Setting up a quiz using Google forms

by Prakash Arumugasamy (TLC, IUCAA)

This short post is for beginners who do not have any experience using Google forms for setting up online assessment.

The primary prerequisite for setting up Google forms is a Google account. The application can be accessed via https://docs.google.com/forms/

At the top, below the search window, should be a list of templates under the heading ‘Start a new form’, one of which is ‘Blank Quiz’. You may directly select this to work on.

The quiz title and description are editable and may be customized according to your quiz. The description can contain some rules or details about the quiz. The quiz will need a minimum of two sections, one for collecting personal details about the quiz taker and the other one for the quiz questions.

Settings

The settings menu can be accessed via the ‘Gear icon’ on the top right cluster of items on the page. We suggest the following settings:
1. Select ‘Collect emails’ which requires that the test taker has a Gmail id but ensures that the email is correctly entered and allows them to receive response receipt of their answers for the quiz. Also select the ‘Limit to 1 response’ option.
2. The Presentation tab in the settings box allows one to add a progress bar ‘Show progress bar’ and allows randomizing question order for every test taker if ‘Shuffle question order’ is selected. A confirmation message can be optionally added to indicate completion of the quiz.
3. The Quizzes tab will already have the ‘Make this a quiz’ option set. A good option is to set the ‘Release grade:’ option to “Later, after manual review” rather than “Immediately after each submission”. This ensures that all test takers have access to the solutions only after everyone has completed the test. The test of the options can be left at default values.

Section 1: Personal details

For this demo we will just collect Email address and name of the test taker. Checking the ‘Collect emails’ option will now have added a mandatory Email field at the top. Substitute the second empty field’s title ‘Untitled Question’ with ‘Full name’. This will automatically change the question format from a multiple choice question to a short answer type question. Toggle the ‘Required’ button to make it a compulsory question.

The first section could also include a mandatory integrity pledge. Use the panel of buttons to the right of the current field and click on the ⊕ button to add a new field with the title ‘Integrity pledge’. Change the question format from default ‘Multiple choice’ to ‘Checkboxes’, and add your integrity pledge statement against the first checkbox. Make the item mandatory.
A sample pledge is shown below.

“I affirm that I will answer the quiz questions to the best of my knowledge without looking up any courseware or external resources and that I will not give/receive any unauthorized help to/from any third person/entity for this quiz.”

Section 2: Quiz questions

From the right panel, click on the boxed ‘=’ symbol for adding a new section. You may title this section as simply ‘Quiz questions’.

Add quiz questions by repeating the following steps:

Step 1. Add a new question using the ⊕ button

Step 2. Edit the question field.
E.g., The Right Ascension (RA) and Declination (Dec) of the Sun at summer solstice are

Step 3. Enter four answer choices against the options
Option 1 ⟶ RA = 0 hr, Dec = 0.0 deg
Add option ⟶ RA = 6 hr, Dec = 23.5 deg
Add option ⟶ RA = 12 hr, Dec = 0.0 deg
Add option ⟶ RA = 18 hr, Dec = 23.5 deg

Step 4. Click on the ‘Answer key’ link at the bottom of the panel. Choose the point value for the questions (usually just 1) and select the correct option, which in this case is ‘RA = 6 hr, Dec = 23.5 deg’ using the radio button. Click on done to go back to the question edit panel.
Note: The questions need not be made compulsory since the test takers should be able to skip questions if they do not know the answer.

Repeat the above four steps to add any number of questions you desire.

Sending the link to test takers

Click on the ‘Send’ button from the top-right corner of the page. Select the send via link option, next to the mail icon, and copy the link (you may shorten the link if preferred). And you may send out the link to the participants just before the scheduled time if it is a scheduled test.

At the end of the allotted time, select the ‘Responses’ tab next to the current ‘Questions’ tab from the middle-top part of the page, and toggle ‘Accepting responses’ button to stop test takers from going over the time limit. The test is now closed for all.

You should then be able to view the summary of answers for each question, score distribution of the test takers, view responses of each individual, and when appropriate, you may choose to ‘Release scores’ using a button that appears after the responses have come in.

View a sample quiz.