How to use Google Docs for Live Polls and Quizzes

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Did you know you can create a live poll using Google Docs and Spreadsheets? It’s quite simple, really. I stumbled across this recently when I needed to do a poll for something in a hurry, and needed to keep it anonymous. Here are the steps you need to take, in order to create your own poll or quiz!

  • Click New>Spreadsheet in Google Docs.
  • Click the “share” tab, and then title your poll.
  • Select “invite” to invite people to fill out the form.
  • Create the form with your possible answers.
    • Put in however many choices you want people to have.
    • Add Help text if you want.
    • Question Type: You can choose from text, paragraph text, multiple choice
    • I populated with numbers, so I could get the Spreadsheet application to interpret the data.
  • Choose recipients… either by adding your contact list… or giving out the URL to others.
    • Set up a formula to interpret and see your data.
    • In the next available column, type: =countif(B2:B500, 1) (this is just an example… use the proper rows and columns from your particular sheet).
    • Continue to make formulas for each of your answer possibility. For my second one, the formula was: =countif(B2:B500, 2)
  • I then wanted to create a chart to show my data. I entered another formula (C2:C4) and clicked the Chart button.
  • Choose the type of chart, and what cells you want the chart to graph for you.
  • Title your Chart, and choose your axis points.
  • If you want, you can format the number cells to hide them. I just made the font white, so it didn’t show.
  • Now I’m ready to publish my chart with the poll results. You can even choose to automatically re-publish and update every five minutes… and then share the link via RSS feed, or URL.

Pretty cool, eh? The wonders of technology never fails to amaze me!