Student Needs Assessment with Google Forms and Sheets

Last month, I posted information about using Google Forms to creatively engage students. This month, we are looking at using Google Forms and Sheets to gather student information for instruction.

Collaborating with the classroom teachers, we design a pre-assessment using Google Forms. The classroom teacher or myself create a Google Form and then share with everyone in the group to edit. Once students complete the form, the results are automatic and viewable in Google Sheets by the team of teachers and librarians.

In Google Sheets, we can manipulate the information to view how many students need more information about a variety of areas including searching the databases or finding citation information in databases.  I can also sort by teacher and class period to view specific needs of each class and individual students.

Getting Started

Create a Google Form with the necessary questions. We typically create a ranking matrix as seen in the image. From the results, we can design our instruction that allows us to personalize the learning.

Form Example


If you need assistance setting up a Google Form, click here.

Analyzing Information

Open the results in Google Sheets once students complete the form. Google Sheets puts the results into a spreadsheet. Not sure how to get your results to Google Sheets? Click here for details.

Choose a column to sort by clicking on that column. Go to Data > Sort.  Sorting is helpful when organizing results by teacher name and class period.

Organize Classes:
With multiple classes taking the same form, I create a new sheet and copy and paste class results for each teacher. This makes it easier for the teacher to view only their class results.

  1. In the bottom, left corner, click the + to open a new sheet.
  2. Copy and paste the information into the new sheet.
  3. Rename the sheet by teacher name. To do so, click on the dropdown arrow next to the sheet name. A menu will appear–choose Rename.

Rename Sheet

View Data:
View the information easily by color coding responses with conditional formatting. The cells will change color depending on the answer provided.  A nice way to easily view results.

Conditional Formatting Example

  1. Go to Format > Conditional Formatting.
  2. Choose Add a New Rule from the right sidebar.
  3. Choose your cell range and click the dropdown arrow for “Format Cells If…”.
  4. If it is text, choose Text Contains.
    If it is a number, choose greater than or less than for a range.
  5. Input the value. Put in one of the provided answers from the form.
  6. Under formatting style, choose preselected formats or customize. I typically choose a preselected format.
  7. Click Done.

Conditional Formatting










What’s Next

Once the results are organized in Google Sheets, I work with the classroom teachers to design lessons based on the students’ needs. For some classes, we set up instructional sessions that students attend based off the information provided. If a student feels they mastered the information, they can attend a refresher session while other students may need more in-depth information.

What other ways are you utilizing Google Forms with students? Respond in the comments area.

Author: Becca Munson

Becca Munson, Librarian, is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 23 years of experience in education. She is currently a school librarian at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, KS. Becca continues to find ways to positively impact student learning with literacy initiatives, technology integration, and building rapport with students and staff. Follow her on Twitter to view the library in action @bvwlibrary and @beccamunson .

Categories: Blog Topics, Technology

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