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Receive homework on a Google form

July 30, 2012

I recently received a call from a faculty member who needs a way for students to submit answers to a couple of questions on reading assignments before each class. He wants to be able to see all of the students’ answers at one time – without having to download PDFs, unzip files, or click through multiple windows. Then he wants to register a yes/no grade for the assignment.

The new course website tool at Notre Dame, Sakai, does not provide that functionality – nor did our old system, Blackboard Vista. At first, I thought I’d have to send the professor away unsatisfied, but as we talked the answer presented itself – a Google Form.

We have an institutional Google Apps setup. It allows you to require a campus login to use the form, and then offers the option to capture the responder’s ID along with their response. I’m going to assume you know how to create a Google Form, but here’s what to do after your students’ responses are received:

Grade the work

  • Open the Google Spreadsheet created by the form
  • Export the document to an Excel spreadsheet – don’t work on grades in the cloud.
  • Open the spreadsheet in Excel
  • Sort by Username to check for multiple entries by the same student.
  • Enter the grades in a new column.
  • Save the file.

Create a file for Sakai

  • Remove “” from the Username – select the column and choose Edit > Replace
  • Delete the timestamp column, as well as the student answer columns.
  • Save the document as a CSV (comma-separated values) file.
  • Close the Excel spreadsheet. Don’t save again – you saved in step 4.

Now you’re ready to import the grades into Sakai!

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