The free version of Office 365 for education includes web versions of the main Office software – Word, Excel and PowerPoint – in addition to the email, collaboration and communication capabilities included within the online Exchange, SharePoint and Lync services. Of course, that's great for editing and working on documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and the beauty of the web service is that we can keep updating them for you as we add new features – you don't have to take on the responsibility for updating software across a pile of machines.
You can see the new features being added in the future to Office 365 through the preview versions. And we've just released the preview for Office 365 Enterprise (which is the version that Office 365 for education is based on).
Here's an idea that you can use them for, that might save you bucket-loads of time.
Using the Excel Web App for surveys and questionnaires
Thanks to my colleague James Marshall in the UK, there's a good explanation of how you can easily create online surveys and questionnaires, and get the answers into a neat Excel spreadsheet. It's great for a range of scenarios, like:
- A lecturer wanting to get opinion and feedback about a lecture immediately after it finishes.
- A group of students doing a data collection exercise with their classmates.
- A senior leader wanting to get feedback from parents about a school event (i.e. sports day, school theatre production)
- A teacher running a competition.
The beauty of forms in the new Excel Web App is that they can be shared in a few clicks, and accessed on a variety of devices, making it easy for users with laptops, tablet devices, smart phones or pretty much any device with a browser to contribute. And you can make them public, so you can use them for parental surveys etc
Here's a screenshot from a survey that James published as an example (you can try it out on this link: https://aka.ms/vumdyw)
You can read James' post on how to create a survey in the Excel Web App over on his excellent UK Education Cloud Blog (plus loads of other useful Office 365 for education information)