Gather Powerful Data to Drive Curriculum

Using Google Docs Forms

Counseling programs are driven by data and following the ASCA National Model. We want to make data based decisions in our programs, justify our processes, and let parents, administrators, and other stakeholders know how we are being effective. Surveys are a quick method to gather data from a large group of people that can be tabulated and compared or contrasted. 
Typically, surveys appear in a paper format, which can be difficult to monitor and collect data from. Students lose the paper, forget it at home, or are simply bored with the format. Counselors also have to manually input the collected data, which is a pain. This is when it is time to use the gift that technology has given – Google Docs Forms. Forms is a in depth, yet simple and user-friendly method to survey students, teachers, parents, etc. and have the answers automatically entered into a table, ready to be analyzed. I have created a basic overview of Google Docs and the form feature, which I highly recommend watching before viewing this tutorial (especially if you are unfamiliar with Google Docs).
This video blog’s main focus is to teach you about using the “Go To” feature of the forms. A simple survey is easily created using the basic functions to add the different types of questions and spit out the results – but what if you want to differentiate the questions based on how a stakeholder answers? That is what I hope to cover in this video. Granted, I cannot cover every step and keep the video semi-short (< 9min this time), but it gives you the general sense of how it works. I am available to help you with questions (through email, comments, twitter, or I am open to hosting a Google Hangout to share specific steps and utilize the “screen sharing” feature to take you through step by step), so please ask.
Finally, I am linking to the actual document which I invite you to save to your Drive and utilize. Customize it (using the Form menu), change it to fit your program, and play with it. One last note, always test your forms before sending them out. Sending out a form that doesn’t function the way you hope can ruin chances to get accurate data or have stakeholders submit their responses a second time after the error is corrected. I suggest taking the form yourself (trying to answer all the different ways a student might if you have questions that go to different pages) and having your counseling colleagues take it as well. Good luck!

Links and Live Form after the break.


Here are a few other links that will be helpful:

Google Docs Tutorial (Part 1) – The Counseling Geek

Google Docs Tutorial (Part 2) – The Counseling Geek

PowerPoint from ASCA Webinar by Christa Mussi and Melissa Beverly (Data 101)

ASCA Webinar from Russell Sabella, Ph.D. – Google Docs 101

Link to form from TCG Video

The blog author, Jeffrey Ream M.S, PPS, writes for The Counseling Geek. Connect with Jeff via email, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

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