Google Sheets are great for managing students’ gradebooks and keeping all sorts of organisational content for school. However, I find them a bit frustrating to use when it comes to checklists. Compared to dealing with checklists in notetaking apps like Evernote or Google Keep, creating and using checklists in Sheets feels rather cumbersome, particularly when you want to use them on a mobile devices such as a tablet or smartphone.
The solution: entering checklists with the help of a Google Form. What you have to do is
- create a sheet with a list of your students,
- then create a form (menu “tools”/”create form”)
- For most purposes you will probably need only one question type which I call “students): choose "checkboxes" and copy the list of your students
In case you want to re-edit a checklist make sure to check
☑ Allow responders to edit responses after submitting
at the bottom of the form.
You can use checklists for: attendance, homework, in-class participation, return slips, paid money and much more. In case you want to use one form for different kinds of tasks, you will have to add a task question. If you have fixed categories a dropdown list is useful. In case you want to create ad-hoc checklists a text field will be more useful.
Using Google Forms for checkboxes has a number of advantages over using a separate notetaking app:
- the information is available directly in your gradebook
- automatic time stamp (no need to enter dates e.g. when checking attendance)
- statistical evaluation of the data (e.g. percentages)
You can try out my tutorial sheet by scanning the QR code or clicking on the form link below and observing what happens in the Google sheet.
You can also use this sheet as a template by making a copy in your Drive. All you have to do then is edit the student list, edit the form and drag out the formulae in the sheets in case you have more students than I have in my sample list.
I have been tinkering with this sheet for a while now. One of the problems I had to solve was the way Google handles the form entries when deleting entries, which created a lot of reference errors. So I had to create a more or less redundant copy “response sheet” of the form responses with the index function:
as a workaround for reference errors.
As far as the checking of entries in the sheet is concerned, there might be more elegant solutions as the one I have come up with. I’m always grateful for hints to make the sheet simpler.