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 an answer, and that is OK.
Let’s say you have two questions you want students to answer on a Google Doc. It doesn’t matter if they are short answers or on-demand responses, this tip will work for both.
Create Answer Boxes in a Google Doc
You share your Doc with your students as View only so that they make their 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.
Here’s a way to get more consistency with will benefit both the student and you as the teacher.
Add Tables As Text Boxes
You can add a Google Docs textbox for students to use to type their responses.
The boxes are actually 1×1 tables. Here’s how to add them.
- Put your cursor where you want the box
- Click Insert > Table
- Choose the block in the top left corner which means 1 row, 1 column.
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.
Change Table Font Color in Google Docs
You can make your students’ responses stand out even more by setting their text to be a different color.
To do this, click on 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 it easier 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 article.