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How to Use Google Forms for Behavior Data Collection

It is no secret that technology has revolutionized the way educators collect and analyze data in the classroom. One powerful tool that I use regularly in my role as a district behavior analyst is Google Forms. Google Forms allows you to create custom behavior data collection trackers that are perfect for the unique needs of your learners! In this blog post, we will explore how Google Forms can be used effectively in special education classrooms for behavior data collection purposes. 

Get Started with Google Forms:

To get started with Google Forms, simply log in to your Google account and navigate to the Forms section. From there, you can create a new form and customize it toward your specific needs. 

You can also add images and customize the layout (I like to color code my forms by student for easy visual recognition within my Google Drive!). 

Once you’ve created your form, you can easily share it with others such as:

  • paraprofessionals helping you collect data
  • parents looking for daily updates on their child’s behaviors
  • administrators or other team members interested in student growth data

Be sure to share the form using the email option or link, and not by adding others as an editor. This ensures that they can submit responses, but not change the content of the form, such as editing the question fields!

Add Questions and Response Options:

daily behavior data google form How to Use Google Forms for Behavior Data Collection

The heart of any Google Form is the questions and response options you provide. When creating your form, think carefully about the target behavior for which you want to collect data and the most relevant information you need. Be sure to provide clear and concise response options that accurately reflect the information you’re looking for.

In my most frequently used Google Form for behavior data collection (available free here!), I include fields for the date, the frequency of the target behavior (separate fields for up to three individual behaviors), and an “short answer” field for any additional notes that staff may want to input relating to the context of behavior incidents. 

When customizing this form for each student, I write a brief, clear description of the behavior I am targeting to ensure consistent data collection among all staff members. You can also toggle the “Required” button at the bottom of any question so that a form cannot be submitted without an answer for this question. I always do this so that I can be sure my staff remembered to fill out each field, and did not just leave a field blank to indicate zero behaviors!

how to customize your form How to Use Google Forms for Behavior Data Collection

Analyze and Export your Data:

With the efficiency of Google Forms, you now have more time for the most important aspect of data collection- reviewing and analyzing your data! There are a variety of tools offered within Google Forms to help you do this, including charts and graphs that can be customized to display your data. 

What I find most useful is to export your data to Google Sheets, by navigating to the “Responses” tab and then clicking the icon labeled “View in Sheets.” This allows you to manipulate and analyze your data in a way that best suits your needs. For example, you can create a line chart for an instant visual to determine if the frequency of the behavior is increasing or decreasing over time. 

behavior data graph How to Use Google Forms for Behavior Data Collection

This analysis can help you make data-based decisions on things such as behavior intervention strategies, staffing, or placement needs. Once you get started, you will see just how many benefits of using Google Forms for behavior data collection there are!

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