Formative Assessment and Google Forms

Formative assessment informs educators about student learning, and when done correctly, it also informs the students how to improve and move forward with their next goal. Teachers must know how to use the data to drive their instruction.

Formative Data by Tracy Watanabe - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Gleaning results from the data and providing specific feedback must be timely, which is why I like using Google Forms (along with other tools).

Why Google Forms

While there's a plethora of tools that can be used to collect formative data, I am going to focus on Google Forms.

Google Forms is an awesome time saver for collecting data in surveys, assignments, mindsets, exit tickets, etc. It aggregates the data collected into a Google Spreadsheet, and gives me a summary of the data in nice graphs as well.

For example, below is a Google Form used by a high school teacher. He told me that this tool is a time saver because he can quickly see which questions his classes have mastered and which questions need more attention. Question #6 below is an example of a question that merits more time.


Below are a plethora of examples of formatives through Google Forms. You can choose which content area you'd like to look at. There is also an area that isn't content specific.

Click here to view the examples.

Differentiated Google Forms Tutorial

Below is a tutorial for creating Google Forms. It is differentiated for your experience and comfort level.

Click here to view the tutorial.

Final thoughts

It took me a little time to learn how to use Google Forms because change takes time. However, it was well worth it because it helps me easily and quickly collect data.

After data is collected and organized, I can decide what the next appropriate steps are. It might mean I change my lesson plans and add more pre-teaching and reteaching opportunities along with enriching because that's what the data reveals. It helps me to quickly address students' needs and provide them with specific feedback.
  • What data do you collect? Why do you collect that data? How does it drive instruction?
  • What are some new ideas you gained from this post?
  • What ideas would you add or challenge?


  1. Once teachers are using Google Forms, you might want to show them the Flubaroo add-on. If their forms have one "correct" answer, it'll grade the form for them. That was the selling point I used with some of our teachers.

    1. Hi J.D.!

      You are so right about the Flubaroo add-on! It also gives the teacher the ability to automatically send students an email with their results.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Kind regards,

  2. Tracy - I loved seeing the many examples of Google form use for Formative Assessment. I can see using it to pre-assess as well. Currently I use Google forms for my reading and writing conferences with students. I can easily see who I am spending time with, how they are doing, what we discussed and next steps for the students. Love that it's all in one place. Great record!

    Thanks for sharing some ways I can further incorporate Google Forms.


    1. Hi Nancy,

      Using it for reading and writing conferences is a great idea! I could see the benefit in asking text dependent questions or predicting questions with reading. Or perhaps asking what strong words revealed the author's tone and purpose (craft and structure), and how that might be different than the student's opinion on the topic. Do you find that your 4th graders' interpretations sometimes overpower the author's purpose or tone? So, that quick check with a Google Form might help reveal those misconceptions or disconnects quickly.

      For writing, I see the benefit in asking what step of the process the student is on (brainstorm, draft, revising...) and perhaps just the management step of asking students what their next step was in writing.

      If you have a concrete example, would you be willing to share the URL?

      Thanks for commenting. I always value your ideas!

      Kind regards,


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