Friday, 11.30-12.30 (Balcony C)

The Google Form Dojo: Become a form building ninja. Samhir Vesdev, IREX
This is a no-frills, hands-on workshop on Google Forms—a useful and free tool for building forms and collecting feedback. Bring your device and join this workshop to explore all that Google Forms can (and can’t) do to make our MERL lives more efficient, productive, and impactful. 

Session Level:

Beginner, Intermediate

Session Details:

This is a no-frills, hands-on workshop on Google Forms. Most MERLTech attendees will have probably made a Google Form at one point. But few really exploit the tool to its full potential. In an industry that relies so much on collecting data (and, too often, on hacking together a tool to collect said data at the last second), it’s about time we dived deep into the tool to explore all that it can (and can’t) do to make our MERL lives more efficient, productive, and impactful.

This BYOD workshop will begin with a short overview of various survey tools (from Typeform and Formstack to Salesforce and Screendoor), before diving into Google Forms. We’ll cover basics (managing forms, working with responses, branching) as well as introduce some more complex features like custom designs, add-ons, and data validation.

This isn’t just an advertisement for Google Forms. Like any tool, this one has its quirks, and we’ll cover those too, including things to avoid (a cavalier change of questions mid-survey can cause chaos later unless properly managed), and pitfalls (collaboratively editing forms is a pain, and privacy/security remains an issue).

Finally, we’ll close with a couple of inspiring examples from the community that show just how far Google Forms can be hacked and customized to meet our needs.

Participants will leave with a fundamental and extensible skill set, as well as resources for them to continue exploring/researching ways to apply Google Forms to their daily M&E work.

Session Leads:

Samhir Vasdev, Adviser for Digital Development, IREX. In his role, Samhir advances IREX’s mission by spearheading the integration of digital tools that enhance programs’ impact in ways that are human-centered, data-driven, open, and inclusive. He also supports IREX’s strategic innovation portfolio. Prior to joining IREX, Samhir worked at the World Bank’s Innovation Lab and Information and Communication Technology unit, where he helped governments collaborate with citizens to improve public services using open, lean, and creative tools and methods. He holds a BA in political science and an MA in interdisciplinary technology studies, both from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Find more about Samhir here and at IREX.