In this blog I am going to unpack the various ways we can use Microsoft Forms for our lessons. This online software is very similar to Google Forms and I am sure there are various other options on offer. At my school we use Office 365 and therefore Forms is integrated within that. It may well be that you can therefore use these ideas with whatever software you have available to you.
What is Forms?
Forms is a way of creating online forms & quizzes that can then be shared with students, teachers, or anyone really. Think online questionnaire and you have arrived at Forms. Not only is it a great way of setting questions for students, it is also a way to get information quickly and then export this information to excel etc.
What I love is that Forms allows me to create something that I can easily share with students. It then gives me information on how well they know the topic and how long they spent on the work. So let me show you a little more so that you can get started.
Creating a Form
Creating a Form couldn’t be easier and I am sure you will pick it up really quickly. You can add a heading, description and fields really easily and then start to think about your questions. One tip is to always make sure you add a field for their name and class, and make sure these are required fields. I make every question “required” so that they have to fill in everything.
There are different options available to you for each question – Rating, Text, Date and choice. I don’t often use the date, as that is just a way of getting a date added, but I use all the other. Rating allows you to set up a question that students can either star or number rate. This is quite good if you want them to give an instant opinion on something. Text can be either a short or long answer response and Choice allows for Multiple Choice questions.
You also have the option to create different sections on your form and this is accessed from the drop down menu. You can also upload files and photos and generally add whatever you want to the form.
I am sure that you will quickly get the hang of it and set up a form nice and quickly. Once you have made a form, you can then copy it and use it again, changes the questions if you need to – more on that in a moment.
You can quickly and easily make a self-marking quiz on Forms using the Choice Option. This allows students to answer questions quickly and then see how well they got on. This doesn’t work so well for text, although it is possible and will help with spelling key terms. Here is an example of one task I have set in Forms. Don’t feel you need to fill it in, but it gives you an idea on what one looks like.
What do I use it for?
I use Forms for a number of things:
- Quickly gather student data – what instrument they play, favourite songs, choir ideas etc.
- Retrieval – I set a quick quiz at the start of the lesson that self-marks. This gives myself and the students instant feedback.
- Listening tasks – I put a link to a YouTube video at the top of the form and then include questions. I can then reuse this form for every listening task.
- Homework tasks – really quick and easy to set homework. You can import images as well, so it is useful for Music Theory.
- Essay writing – if I want to set an essay and have them complete it in a certain time then I use forms as it logs how long they spent writing it.
There are of course so many uses, but ultimately it is a quick and easy way to get information. The self-marking quizzes are however hugely powerful and I often use them at the start of a lesson for retrieval purposes. I like students to aim for 80% success rate and it is a great way for me to instantly see how well the class remember the work from last lesson.
We don’t want to spend entire lessons in front of a screen teaching – the students don’t want that either. Creating forms for them to fill in will not only help with that but also benefit the students. They can see how they are progressing with their learning and have a space to provide answers. Forms can be copied, altered and re-used and then quickly shared. I share my forms in Microsoft Teams and students really enjoy filling them in. They can take a while to set-up if you want to use images and have lots of sections. But then you can set them up quickly and easily if needed.
I hope that this is a useful tip and I am more than happy to help if you have any questions. I love using Forms and I know that the students enjoy filling them in!
Here are some more blogs that you might enjoy:
- Learning in Lockdown: Forms
- Learning in Lockdown: Focus on Sound
- Tips for Teaching Online
- Making Christmas Merry
- Relentless Positivity is Key