Lock Mode Hack for Assessment Notes

Screen Shot 2019-06-07 at 8.14.34 AM

I am embarrassed to say that it has been several months since my last blog post. How did time get away from me? Well, there is lots to share but I will start with one idea.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a math teacher, Mr. Stackhouse, email me a statement similar to this one:

“I had my students make an electronic notebook. My thought was that they could print their slides for their ‘notecard’ to use on the assessment. This assessment is not digital. I was wondering if there was a way that we could restrict their Chromebook screens to just their electronic notebook and not have them print out the 10 slide, slide deck.”

This question got me thinking as our district does not subscribe to a service that locks devices. However, our district has been in the beta program with the ‘Lock Mode in Google Forms’. Soon, a hack idea emerged…let’s use lock mode feature in google forms to give students access to class curated notes.

Students would click on the Google Form link in Google Classroom. However, instead of taking an actual assessment via this form, students would merely look at the content as a reference while taking a non digital assessment. You might be saying to yourself, wouldn’t it be easier to just print out the notes for the students to reference. This might be the case if it is a one page reference. However, if students collaboratively created a 20 slide reference that they can use, that is a lot of paper. Plus, depending on the content, some of it might be in color, making it easier to see. 


An important reminder: lock mode with Google Forms only works with chromebooks that are managed by the school.

  1. Open the file that has the notes you would like students to have access to while taking the assessment. This can be Google Doc, Google Slide etc.
  2. Take screenshots of the content.
  3. Create a new Google Form
  4. Indicate in the settings gear that this Google Form is a quiz. Also indicate that you would like the lock mode feature turned on. 


5. In the form, you will add the screenshots by choosing the image icon from the toolbar on the right. Repeat this process as needed. To see a sample Google Form, click HERE. (Note: this will not be in quiz mode so that viewers are able to see the form).


If students feel as though the text is too small, remind them that they can zoom in on their chromebook with the short cut “control” and “+”. (To zoom out, they would select “control” and “-“.

6. In the form that I created, I also created two different questions. One for the name of the student as well as asking the student if they actually referenced the mate rial during the assessment. You are not required to add these questions with the images. I just felt that it might be interesting to collect data on whether or not the reference material helped students while completing the assessment. 

Screen Shot 2019-06-07 at 9.16.53 AM

7. Go to Google Classroom and create an assignment for the students. Attach the Google Form you just created to that assignment.

When using this hack with students, have all students access the Google Form through Google Classroom. Then, indicate to the students that they are not to hit submit until they bring up their non-digital assessment to you. You can even tell the students that you want to see them hit submit – to truly verify that students were not able to venture off the Google Form. Also know that you will always be able to see when students submitted their Google Form through the responses tab and responses spreadsheet.

This hack will not be for everyone but could be a potential solution for staff who want students to access something online while taking some sort of assessment. Have you tried something similar with your students? Let me know.

Of course, if you have any questions or would like me to help you set this up, you know where to find me in room 222.

And that is my Spiel…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: