Differentiation with Branching Google Forms

Branching Google Forms are a fantastic way to differentiate assessment and reflection in my classroom. Linear forms are great, but not every student follows the same path. Branching forms allow me to account for their differences in pacing, and outcomes.

Let me share an example. Back in the fall, my students were working on projects related to novels they had just read in small groups. Early on in their progress I wanted an overview of how they were doing. Some students were still in the very beginning planning stages, some were almost done, and some were ready to submit their work and move on. I teach a de-tracked 9th grade English class. My students are always all over the place.

Enter the branching form. It allowed me to ask my students where they were in their process and then differentiate their next questions based on that answer. Students who were still getting started needed to respond to questions that would help them plan. Students who had already finished were ready for higher level reflection, and students in the middle of their projects needed to answer some questions about their plans. The branching form gave me a snapshot of where each of my students was in their process and guided them to the questions they most needed at that point in the process.

Click for larger view.
I've learned that it is much easier to plan a branching form on paper or on a Google drawing. If it is complex and you just start making a form it gets confusing fast. Also, by planning first I often find better "routes" for students to take. Changing my mind about the structure is much easier in the planning stage. And having a plan makes the creation of my form much faster.

I've included a cleaned up version of the Google drawing that was my plan for this form. Get a copy of my planing drawing. 

Once I had a solid plan, it took me about 15 minutes to build it out as a Google form.
I made a time lapse video of the form building part so you can see how it works.

  • Make your branching question the last question in any section of your form. 
  • Make all of your branching questions required questions. 
  • Build the sections of the form first and then add questions. 
  • Be sure every option of the branching question links to another section. 
  • Use the three dots next to the "required" slider on a MC question and choose, "Go to section based on answer."
  • Test your form. Use the eyeball button to view the live form and go through it yourself checking your pathways to make sure everything works as expected. 
  • Be aware of the "continue to next section" default at the end of each section of your form. If you don't end a section with a branching question then it will automatically go on to the next section unless you change this default setting. 
VIEW the form I made in this video. (You can fill it out if you want to.)
Get a COPY of the form I made in this video. 

Tell me if this helped you in the comments below, or add your questions and I'll try to help. 

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