Wednesday, September 11, 2013

You Can Now Validate Data Submitted Through Google Forms

Google Forms have come a long way the last few years. Early forms were simple affairs with limited support for data types and data fields. Google Forms today can be designed into advanced data gathering tools with support for more data types, and the ability connect multiple online apps, create multi-page surveys with conditional redirects and more. A recent update to Google Forms added four new features to it.

Progress Bar

When you create surveys on Google Forms spanning multiple pages, it’s a good idea to include a progress bar to give respondents a sense of how much of a survey still needs to be completed. You can now turn on a progress bar in your form by just checking the progress bar box in the Form Settings tab.

progressbar

Data validation

With data validation you can validate whether the data entered in the filed is really the type that was asked for. Let’s say you’re using Forms to collect sign ups for an email newsletter. With data validation, you can now ensure that the email addresses are formatted correctly, and consequently avoid bounce-back messages.

datavalidation

You can carry data validation on text, numbers as well as regular expression. For numbers, you can check whether the entered number is greater than, less than, equal to, not equal to, in between or not in between to some values you specify. In case of text, you can check whether the entered string contains or does not contain specified characters, or whether it is an email address or a URL. Regular expressions can be checked against some patterns you specify.

If data validation fails, you can show the respondent a custom error message.

Embed YouTube videos

You can now embed a YouTube video right inside a form, perfect if you want to get feedback or ask questions about a video. Google offers a suggestion where it might come useful:

This works really well for quizzes in class, especially if paired with data validation and the progress bar. Embed a video and then use data validation to give hints when students enter incorrect answers, and add a progress bar so they know how far along they are in the quiz.

Add a custom message to closed forms

Sometimes when a form is closed, you still want to make information available for respondents who weren’t able to complete it in time. After you’ve switched your form to “Not accepting responses,” you can now add your own message and instructions for follow up.

message

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