Google Forms Hidden Questions

When using Google Forms for formative assessment you probably want to provide students feedback on their answers. Particularly if the question is a short answer question. If you add feedback to additional columns you run into the problem that for you the students answer is not next to the feedback you are giving them. This might require scrolling back and forth to read the students answer and then to enter the feedback several columns away. Google Forms are dynamic, when a student submit a Form a row is INSERTED. This means information added to the spreadsheet is shifted down. This can cause your Google Forms answers to be disconnected from the feedback, particularly if you sort the student responses.

Click Here to see example

In the image below you will see I typed something in row 20, which is below the Google Form entries.

Added something in row 20



After submitting an additional entry to the Google Form what I typed in row 20 is now shifted down to row 21.

Google Forms Shifted down


Add Feedback Questions

One solution for this is to ask a question in the Google Form and then immediately create a question for the teachers feedback. Inserting a question inserts a column for the teachers feedback right next to the question that the student answered.
google forms teacher feedback question

The problem with this solution is that it allows the student to enter their own feedback from the teacher. It is probably also confusing to the student to see a question prompting for teacher feedback.

Hide the Question

It is possible to hide questions in Google Forms so the student never sees it.

Create a Page

Insert a page break above and below the teacher feedback question. Click on the drop down arrow next to “Add item” and choose “Page break.”
insert a page break google forms

This places the teacher feedback question on it’s own page. Note that you can drag page breaks around. If you insert 2 page breaks below the teacher feedback question you can click on the page break and drag it up into position.

Skip a Page

By default each page continues to the next page. At the bottom of each page is a box to indicate which page the Form will go to next. Instead of “Continue to next page” instead skip a page and go to the next page that contains student questions. In my example “After page 1” I had it “Go to page 3.” Skipping page 2 which contains the teacher feedback question.
Google Forms question 1 skips page 2 and goes to page 3

Spreadsheet View

In the spreadsheet view of the Google Form responses the hidden questions should show as blank columns. This allows the teacher to insert feedback in response to the student answers. Using mail merge the teacher can return the feedback answers to the student.
Google Sheets blank column for feedback


Click Here to view a sample Form that skips the teacher feedback questions.

Click Here to view the spreadsheet that shows blank columns to allow for teacher feedback.

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