We’ve recently added Gravity Forms to our suite of plug-ins here at the OpenLab. Gravity Forms can do a lot–in fact it was developed as a robust contact form plug-in, and is perfect for polling users, collecting contact information, and organizing reservations for events.
But also, some enterprising folks who are dedicated to figuring out how best to use WordPress in the classroom realized that it’s also a great way for students to easily submit work to a professor. If used right, this can limit the need for email (which can scatter student work throughout your inbox), or third-party options like dropbox (which can work quite well, but means asking students to sign up for one more account).
To use Gravity Forms as a way to have students submit work, first activate the plug-in, and then follow these steps:
1. Once activated, you’ll see FORMS appear in the left hand dashboard. Click that and then NEW FORM.
2. When you do that, you’ll see that there are a few areas to help you build your form. STANDARD FIELDS and ADVANCED FIELDS are the important ones here. You can choose whatever you like here–clicking on any of these options will make that appear in the main left hand area. In this case, we clicked PARAGRAPH TEXT in STANDARD FIELDS and then FILE UPLOAD in the advanced field.
3. You can edit the language as you like in the PARAGRAPH TEXT and any other field. And you can also edit the confirmation message that will appear once your user has submitted the work. Once you’ve got things the way you’d like, click UPDATE FORM.
4. Now create a post or a page, and when you do, you’ll see that a new icon has appeared next to the UPLOAD MEDIA button. Click that, choose the form you want, and it will appear in your post.
5. Click publish, and your form should appear. Here’s what a user will see:
6. Ok, now what? Where did the paper go? On the dashboard’s left menu, under FORMS, click ENTRIES. All the papers will appear there, for download to your computer.
That’s it! We’ll add tutorials on Gravity Forms’ other features soon. As always, contact us with any questions!