Creating surveys with Microsoft Forms
I covered Office 365 and the included apps during the March 2017 Cooperative Conversation. During my research into the apps, I found a new one that could be particularly useful. Microsoft Forms is a survey or quiz tool that allows you to create forms and then distribute them in several different ways. Forms, as well as the other apps, can be accessed from your Office 365 account. For OSU faculty and staff, log into the http://cowboymail.okstate.edu/ website and select the Office 365 button at the top of the screen, then click the Forms button.
When creating new forms, you have two default options New Form or New Quiz. The main difference between the two is that quizzes allow you to auto grade answers, show the participants their scores, and which choice is correct. While the quiz option can be very powerful, I will focus more on creating forms for the rest of this article.
When creating a new form, there are four different types of fields you can add: choice, text, rating and rate. While this limits what you can do with the forms, it does give you very good basic tools for gathering information. In addition, each type of question has specific settings that can be adjusted. You can require answers for questions, allow multiple answers, shuffle answers, add a subtitle, and give more space for long answers. Microsoft Forms also gives you the ability to branch questions (reorder questions given depending on which answer is selected for each question.) Within the settings for the form you are creating, you can choose who has access to the survey as well as how many times they can take the quiz and when it will be available for them.
While working on your form, you can easily access a preview of how the survey is going to look either on a computer or on a mobile device. You can also choose from a small preset selection of themes for your form.
Once you have finished creating your form, there are several different ways you can distribute your survey such as simply copying a link to it to place in an email or document. There is also a dedicated email option that automatically opens an email and places a link to the survey in your new email. There is also an option for
creating a QR code, which can be attached to printed materials for easy access on phones. The final option for sharing allows you to copy code and post it directly into your website. Yes, if you are wondering, this does work with Plone. You simply need to switch the body text to HTML before pasting in the code. Harper County OSU Extension Office is currently use this to gather information for fire relief from the disastrous fires.
Once you have distributed the survey, Microsoft Forms gives you a variety of ways to use your results. First off, they give you a chart representation so you can see the differences between people’s answers. If you select details for any question, it will show you all the responses for that specific question. You can also move from question to question to see all responses for each individual question. Finally, you can download the results into an excel spreadsheet for any other uses or future access.
Microsoft Forms looks like it will be a very useful tool for gathering information. The ability to easily integrate the forms or surveys into Plone is a great advantage that we have not had before.
If you have any questions, please contact your DASNR IT Support Specialist.