I’m a big Google fan and I have been extremely happy with Google Docs since I first started using them a few years ago. However, the last couple of days have led me to question my faith in Google Docs, but after some minor frustration (not really, I was actually quite p!$$#*) I have come to terms with the limitations of Google Forms. So here’s what happened.
I have been creating a couple forms to use by pre-service teachers in one of their field experiences. Like I have done dozens of times before, I created a new form and began building the different fields, pages, and sections, saving throughout. Then, once I complete the form, I clicked on the link at the bottom of the page that takes you to the live form. Everything looked great and the only change I needed to make was the addition of a theme to pretty things up a bit. I unwittingly then clicked the back button and applied a theme, not noticing that all the content in my form was now gone. EVERYTHING!!! The title of the form, the fields, sections, and pages were all gone. I tried to restore a previous version, but that only made changes to the spreadsheet and not the actual form.
This happened on Friday at the end of the day and I thought, “Oh maybe there is just some kind of bug that isn’t letting me see the form right now. I’ll check back sometime this weekend!” Well, I checked back and my form was still broken, so I proceded to create a new form from scratch. I went through all the steps and created the form, previewed it and then remembered I needed to add that theme. So…I hit the back button and guess what happened? I lost the form again! So you can about imagine my reaction at this point.
I did some troubleshooting and thought about the steps I went through to kill my form and this is what I found: When I created the new form it opened in a new tab within the same browser window; when I clicked on the link at the bottom of the window where I created the form, the live form opened up within the same window, in addition to a new tab; when I hit the back button, I lost the contents of the form. So lesson to my story is as follows: when creating a form, do NOT preview the form until you have closed edit form window the initial time. By previewing the form, you are opening yourself up to the potential to losing the content of the form if you unwittingly click the back button in your browser. I can’t explain why this is the case, but I was burned twice by the steps I just described. So unless you have a considerable amount of time to waste, make sure to close the initial edit form window before viewing the live form.