Paperless Quizzes Using Google Forms (that GRADE THEMSELVES)

Ready to get rid of Scantrons and save yourself a bunch of time and paper? Today we are going to combine the robust features of Google Docs with a classroom full of iPads to create auto-grading paperless quizzes. Less time spent grading and managing paperwork means more time teaching, and we can all get excited about that!

Just a heads up: I had to use both my iPad and my desktop to make some of these screenshots, so things might look a bit inconsistent. For the steps described in this post, the teacher will definitely need to use their computer to create the quiz and to grade it. Students, however, can easily complete the quiz from either a computer or an iPad.

1) Obviously you will need a Google account which will get you access to 15 GB of cloud storage and the Google Docs web tools. You will need to sign in (on a computer) and head to Google Forms:

Try to pick a template that isn't distracting.

2) Once there, you will need to make the quiz. Be sure to make your first question a text question asking for the student's name (I didn't bother to do this in my example screenshots, but you need to for your quizzes). Also, every single question (including the name entry) MUST be marked as a “Required Question”. You will see this checkbox below every question; don't forget to make them required!

There are a ton of different question types. They all have their uses (for surveys, evaluations, interest inventories, and more), but for quizzes the only type you will probably need are multiple choice and text:

If you choose multiple choice, you can provide as many choices as possible. You could do a simple true/false question or give 4 or 5 or more different options:

For text questions, in order for the auto-grading script to work, it is best if the questions require a one or two word answer (and spelling will count). If your answers are more free-form, you can still add them to the quiz (and even give students a larger area to type in by choosing Paragraph Text as the question type), but the auto-grading will not work.

You can keep adding questions by clicking Add Item at the bottom.

3) Once you are done adding all the questions, uncheck the box that says “Show link to submit another response” (see above) and then click Send Form. You now have several options. You can choose to manually type in the email addresses for all your students or you could copy the form's URL link and create a QR code with it so an entire class of students can scan to the quiz instantly.

4) When students pull up the quiz, it will look something like this:

Be very sure to monitor your students closely to be sure they don't jump out of the quiz to start Googling answers. They should complete all the questions and then hit Submit. Since you set all the questions as “Required”, they can not accidentally skip a question. Each question must be answered, so they will have to guess if they don't know the answer. Once they submit they will see the following confirmation screen:

5) So all your students have submitted their answers. One of the great things about Google Forms is that it will automatically create a spreadsheet with all the submitted responses to the form:

6) Now you need to run the grading script. First, in order to autograde, you need to complete the quiz yourself with all the correct answers to create an answer key. So take your own quiz. Next, pull up the spreadsheet file that has all the submitted responses (your students' and your own) and click on Tools up top:

Under the Tools menu, click on Script Gallery. Search for a script called Flubaroo and install it. Go through whatever prompts you need to in order to install the script. You only need to do this once:

After installing the script, a new menu option will appear on the menu bar up top:

7) Click it and run the script to autograde. It is really self explanatory from this point on: you pick how many points each question is worth, you pick which question identifies the students' names, and you pick which submission to use as the answer key (yours). Remember that for any fill-in-the-blank questions you include the answer must be typed in exactly the same as in the answer key (so spelling counts):

Pretty cool, huh? Even cooler: the graded spreadsheet will highlight any questions that more than 60% of the students missed. This will provide teachers and administrators with solid, printable evidence about effective and ineffective questions and areas of weakness that should be revisited. Awesome stuff.

We've run through a lot in this post. I hope I made everything clear enough and that you aren't overwhelmed. Please let me know if there are any steps that could use some more details or clarification and I will gladly update this post.

Good luck!



5 thoughts on “Paperless Quizzes Using Google Forms (that GRADE THEMSELVES)

  1. This looked so great until I was asked to approve the app and one of the items listed was that Flubaroo wanted me to agree for them to “email as you”. Isn’t this a concern for you?

    • When you have Flubaroo “email as you” it’s just using the login you are already logged in to Forms as. This is only used for when you have users use their email address as part of the form and have their results sent direct to them after they complete the form and you use that option after running the script. Flubaroo or the creator of Flubaroo never receives any info from you and are never made aware of the form you used with the Flubaroo script.

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