Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Parent Surveys Using Google Forms

This is the first in a series of posts I'll be making about how you can use Google Forms in the classroom.  Forms is extremely versatile and can be used in many different ways.  (Not familiar with Google Forms?  Check out my Google Forms 101 post.)  Today I'm going to talk about using it for parent surveys.   I have three different surveys I give throughout the year.

1. The "Get To Know You" Survey

The very first time I meet parents, I hand out a flyer with instructions for them to take my "Get To Know You" survey.  I use a URL shortener like bit.ly to get a shortened URL so it is easy for parents to type in.  Sometimes I even use this website to create a QR Code that parents can scan.  I put the short URL and QR code with some easy instructions on a half page colorful flyer and hand it out to parents during the meet and greet, or as homework for the kids on the first day.  You can either send them straight to your survey, or like I did, you can use the short URL to send them to your class website and link to your survey from there.  I ask the parents to tell me about their child, the child's interests, goals, etc.  I also ask the parents for their names as well as the best phone numbers and email addresses for each parent.  This is where doing this on a Google Form is so much better than paper.  I can copy and paste the column of email addresses into a blank spreadsheet and then import them right into Google Contacts and use labels create an easy class email list. I've got my email list for the year.  No more deciphering parent handwriting on a written form or hunting through my school's student information system trying to find emails for each parent.  Any other forms I send out during the year go on my class website or I put a link in an email to all parents.

2.  The "How Is It Going?" Survey

After the first third of the year, I ask the parents to fill out a "How Is It Going?" Survey.  I ask them to tell me how the year has been for them so far.  How is homework going?  What do they like about my system?  What do they think would improve my system?  There are always some interesting responses that come through, but overall I find it helpful to get a feel for how the parents think things are going.

3.  The "How Did It Go?" Survey

At the end of the year, I send out a "How Did It Go?" Survey.  I ask what their favorite things about the year were, and about the things they thought could have gone better with some adjustment.  I ask about my system and communication and see what they liked and where they think it could be improved for the following year.  Again, always some interesting answers, but overall I've found it helpful.  If you'd like to see a sample survey, click here.  If you want to make a copy of it to use with your parents, click here.

Three quick and easy ways to engage parents, let them know you value their feedback, give them an appropriate avenue through which to share their feedback, and my favorite part - easily gather those email addresses at the beginning of the year!

The next two Google Forms posts can be found by clicking the links below.

Organize Parent Conference Notes with Google Forms
Review and Discussion Activities with Google Forms

I hope you found this helpful!  If you have any questions about my parent surveys, leave a comment.  I'd love to help you out.  Thank you for stopping by the TeachingTechNix blog.  Stop in again soon for more ways to use Google Forms in the classroom.

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