Thursday, 1 January 2015

5 ways to use validation in Google Forms


Google Forms are a popular tool for primary, secondary and tertiary educators. Google are continually improving the features available in forms, including the range of answer validation options available.

In this blog post, we share the top five ways educators can make use of the validation features in Google Forms.




Getting Started

To create a Google Form

1. Open Google Drive.

2. Click the Create or New button and select Google Forms.

3. Give your form a title and create your first question using the guide below.

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1: Specify which students are allowed to take a quiz

How it works: Use validation on the name field to allow only specific students to complete a quiz.

Example: In the example below, only the students with names “Martin Smith, Martin Tee and Martin Curtis” are allowed to take the exam. Any other names that are entered will be rejected and an error message shown.


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Students whose names doesn't match the formula in the Pattern box will receive an error notification like this.

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How to set it up:

1. Add a title to your form

2. Add your question, choosing text as your question type.

3. Click on Advanced Settings, then tick the Validation box.

4. Click on the Number drop down menu and choose Regular expression.
5. Click on the Contains drop down menu and choose Matches.

6. Entering student name(s) in the Pattern box.
Only one student: type in the exact name of the student in the Pattern box.
Multiple students: use the formula below to add multiple student names in the Pattern box.
7 Enter your Error or notification message (optional).

8. Tick on the Required question box (optional).

9. Click Done.


Multiple Names formula:

(Student Name 1|Student Name 2|Student Name 3)

Example:

(Martin Smith|Martin Tee|Martin Curtis)


Tip: Make this question the first one, on a separate page. Also ensure you make it a required question. This will prevent students who are not eligible to complete the quiz from moving through it.

2: Give students hints when they get the wrong answer

How it works: Help your students master questions quickly by giving them hints when they get a wrong answer. This is particularly useful for younger students who need help determining a difficult answer.

Example: In the example below, a ‘hint notification’ is shown when the student enters the wrong answer.

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How to set it up:

1. Add a title to your form.

2. Add your question, choosing Text as your question type.

3. Click Advanced Settings then tick the Validation box.

4. Click on the Number drop down menu and choose Text.

5. Enter the right answer in the text box.

6. Add a hint in the Custom error text box.

7. Click Done.

3: Ensure email addresses are entered correctly

How it works: Text box validation can be used to check student’s contact information is entered correctly. e.g. their contact number or email address. This is particularly useful if you are sending information back via email, or want to ensure information only gets returned to a school or university address.

Example:

The form only accepts email addresses with an ‘@’. An error notification will appear if the ‘@’ is omitted.
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How to set it up:
1. Add a title to your form

2. Add your question, choosing Text as the question type.

3. Click on Advanced Settings then tick the Validation box.

4. Click on the Number drop down menu and choose Text.

5. Click on the Contains drop down menu and select Email address.

6. Click Done.


    Setting up customised and multiple email address domain validation:
1. Add a title to your form

2. Add your question, choosing Text as the question type.

3. Click on Advanced Settings then tick the Validation box.

4. Click on the Number drop down menu and choose Regular expression.

5. Leave the Contains drop down menu as is.

6. Enter a customised or multiple email address domain formula on the Pattern box (see formula below).

7. Add custom or error text (optional).

8. Tick the Required question box (optional).

9. Click Done.

Customized and multiple email address domain validation formula:

*You can paste and edit this formula according to your desired preference.*

(\W|^)[\w.+\-]{0,25}@(customized domain)\.com(\W|$)


Example:

(\W|^)[\w.+\-]{0,25}@(isimplify)\.com(\W|$)


For multiple domains accepted by the form:

(\W|^)[\w.+\-]{0,25}@(isimplify|google|yahoo)\.com(\W|$)


Example:

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4: Get decent sized responses to open-ended questions

How it works: Specifying a minimum and/or maximum number of characters for open-ended question responses helps you get better responses from your students. It eliminates those ‘nothing’, ‘I don’t know’, or ‘.’ responses - particularly useful in exit forms.


Example:


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How to set it up:

1. Add a title to your form.

2. Add your question, choosing Paragraph text as the question type.

3. Click on Advanced Settings then tick the Validation box.

4. Click on the Number drop down menu and choose Text.

5. Click on the Minimum character count drop box menu and choose your preference between the two.

6. Type in the Number of your desired character count.

7. Tick the Required question box (optional).

8. Click Done.
     

5. Make sure the right number of check-boxes are selected

How it works: Validation of check-boxes is great for ensuring your students (or colleagues!) answer the questions as intended, resulting in more usable data. For example, in a form asking your students to nominate their top three choices for class captain, you can make sure they nominate no more, or no less, than three.

Example: The form only lets the respondent select three of the check-boxes. If they select more, or less, they receive the error message.

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How to set it up:

1. Add a title to your form.

2. Add your question, choosing Checkbox as the question type.

3. Add as many options as you want.

4. Click on Advanced settings and tick the Validation box.

5. Click on the Select at least drop down menu and then choose Select exactly.

6. Enter the desired number of answers you want your students to choose.

7. Add in a Custom or error text message which shows if your students weren’t to select your desired number of checkboxes.

8. You can also select to Shuffle option order so all your students will see the check boxes in a random order, helping to prevent cheating.

9. Tick the Required question box to make the question mandatory.

10. Click Done.





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