I like using Google Forms to collect data; however, there are times when I want to create an end product of this data into a google doc. I have used google forms for things such as:
- School Based Team Referrals
- Classroom Walk Through Notes
- Teacher Intent Forms
I was asked by a few colleagues in my First Year Principals Group how I did this so I thought I would share the steps here. I will do my best to show the steps I followed.
Step 1: Create A Google Form
Here is an shortened version of a teacher intent form as an example: Teacher Intent Form.
Step 2: In the responses section of the form click on Google Sheets Icon to create a spreadsheet for responses.
Step 3: Create a google doc template. To indicate the the fields you want to link to the google sheets of responses you have to write a descriptor for the column title in the format <<descriptor>> (ie. <<Name>>) . In a later step you will link this descriptor to the specific column. I choose to use one or two words to represent the question I asked on the form and the column header on the google sheet.
Here is an example template. This can be formatted however you like, you could insert a table and have data from the google form fill in the table. The <<descriptor>> fields can be on the same line, same box in a table, etc. At the end of the process and before the form is sent out I do a test and see how the fields look with test data from the form and make any edit/spacing adjustments.
Step 4: Create a folder in your google drive where you would like the Teacher Intent forms to be located after they are created.
Step 5: Open the google sheet that is linked to your google form. Under the add-ons menu select autocrat. If you do not have autocrat, go to get add-ons, search autocrat and add it.
Autocrat will take you through some steps to setup the “merge” job to take the data from your google sheet and create a google doc using your template. Once you open autocrat click New Job and give the job a title.
Next, for the template, choose select from drive and choose your template you created.
Next you will be asked to link your descriptors in your template to the columns from your google sheet. When you select the “maps to column” menu on the right and choose the appropriate column you want mapped to the descriptor you have used in your template. The top right of the screen will tell you how many unmapped <<descriptors>> or tags you have left to assign.
You will then be asked to name your file. If you name the file and then add the <<Name>> tag when the google doc is created it will automatically create the file name and it will include the name of the person who completed the form.
I use the Multiple Output Mode and it will create an individual google doc for each form submitted.
Using the choose folder button, select the google drive folder you would like the docs that you are creating to be stored. If there is more than one folder listed, delete all the folders except for the one you want to use for the destination.
I just click next for the next three steps.
For the next step, I select on Yes for the Run on Form Trigger option. This will have a document created every time someone completes the form and I don’t have to worry about running the autocrat once it is setup . When you click yes (it is defaulted to no), it will ask you to confirm, just click yes.
Finally, click save and you will get to this screen showing the completed autocrat job.
After this is complete, I go back to my google form and click the preview button and complete a test of the form. This will give me some data and let the autocrat job run and you can see what google doc that is created looks like and if it saves in the correct folder with the naming format you have chosen. If you want to make edits you can go back to the autocrat menu (or if the screen above is still open in the google sheets tab you can click on the pencil icon to edit) and go through the steps again and make the necessary changes, save and try again. When I first started using autocrat, my main challenges were getting the google doc to save in the correct folder and formatting on the google doc that was created.
After doing a test, the spreadsheet had the following data:
And the google drive folder I created now had one Intent Form
The Jordan Zenn “test” intent form look like this: Teacher Intent – Jordan Zenn
Once you are happy with how it looks you are ready to share the link to the google form with the people you would like to complete it.
Before sharing the form I would clear out the rows of data on the google sheet that I have my test data and I also clear the test responses on my google form by going to the responses form, clicking on the 3 button menu icon and select delete all responses. I also delete the test teacher intent forms created in my google drive folder.
The form, template creating and autocrat setup can take a bit of time to setup but once done it has been a time saver in the long term. Once all this is done I then share the link to the form I would like submitted.