math tool that allows users to create equations, formulas, and graphs, then add them to various applications including GSuite for Education and Microsoft Word. Within GSuite for Education, EquatIO is compatible with Google Docs, Sheets, Drawings, and Forms. And just last week Texthelp, the company behind this and Read&Write, announced that it was making EquatIO FREE for teachers!


EquatIO toolbar screenshot with speech tool

To take advantage of this opportunity, follow this link to their blog post which will explain the process. But, in a nutshell, this is what you need to do:

  1. Navigate to their website and download/install the EquatIO program for your device. Use this link, then click on the green Try now, for free button and choose your platform.
  2. At some point you will be prompted to enter your email address to complete the setup/install. It’s important to remember this email as you will need it later to turn on access to the premium features.EquatIO toolbar menu
  3. Once setup is complete, use this link to access the registration form and request a free premium account license. It may take up to 24 hours for your account to be updated.
  4. To verify your upgrade, open any supported application file (i.e. Microsoft Word or Google Docs) and turn on EquatIO. From the menu bar at the bottom of your window click on the EquatIO logo to access a pop-up menu, then click on Options. Under the Premium menu, you should see that your license is now listed as a premium one.

EquatIO Options window

Google Forms Gets A Bit More Intelligent

gform icon with lightbulbGoogle Forms is an important player in the suite of Google Drive apps, providing users with a great tool for collecting data from audiences large and small. In education, Forms has proven to be a valuable tool for creating digital quizzes to help teachers and students assess their teaching and learning. This summer Forms has been doing some learning of its own and now supports intelligent response options and validation.

Intelligent Response Options

When you ask certain questions, Forms will analyze your text and suggest possible response options. Sometimes the options displayed may be generic (e.g. True/False or Yes/No), but other times Forms will suggest more specific option choices. You then have the choice of selecting which option(s) you’d like Forms to pre-fill your question with, or select ‘ADD ALL’ if you’d like to use all of the options.

gForms smart response01

gForms smart response02

Intelligent Response Validation

One of the bonus features for Form questions is the ability to turn on data validation to help audiences provide the right type of information in the correct format. For example, if you want to collect respondents email addresses then the format of the answer should include the ‘@’ symbol. The ability to set up data validation for this type of question is nothing new. What IS new is Forms ability to detect these types of questions and suggest the best data validation setting for you.

Intelligent response validation

Another way that I’ve used data validation in my classes is to help students pick out the key points in videos with fill-in-the-blank questions. I’ve also used it to help students with spelling key vocabulary and creating digital scavenger hunts where only the correct answer will allow them to move on to the next page. Data validation has also been used by educators to create digital Breakout EDU games where each Form question acts as a different lock to the virtual box.

‘Checkbox Grid’ Comes to Google Forms

checkbox_grid equation

What happens when you put the checkboxes question type and the multiple choice grid question type from Google Forms into a room together and ask them to collaborate? You get the new checkbox grid question type.

The checkbox grid question comes in handy when you need respondents to be able to select multiple answers from each category. One example of this might be when you are collecting information about how often a resource (e.g. a computer lab, conference room, or MakerSpace) will be used by respondents at set times each day of the week. Or perhaps you are looking for volunteers to man a resource during set blocks/periods during the week, like the school store or student help desk.

NOTE: If you make a checkbox grid question required, then respondents will be asked to provide at least one response per row.

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