Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 5: We'll see you at the Fair!

(recorded August 26, 2016)
Stephanie, Amy, Alison, and Danny talk about Google Forms. We also do an App Roundup and answer listener questions!

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In recent years, Google Drive has increasingly provided intuitive, collaborative, and functional alternatives to more familiar software programs, including Google Forms, their answer to research-inquiry tools like SurveyMonkey. If you’re reluctant to make the switch, here are some tips that may just make you a convert!

When you’re editing a form, the icons on the top right hand side of the screen allow you to adjust and personalize the form to meet your needs:
  • Click the Color Palette to change the general color scheme. Selecting the last palette option (an image icon) will give you more choices as well as the option to upload your own header. Whether you upload something from the Extension Image Gallery or select an applicable Google-generated theme, glamming up your questionnaire can improve the user experience and even add some sophisticated flair to an otherwise run-of-the-mill survey!
  • Clicking the eye symbol will open a new tab to give you a sneak peek of the form from the perspective of a prospective respondent. Definitely take advantage of this tool throughout the process of building your form to avoid mistakes that might jeopardize your results.
  • The gear symbol opens up a variety of unique adjustable options, some of which are crucial depending on the purpose of your form. For example, if it is not meant to be a blind survey but rather the answers must match up with the name of the respondent, be sure to select “Collect email address” under the “General” tab. The “Quizzes” tab will also allow you to treat the form as a test. These are great options to use in situations where you are evaluating student progress as you are able to collect responses, monitor when submissions are made, and have Google Forms automatically assign grades.

Progressive Questioning
A great feature that can be utilized when generating definitive responses using “Dropdown” or “Multiple Choice” questions is exemplified on the Extension Technology Purchasing Program form you receive when your work computer warranty expires. The first question of that form prompts you to select a “Laptop” or a “Desktop,” and your response signals the form to move to a section specifically asking follow-up questions based on your original selection. Rather than having you figure out which accessories apply to a laptop versus a desktop, you are presented only with relevant options. This feature allows you to design your questionnaire with a progressive flow, with the potential to generate more comprehensive evaluation and create a more personalized user experience. While SurveyMonkey also offers this feature, it is only available in the paid versions. Google Form, however, offers this feature for free!

To create progressive questioning, you must first separate questions into sections by selecting the last question box before you would like a page jump, then pushing the icon that resembles a thick equal sign (“Add section”) at the bottom of the vertical menu to the right of the box. When “Go to section based on answer” is selected, drop down menus will appear beside the different answers and you may select which section should follow each selection.

Response/Data Collection
Once you've previewed your form and feel confident that everything is ready to send, there's a massive "SEND" button in the top right corner that will bring up plenty of self-explanatory options. One great feature here is the ability to select "Include form in email." If you have separate sections, only the first section question(s) will appear in the body of the email. Submitting responses from the first section will open another tab to continue the questionnaire.

At the top of the form body, you will see "Questions" and "Responses." The "Responses" view allows you to visualize data derived from responses, send reminders to those that have not submitted responses, and download responses into an organized spreadsheet. While creating a spreadsheet using Google Sheets will allow answers to continue to populate, be aware that downloading the responses to an Excel spreadsheet will only capture a snapshot of the responses at the time of downloading.

More Information
In case you’re still unconvinced, or perhaps you’re intimidated by the idea of learning a new tool, Google has some great information and a Help Center to ease the transition!

Have you used Google Forms, and if so - how? Any tips for making more dynamic questionnaires? Any requests for future, more in-depth Google Forms posts? Leave a comment and let us know!
Podcast Episode 4. Where my dogs at?

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 4: Where my dogs at?

(recorded August 12, 2016)
Karen, Amy, Alison, and Danny talk about Office Mix and using it for recording PowerPoint. We also do an App Roundup and answer listener questions.

Links from this episode:

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Office Mix is a free PowerPoint add-in that allows you to record audio or video of yourself presenting, write on your slides as you speak and even do a screen recording if you want to demonstrate something. In an April Quick Bytes post, I shared how you can record audio right in PowerPoint (2013 or later) and save it as an MP4 video. Office Mix makes recording easier with a toolbar that contains the needed tools for recording.

Office Mix software

Office Mix is a free download from  https://mix.office.com/en-us/Home. After installation, Office Mix has its own tab on the ribbon in PowerPoint.

Office Mix ribbon
The buttons you will likely use on the Office Mix ribbon are Slide Recording, Screen Recording, Export to Video and Preview. While Mix is great for narration and screen recording, it includes some additional interactive features such as adding quizzes, web pages and apps that do not convert to MP4 video and are not recommended. MP4 is the best option for sharing video and uploading to YouTube.

Slide Recording

With your presentation open in PowerPoint, on the Mix tab, click the Slide Recording button. This opens the recording mode.

In recording mode, you will see your slide presentation in the main body of the screen. To the right you will see the audio and video panel where you can select audio and video inputs and check your volume. If you want to draw on your slides, you can choose a pen size and ink color.

At the top you will see your slide notes and when you are ready, click Record. During your recording, you can draw on your slides, trigger slide animations and advance to the next slide.
Record one slide at a time. If you mess up your recording, click Stop and preview your recording or delete and re-record your slide. When you are done, click the close button. You are now back in PowerPoint’s normal slide view.

Re-recording a single slide

Your audio recording is saved with your file so you can re-record or edit your presentation at any time.

Screen Recording

You can use screen recording to record anything on your computer. The recording can be included as part of a narrated PowerPoint video or can be saved as its own video. To record your computer screen, open the application or webpage that you want to show. You will be prompted to define the area/window you want to record. Click Record when you are ready to demonstrate. Audio is optional but it makes for a better recording. To pause or stop recording, hover your mouse over the top of the screen and press stop or pause.

Export to Video

To create an MP4 video, click Export to Video from the Mix tab. If you plan to upload to YouTube, choose Full HD. It may take some time to create your video. 

Here is a Mix I created that explains this whole process: