More Autocrat magic: Using forms to give students instant feedback

Using Autocrat to give students automatic feedback

(Click here to read this in a Google doc)

By @SylviaDuckworth/Sylvia Duckworth
October 2014

(Many thanks to Kenneth Durham (@PrincipalDurham) for his wonderful blogpost “A guide to using forms with Autocrat” which inspired me to create this tutorial.)

In the AIM French program I use, my students perform plays at the end of every term. I have always used a paper rubric to assess my students, but this year I am going to go paperless with the Google Sheets Add-on script Autocrat.

Before we begin, fill out this form to see the magic happen. (Or try this for "Une carte de Noël")


If you don’t already have the Chrome Sheets Add-on Autocrat installed, do it now. Make sure to say “Okay” to all permissions.

1. Now create a Google Document template with the information that you want your students to see after you have evaluated them.  Click here to see mine. Click here to see the English version. Click here to see the Xmas card. (To create an editable copy of your own, go to File > Make copy.) Here is a screenshot of the evaluation certificate:
Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 2.05.19 AM.png

NOTE: You must use merge tags (<<XXX>>) in the doc in order for Autocrat to work.

  1. After you have created your document template, click on the folder icon at the top:
Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 2.02.33 AM.png

to create a folder to put all of your evaluation documents in for this assignment. Click on “Create New Folder”, then name the folder, then click on “Create”. 

3. Create a form to go with the evaluation document (or create a form for the Xmas card like this). Click here to see an example of one that I will be using (Click here to see it in English). Here is a screenshot:

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 2.18.03 AM.png
If you open the form, you will notice that I used the “Choose from a list” form question type for students’ names (Question #1) and email addresses (Question #2)  to hasten the evaluation process. I used the “Grid” question type (Question #3) for the rubric.

NOTE: I recommend that you add your email address (Question #2) so that you can test-drive the form before you go live.

4. Put this form in the folder you created in #2 above. Click on the little folder at the top:
Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 2.30.49 AM.png

Click on the folder you created in #2, then click on “Move”.

5. Test drive your form now. Click on “View form” at the top
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 8.36.22 PM.png

and fill out the form as if evaluating a student. Click on a student’s name, but for the email address, click on your own. Fill out the rubric portion (Question #3) and click “Submit. Close the “Thanks” window.

6. Go back to your form (you will still have it open on another tab) and click on “View responses”:
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 8.38.10 PM.png

This will take you to your spreadsheet. Click on the little folder at the top:

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 2.34.06 AM.png

and move to the folder you created in #2.

7. Now go to your Google Drive, and find the folder you created in #2. To find it, go to your Drive and click on “My Drive”.
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 9.00.09 PM.png
  1. Double click on the folder. You should have 3 documents in it: A form, a doc, and a spreadsheet.
Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 2.37.52 AM.png
  1. Click on the spreadsheet.  Add-ons > autoCrat > Launch:
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 9.07.38 PM.png
  1. Click on
Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.54.05 PM.png
  1. Click on
Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.55.10 PM.png
  1. Find the folder you created and click on the document:
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 9.16.49 PM.png
  1. Click “Select” at the bottom:
Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.59.57 PM.png
  1. Name the merge job, then click “set”:
Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.06.54 AM.png
  1. You should see something like this now:
Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.08.01 AM.png
  1. Click on “Timestamp”, change them to match your form and rubric like this:
Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.09.50 AM.png

Here it is in English:

  1. Click “Save”:
Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 12.04.23 AM.png
  1. On the next window, you might notice that the French accents did not come out properly. Don’t worry about it. Copy the email address tag:

  1. For “File naming convention to use”, type “Evaluation”
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.12.40 PM.png
NOTE: Autocrat can be a bit glitchy here. If you try to type “Evaluation” here and nothing happens, just continue to type it, then click outside the box and you will see it.

20. Decide if you want your students to receive a Google Doc or a PDF. I recommend a PDF so that they can’t change the evaluation (!).
Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.12.56 AM.png
  1. Click on “Advanced settings”:
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.56.02 PM.png
  1. Scroll down and check off:
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.56.48 PM.png
  1. Scroll back up and check off “Email and/or share merged documents” and paste the email address tag from #18 ($adresseEmail, or, if you did this in English, it’s probably $EmailAddress or $studentEmailAddress, depending what you used)
  2. Type out what you want the subject in the email to be, and a message:
Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.18.23 AM.png

25. Click “Save”,

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 12.04.23 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 12.08.40 AM.png

26. If your list is long, it may take a couple of minutes to work. You will see the green bar advancing:
Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 12.19.37 AM.png

27. When the robot disappears, the merge is done. X out of Autocrat:

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.23.57 AM.png

28. Scroll to the right of your spreadsheet and you will see a link to the personalized Google Doc:

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.25.16 AM.png

29. Click on the link to see what it looks like. Click here for the document. Here a screenshot:
Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.38.28 AM.png

In English, click here for the document (Screenshot below).

  1. Check your gmail in-box. You should receive the evaluation momentarily. Each time you evaluate another student and you click on their name and email address on the form, they will automatically receive the evaluation in their email without you having to run the script again.
  2. Go back to your form, click “View live form” and fill it out again to check, choosing a random student and checking off your email address.
  3. Now you are ready to go live with real students! TIP: When you are evaluating your students live, fill out the forms on the iPad: Much easier!
  4. Click here to learn how to use Autocrat to make dozens of personalized birthday cards in minutes!
  5. For "Une carte de Noël" like this, use this template.


  1. In a conversation, I recently was presented a great idea for using autoCrat for English and language teachers. If you use Google Forms to give a mixed response question, you can use autoCrat to extract the free response questions while allowing Flubaroo to grade the other responses.


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