How to Differentiate Instruction with Google Forms

July 8, 2016

How to Differentiate Instruction with Google Forms

July 8, 2016
Hey y’all!
I hope everyone is having a great summer so far!
When I first started this blog, I was just looking for a way to put my teaching ideas into one place and if I helped someone else, or inspired another teacher along the way, then great! Now that I’ve been trying to post and share consistently, I’ve been seeing what most people seem to be interested in: applying technology in the classroom.

One of my 1st posts, How to Streamline Behavior Documentation Using Google Forms, has been bouncing around quite a bit (exciting!). Because of that, I have become even more curious with how I can use Google Forms in my classroom to make life easier, increase efficiency, and increase student outcomes. Through clicking around and tinkering with Google Forms I found a way I thought could be used to differentiate, and upon more tinkering, I was right! In this post, I want to share with you what I found out.

Before I get into it, I don’t want this title to freak anyone out. Sometimes, I feel like when people see the term “Google Forms” or Google anything they think they have to be a 1:1 classroom, or have major access to technology to be able to utilize this idea. Not true! I only have 3 desktops in my room on a normal day. I sometimes allow my students to bring smartphones to work on if they have them and when I do that, between my 3 desktops and partnering up, I can try to get every kid on a device. If I can utilize this, you can too!

Okay, now the magic…

When you create a Google Form (see here for instructions), like multiple choice questions for an assessment or something, there is a handy little option I found when clicking around called “Go to Section Based On Answer”.  This allows you to dictate which questions or content a student will see based off their answer choices (hello, differentiation!).

How to Set It Up:
First, write your question and fill in the answer choices. Then, in the bottom right corner of the form, you will click the 3 dots to see a pop-up. On that pop-up, select the “Go to Section Based On Answer” option. See below.

Once you have that selected, you can decide what you want to happen after a student selects a specific answer.  You can either choose to have them:

Submit Form: If student answers that answer choice, the form will be submitted or “finished”.
Continue to Next Section: If student answers that answer choice, they will be directed automatically to continue to the next section of questions.
Continue to Section X: If student answers that answer choice, they will be directed to the section you choose

For example, if a student gets a difficult question correct, and you want them to go  answer extension questions then you would lead them to that section you created.  If a student gets an answer wrong, maybe you want them to review specific material, watch a video, or back up and answer more foundational questions so you can figure out their misunderstanding, then you would lead them to that section.

You will have to click the 3 dots and select the “Go to Section Based On Answer” for each question and then select where you’d like students to be directed to.

When you’re making your sections, you will click the = button on the side bar. Creating a new “section” is different than just adding a new question.

By dictating where you want students to go based off a specific answer choice, you can differentiate better and lead each student to review material, extension activities, other leveled questions, or ask them to elaborate. The beauty of this is that each form can be as extensive or simple as you like!

Now, let’s look at an example question. 

Let’s say we’ve asked our students to take a quick review quiz of figurative language terms/examples. See question 1.

Question: Which of the following an an example of a simile? We know that the answer should be the first option. Option 2 is an onomatopoeia, option 3 is hyperbole and option 4 is a metaphor.
I’ve set up my form so that if a student selects option 1, the correct answer, they can continue on to the next questions or the “next section”. If a student selects the incorrect answer, they have to go to what I labeled “Section 2, Review Video”.
If a student gets the incorrect answer, they would be directed to something like below. The student would review the video on similes and metaphors and then answer the question again.

If the student got the correct answer, they could go to the next section of questions. If they got the incorrect answer again, maybe they would have to submit the form and come discuss it with you, or even work on something else. The possibilities are endless!

I’m still playing with this and working with different options myself, so put your questions in the comments! We can work it out together. 

p.s. Upon researching, I also found that Kasey at Shake Up Learning made a post about this over TWO years ago (how behind am I?!). However, the look of Google Forms has seemed to change a bit, so I went ahead and finished my post to share. But, check her out…she has some great Google resources!

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Hi, I'm Kelsey! I started A Blog for Teachers to have a landing pad for the Teacher Blogger Seller Network. I hope you find the resources here helpful and will reach out if you'd like to connect!


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