Build a Branching Scenario in Google Forms

Can you build a branching scenario in Google Forms? Yes, using the settings to go to different sections depending on the user’s response.

While tailor-made tools like Twine may be easier for building branching scenarios, it’s possible to use a survey tool like Google Forms. Most survey tools have the option to jump to different questions or sections based on responses. Using that ability, you can create a simple branching scenario in Google Forms.

Google Form Branching Scenario

Try the scenario

Try the scenario yourself to see how it works. (This will open the form in a new tab.)

This is a short scenario. It only has 10 questions, plus some additional conversation segments with forced choices and several endings.

You can compare this branching scenario in Google Forms to the same scenario built in Articulate Rise.

How to build it

Each question is its own section in the form. Use multiple choice questions with the option to jump to a specific section based on each response.

For this example, I had already written the scenario and just needed to copy and paste it into the form. Therefore, these directions focus just on building the scenario.

1. Add sections.

Add a section for each question, plus any final feedback. It’s easier to have all the sections in place so you can add the navigation for each question as you go.

Screenshot of a Google Form in progress with multiple empty sections

2. Add questions.

Add the multiple choice questions and choices.

3. Change the question settings.

For each question, click in the lower right corner to access the question settings. Select Go to section based on answer.

Screenshot of the question settings in a Google Form

3. Set where to go for each response.

For each response or option in the questions, choose where users should go next. Select the right option from the list of sections.

Branching scenario in Google Forms: selecting sections for each choice

Every question will look like this when you’re finished, with a different section to go to for each choice.

Branching scenario in Google Forms: Settings for questions

4. Set the endings to Submit.

For each ending (good or bad), set the “After section #” to Submit. This will send users to your closing message and an opportunity to submit another response.

5. Make all questions required.

Make every question required. If the questions are optional, users can use the Next button to progress through the scenario in a linear path.

What else could you do?

This example is very basic, but you could make this more elaborate.

  • Add character pictures as reactions and additional visual feedback.
  • Embed videos as part of the questions or feedback.
  • Use other question types, such as picking images, as long as they can be automatically scored.
  • Convert the form to a quiz to calculate an overall score or grade.
  • Some libraries and teachers have created digital escape rooms with Google Forms. These can be fun for kids, like this Pete the Cat escape room.

Further reading

Thanks to the Sharing Tree blog for their posts on immediate feedback with branching and delayed feedback in a Google Form.

While I had completely forgotten about it at the time I wrote this post, some months later I found another example in my bookmarks. Kristin Anthony shared a sample text-based branching scenario built in Google Forms three years ago.

Compare this version to the same scenario built in Articulate Rise.

Check out 50+ posts on storytelling and scenarios.

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9 thoughts on “Build a Branching Scenario in Google Forms

  1. This is great, Christy! I never would have thought about using branching in Google Forms. I wonder if you’d consider doing a similar post for using branching in H5P? I’ve seen a great example on the H5P website using video with professional actors, but I wonder what a decent branching scenario would look like on a low budget.

    1. I know which scenario you mean. I love that example; it’s so well done. (For those who haven’t seen it, check out this interactive video scenario on H5P).

      I haven’t personally used H5P at all, but I would be interested in trying it out. I think it’s helpful for people to see examples like this, especially where I can build the same scenario (or at least a similar one) in multiple tools. From what I have seen, the H5P branching could do something more complex, more like my example in Storyline rather than this simple scenario.

      I’ll add H5P to my list of potential future blog posts. I just need a little downtime to play with the tool first. 🙂

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