I wrote up a post the other day here about using Google Forms to collect anonymous student feedback in a course — Simple Google Form = Anonymous Suggestion Box in Canvas — and from a comment at another discussion here at the Community, I realized I should say something else about Google Forms: they can add some visual enjoyment to the emptiness of Canvas space! When you design a Google Form, you can click on the template icon in the bottom right corner of the color palette to have access to a wide range of really nice templates.
So, for example, in my classes, students set their own schedule and do their own grading, which means I need them to let me know when they are done with the class. That is a happy moment, and I wanted to choose a festive-looking Form, so after spending an embarrassing amount of time trying out the different options, I went with green balloons, as you can see below.
This way, I can hopefully encourage the students to enjoy a nice sense of satisfaction as they fill out the form. Plus, this approach works great for me: I get an instant notification from Google that there's a new response in a spreadsheet, which I can then use to update all my class records as students finish the courses one by one. In every way, it is more useful for me than trying to use Canvas tools... and it adds a visual element to my Canvas course space that it badly needs.
And, as I mentioned in my Suggestion Box post, you don't have to be a Google school for this solution to work; I just create the Google Form with my own Google Drive account, and then use the Canvas Redirect Tool to display the form in Canvas. Easy-peasy!
And if you are new to Google Forms, check out this great step-by-step guide from Jim Elliott