Capture Learner Data withGoogle Spreadsheets

Are you interested in capturing learner data without necessarily employing the use of a learning management system? In the session, Lectora®, Meet Google, presented at the 2012 Lectora User Conference, Becky Goldberg shared valuable tips for capturing learner behavior without LMS integration. Additionally, Becky’s session was voted among the best-rated sessions by conference attendees, according to independent survey data.
Why use Google Spreadsheets to collect data? Not only are Google Spreadsheets easy to navigate, they have many benefits:
  • Access to Google Docs (now Google Drive) – for sharable document management
  • Can have multiple editors
  • Edits are made live
  • Service is free with a Google account
  • Can create forms
Here’s how you can sync up your Lectora title with Google Spreadsheets using Becky’s great tips:

1. Log in to Google Docs:

  • Click the “Create” button
  • Select “Spreadsheet”

2. After you’ve created a spreadsheet, you’ll need to create a form:

  • From your spreadsheet
    • Click the “Tools” dropdown menu
    • Select “Create a form”

3. Add your question types to Google Spreadsheets.

  • Choose from:
    • Text
    • Paragraph
    • Multiple Choice
    • List Box
    • Grid
  • Tip: Set up your Google form to match the questions in your Lectora title

4. Use Firebug, a web development tool, to “listen in” and monitor the browser’s communication with the server via the website code.

5. Once Firebug is installed, make sure:

  • In the Net tab
    • Select “Persist”
    • Select “HTML”

6. With Firebug open, send in some data using your web form, then click the post link in Firebug to check out what happens behind the scenes. These are the parameters that you need in your Lectora form, along with the Formkey parameter, located on the Params tab.

7. After testing Firebug to find out what Google calls each form answer, title your Lectora web form using those exact same names.

  • Tip: Always use exactly what Firebug gives you for variable/form names – don’t change the spelling, capitalization, etc.

8. Each Google Spreadsheet gets a unique Formkey. This is how you import the information into the form.

  • In the Lectora Properties menu, make sure that the form parameters match the parameters from Firebug

9. Remember to submit your Lectora form via CGI POST to the same link, in the Lectora General Tab on the Properties menu.

10. Submit the form to write information to your spreadsheet in the Action Properties menu under the General tab.

Lectora User Conference attendees at Becky’s session
Thank you, Becky for sharing these innovative and handy techniques! For more great Lectora tips, visit Lectora University and subscribe to the Everything e-Learning Blog.