How To Use Excel Web App To Survey Your Students

Getting real time feedback from your students and staff can be a challenge. I’m a firm believer in finding better ways to engage students and teachers and the new Excel Web App in SharePoint Online (at which you can take a sneak peak in the new Office 365 preview) has a new feature that can help. Forms!

My colleagues in the US team have written a great blog post introducing the new feature but I thought I would take a moment to explore how this can be used in the classroom and be made really accessible to your students and teachers.

Lets have a look at what some things you might want to use forms for:

  • A lecturer wanting to get opinion and feedback about a lecture immediately after it finishes.
  • A group of students doing a data collection exercise with their classmates.
  • A senior leader wanting to get feedback from parents about a school event (i.e. sports day, school theatre production)
  • A teacher running a competition.

The beauty of forms in the new Excel Web App is that they can be shared in a few clicks, and accessed on a variety of devices, making it easy for users with laptops, tablet devices, smart phones or pretty much any device with a browser to contribute.

I won’t re-cover how to create a new form, you can read up on that at the US team blog – instead, I’ll pick up at the point where you’ve created your form and are ready to share it with people.

Once you’re sure you’ve finished editing your form, click the “Get a Link” button as highlighted below:


This will provide you with a really long (and pretty unfriendly) URL for you to share out:


Use your favourite URL shortener to turn this into an easier URL to share, for example:

Another great way to make this even more accessible; for example to include in a PowerPoint presentation or on a poster, would be to turn this into a Microsoft Tag or QR code to allow users to scan and complete from their mobile devices!

Excel_Web_App_Blog_Post_20128162118Hopefully the preview will give you a surge of great ideas that you’ll be able to put into action with these new features. Office 365 for education is available today and you can sign up for the A2 plan which includes Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online and the Office Web Apps for free.

You can also preview the next version of Office 365 and Office.