Using Various Question Types in Google Forms

Google Forms is a great app that you can use to gather information from students, parents, and colleagues. The basic premise of Forms is that you’ll add questions to gather responses for. Forms has several different types of questions that are useful in many ways. Here are a few ways you can use each type of question in Forms.

Short Answer

Short answer allows students to type their own short answers. These are good for having a sentence or two answer in response, or even just a short phrase. These are useful for surveys and feedback if you’re trying to get opinions on somethings. They are useful for fill-in-the-blank types of questions, and really anything that requires a word or phrase answer. They could be good for vocabulary in context questions as well, where student write what they think the definition is based on context.

Paragraph Answer

Paragraph and is just like Short Answer, except it gives more space for an answer. The clearest use of this is for short constructed answer questions in class. I use this a lot in my class to get students to write paragraph responses about literary analysis. You can even score these in Google Forms if you’re using quiz mode. These could also be useful in survey situations to have students reflect on certain aspects of class. It gives them plenty of freedom with how much they can write.

Multiple Choice

This is probably the most versatile type of question, as well as the most common type nowadays. These can be used for multiple choice practice obviously, but there are a few other applications. I’ve used these a lot to have students vote on certain options. Since they are limited to only one response, I’ve given my classes options of a book to read or clips to watch. Forms will create a little graphic that easily shows you which option got the most votes. We’ve used it at our school to vote for Homecoming court and other similar votes. You can use the collect email addresses and limit to only 1 response to help make sure the vote isn’t getting inflated in some way.


Checkboxes is one that I’ve really enjoyed this year. It’s similar to Multiple Choice, but students can choose more than one option. I use it a lot will supporting evidence questions in class. I give students a statement, or maybe a theme statement, and have them click all of the answer options that support the statement. This helps build some thinking skills since they are not limited to one answer. They have to think through each of the options. You can help guide students with these answer as well with Response Validations by requiring them to select a certain number of answers. I’ve also used this in my class survey reflections when looking at what apps and activities have been helpful for students. I give them a list of all the different activities we’ve done, and apps we’ve used, and have them check which ones they found helpful.

Drop down

Drop Down menus can be used as another form of multiple choice, but I really like using it for student feedback and progress monitoring. For example, if I’m having students weekly add to a progress monitoring Sheet through Form, they often won’t spell their names the same. I can, however, add all their names to a Drop Down list to choose from. This is super useful in keeping everything organized.

File Upload

Forms now allows you to upload documents to a Form. This adds a link to your Sheet for access. Any performance task you want students to do can now be uploaded into Forms. If you’re already doing a Forms quiz and want students to create something else (Slides, Drawings, etc.), they can upload into Forms so that you don’t have to have them in a separate place from the quiz.

Linear Scale

The linear scale is great for survey feedback. You can set the numbers on the scale, and students can evaluate the different aspects. It’s pretty much like any other 1-5 scale question.

Multiple Choice Grid

Multiple Choice Grid is a way of creating multiple questions with the same answer options. These can be really useful for matching types of questions. You don’t have to keep duplicating the questions or retyping all of the multiple choice options. This could also be useful for multiple questions that have the same types of answers (identifying literary or rhetorical techniques).

Checkbox Grid

Checkbox Grid questions are the same as Multiple Choice Grid questions, except they allow for multiple answer selections instead of just one. The application of this is roughly the same as the previous questions.

So there you have it. Different ways to integrate Google Forms questions in a variety of ways. What did I miss? What are some other ways you use questions in Forms? Comment below.

Published by Lee Tucker

Lee Tucker is a high school English teacher who not only teaches literature and writing but also creates it himself. Lee is a huge fan of fantasy and science fiction, video games, comic books, and all things nerdy.

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