Thinking Inside The Box. Easily Separate Questions And Responses In Google Docs

There are tons of suggestions on the web about how we should not use technology to just recreate what we’re already doing with pencil and paper.

I agree that in many cases that’s true and that technology opens up all kinds of possibilities that pencil, paper, and textbooks can’t duplicate.

However, I also believe sometimes you just need to ask a question and get and answer, and that is OK.

In Google Docs, you can easily add a text box for students to use to type their responses. The box is actually 1x1 table. Here's how to add them. #gsuite #gsuiteedu #edtech #sheets

Let’s say you have two questions you want students to answer on a Google Doc. It doesn’t matter if they are short answer or on-demand responses, this tip will work for both.

Answering Questions in a Google Doc

Google Docs Text Box example 1

You share your Doc with your students as View only so that they make there own copy. They can click between each question to type their answers, but the location of answers will vary a bit if not a lot.

So here’s a way to get more consistency.

Add Tables As Text Boxes

Google Docs Text Box example 2

Google Activity Dashboard: See The View History Of Your Shared Google Docs, Sheets & Slides >>

You can add a Google Docs text box for students to use to type their responses.

The boxes are actually 1×1 tables. Here’s how to add them.

  1. Put your cursor where you want the box
  2. Click Insert > Table
  3. Choose the block in the top left corner which means 1 row, 1 column.Google Docs Text Box example 3

That’s all. It’s that easy.

Now your students will be able to click in the box and start typing. The box will grow as needed.

Let’s take this one step further

You can make your students’ responses stand out even more by default them to be a different color.

Read  Google Activity Dashboard: See The View History Of Your Shared Google Docs, Sheets & Slides

Google Docs Text Box example 4

To do this, click in each box and set the text color. You will then see the cursor in the box change to the color you choose. You can also set the font to be bold, highlighted, etc…

Students can still change the color and other format settings.

Hopefully this will make is easier to to see students’ answers to questions. Now that we can add responses boxes, let’s look at how to use columns in my Using Columns in Google Docs post.

Thanks for reading and sharing!

Have a comment?