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Ben Stewart – Hacking Google Forms for Formative Assessment


Professor Ben Stewart (Expository Writing Program) uses Google Forms as a formative assessment tool in his Writing the Essay course. Students respond to prompts during class that have them revise and edit their writing (and thinking). The instructor has created a script that allows individual student responses to be shared as individual documents with both the students and teacher, simplifying the feedback loop between both instructor and student as well as between students.

Learning objectives

  • Develop informal, in-class writing into substantial texts
  • Engage in peer review

Student experience

  • Complete writing assignments prior to class, as well as in-class
  • Participate in discussion around writing assignment and readings
  • Complete Google form “worksheet” in-class, which includes additional writing prompts and reflection
  • Review peer worksheets and offer feedback

Project workflow

  • Participate in FAS Innovation in Language Teaching workshop, May 2016
  • Develop custom Google Form/script function that compiles student responses into individual student Google Docs (as opposed to standard compilation of all responses into Google Sheet) and shares them with instructor and students
  • Follow up consultations with FAS educational technologist and central partners to simplify workflow

In the video below, Professor Stewart demoes his custom Google form script with a live audience during our Innovation in Language Teaching Conference.

Technology resources

  • Google Docs
  • Google Forms
  • Google Sheets


  • Enables a much quicker turnaround time between student production and teacher feedback

“[This process] is really clean organizationally: the teacher has everything all in one place and doesn’t need to worry about whether the students’ have or haven’t shared x, and there’s no hunting through emails for attachments or links to documents.” – Ben Stewart

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