Using Microsoft Office 365 Forms in Office 365 Education


The Microsoft Office 365 Forms application is one of the most useful tools in the Microsoft Office 365 education suite. For those long time Office buffs, you may have worked with Infopath forms and Office 365 forms is the online equivalent of that desktop product. You can use Office 365 forms to create quizzes, surveys, registrations or virtually any type of form where you need to collect responses to a group of questions and then analyze the data later. You can export the data gathered into Excel which makes it ideal for allowing educators to quiz students about the knowledge, they have gained in the classroom.

Microsoft created Office 365 forms as an answer to a similar product released by Google as part of its GSuite for Education as the Google Forms product offers many of the same features and enhances Google Classroom. The great thing is regardless s of which suite your college has adopted you have the functionality to create tests and quizzes for your students. Currently, there is a struggle between Office 365 and Google apps to determine who will control the educational market for collaboration tools.

Office 365 Forms can be consumed on a  variety of different platforms and looks and functions just as well whether you are on a  desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. They forms can be used in Microsoft Classroom, but there is not a place for Forms directly in the classroom interface yet.

Introduction to Office 365 Forms

Below is an excellent video produced by Microsoft which gives you a quick introduction to the forms interface and will get you thinking about how you can incorporate office 365 Forms into your classroom.

 

Microsoft Office 365 Forms Tutorial- Building Your First Form

Let’s go through a little tutorial on how to create a quiz wth Office 365 forms, and you will be creating your tests and quizzes in no time. First, log into your account at https://portal.office.com and select the Forms icon. Or you can go directly to https://forms.office.com to start developing your forms. When you first log int you have two options. One is a free form start and the second is a quiz. Either with work, but for this tutorial we will start with the quiz form option.

Open a New form and give it a title and description that accurately describes the quiz you will be creating. Then you can start adding questions. Below is an image of what the first couple of questions may look like when you start creating your quiz with forms and after submitting the form. I urge you to play around with different question types to make sure you are explaining your content in the best way possible.

Office 365 forms sample quiz

Adding Questions to Office Forms

There are several different question types you can add to an office form depending on the kind of information you need to collect. There are options for many of the questions to make them required or optional, and you can even mark the correct answer on the choice type questions to have it graded for you automatically. These include:

  • Choice – These allow you to create a question that takes a single or multiple answers and in the quiz mode you can mark which answer/answers are correct.
  • Text – Great for Essay type questions or one where you want to add media. The add media is a recent addition to the Office 365 forms application and allows you to insert graphics or video into your forms.
  • Rating – This question type if best for survey type forms where you need your student to provide you with an answer of how much they may agree with a particular statement.
  • Date– As the name suggests this question type accepts an answer in a date format. The student is provided with a rich date box, where they can select the correct date for the question. This is useful in surveys or other form types where you need to know a date associated with the question.

Let’s look at some examples of each of these forms questions in action:

Office 365 Choice Question:

office 365 multiple choice sample question

In the forms question above take note of the points, multiple choice and the required options. With these options, you can assign a point value to the question, allow multiple answers and decide whether the question is necessary. This lets you fine tune how you want the students to respond to the question. The question type will determine which of these options is available for you to choose. With the exception fo the required option. You can make any question required or not, but sliding the button. The question about is not set to needed if it was required then it would be green.

Office 365 Forms Text Question:

office 365 Text Question sample

This is an example of a text question with rich media embedded. The graphic above shows you how an essay question with a YouTube video inserted will display. Noticed you have the Long Answer as one of the options. This is the only item type with a long answer, and of course, you can make it required or not. This question is required.

Add Video and Rich Media to an Office 365 Question

Add video to Office 365 Forms question

When you first create a text question, you will see a button beside the question as the arrow above points. This button allows you to embedded a video or image into your form. The Video must be available online and accessible to the visitor’s browser. Images can either be accessed on the web, or you can upload from your computer or OneDrive.

Office 365 Forms Rating Question

Office 365 Forms Rating Question

The rating question is one of the simplest types of questions available in forms. You could do an example like above where you asked how accurate a statement is or a better use for this kind of question would be in a survey type form where you need to gather information about someone’s views on a topic.

Office 365 Forms Date Question:

Office 365 Forms date question sample

The date question may not be useful for all quizzes, but there are times in courses such as history or survey type forms where the date question can be helpful. Since it has a built-in calendar component, it’s easy for the student to select the date and you will get consistent responses. This ensures your analysis is correct and easy to correlate.

Once you are through adding your various types of questions, then there is a preview button at the top of the screen so you can see how your form is going to display to your students. This helps with proofreading and ensuring you do not have any mistakes. It’s sort of hard to grade students on the proper use of English when you may have made a typo in your form.

Publishing and Sharing your Office 365 Form:

Once you have completed your form, it’s time to get some feedback. There are multiple options for sharing your form. Let’s look at some of the option you have for getting your impressive new office 365 form on the screens of your students. In the top right of the forms website, there is a share button.

There are multiple ways to share your form. You can copy a link to post inside your Online portal, create a QR code, embed your form in another webpage, or send by email. Your options look like below:

Sharing an office 365 form

These options are relatively intuitive, but if you are not sure just try out all the methods by sending you to determine which may work best for your students. You also have the ability to set open and close dates fro your quizzes. You can open the form at a particular time and close when your predetermined deadline passes. This makes it very easy to control when students can complete the quiz without any additional interaction from you.

Analyzing your Office 365 Form Results:

Analyzing Office 365 Form Results

Once you have collected your responses, you can go back to the forms site and click responses in the top of your form. The number of responses is listed beside it, so it’s easy to determine how many people have taken your quiz. When you first go into the response table, you will see your questions broken down in an aggregate, and you can see at a glance how success the majority of the students were at getting questions correct. This allows you to quickly determine which topics may need some remediation with the entire class. The Details Link to the right of the questions allows you to drill in and see individual responses of the students who took the quiz or test.

Quizzes can be anonymous or not, if they are not set as anonymous, then the student must log int before taking the exam. In that situation, you can choose to capture the name or other identifying information before the quiz is submitted. At the top of your exam, there is an option to export to Excel for further analysis which makes it very easy to incorporate the grades into your grade book with the minimal of effort on your part.

Conclusion:

Overall Office 365 Forms is a solid product and offers many features that most educators will find useful. This product is just over six months old, so it is still not as feature rich as Google Forms, but Microsoft is making some great strides in catching up. The forms product is intuitive and easy to use with just a small learning curve. You can practice a few times at creating forms, and you should be ready to put them in your student’s hands very rapidly. As of this writing, Office 365 forms are only available for education, so business users won’t be able to take advantage, but there has been some mention on various Microsoft blogs that the forms application may be coming to the Office 365 Business plan soon.

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