Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Google Moderator for Collaborative Decision-Making

I'm an avid user of Google Forms.  They're easy to create, distribute and seamlessly compile into a spreadsheet that can be shared with any stakeholder.  The one drawback--they're not collaborative.

There's a time and a place when I want data that I can put into a Pivot Table and analyze =COUNTIF(...) formulas.  Most of the time, I'm just looking for general consensus.

Such is the case for my most recent project: piggy-backing off the success of our VVSDtech OnDemand page for staff by creating a VVSDtech Student OnDemand page.  I wanted to make a collaborative decision as to what resources should belong on the page, and at the same time, eliminate redundancy, duplicate entries, and navigation between multiple web pages.  I had considered creating a Google Form that, upon submission, would prompt the user to visit the results of other users' submissions, but the more I thought about it, I realized:

  1. Users might be deflated upon realizing that the idea that took them 2-3 minutes to submit was already submitted by someone else.
  2. I don't want 50+ rows in my spreadsheet taken up by a single resource that everyone happens to agree on.
So, I decided against using a Google Form and instead opted to leverage Google Moderator.  For those that don't know, Google Moderator allows users to submit ideas and vote for each other’s ideas all on a single page in real time!  

The gDoc below outlines how to use Google Moderator for this purpose.  Feel free to use it for your own purposes.  Happy voting!