Jul 13, 2017
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Formative: Real-time Formative Assessments with Analytics

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What if We Could Easily Create Formative Assessments?

We all know that there are formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments that provide current information that allows teachers to revise instruction based on student understanding. As such, most formative assessments are informal, quickly designed, and used in isolated circumstances. This is in contrast to summative assessments which are well organized, scored, and standardized across student performance. GoFormative allows for quick creation of formative assessments that track student performance and provide analytics. In addition, a variety of question types exist.

There are multiple purposes for formative assessments. Different tags help to sort these functions and purposes. This guide will cover the basics of creating a Formative and using the classroom management features.

Creating an Account

To begin using a Formative, create an account. Accounts are free with unlimited assessments, questions, and the ability to give feedback. There are premium accounts for both teachers and entire school districts. Teachers can try the premium account for a couple months before they have to make a payment. It is possible to sign-up with Google or Facebook as well.

Starting a Formative Assessment

To get started creating a Formative, select the +new formative button.

adding a formative

This takes you to a screen with a few options. You can add content or embedded information, an assessment type, or advanced assessments. The last option requires a premium account. The content provides additional context. Assessment type includes the type of question that you would like to add to the assessment. Scroll through the assessment to view the flow and order. To begin adding content choose the +formative button. The next screen includes the options described.

formative question types

Choose any of these options to begin adding questions to your assessment. The drop down menu labeled “assignment type” helps to classify the assignment tagging but has no impact on the format of the assessment. The options for tagging include:

  • classwork
  • warm-up
  • exit slip
  • homework
  • independent practice
  • lab
  • performance task
  • playlist
  • pre-assessment
  • quiz
  • reflection
  • review
  • test
  • worksheet

The image below shows an example Formative.

starting assessments

Once you have added a few questions and content types to the assessment, you are ready to share it with students. You can preview, edit, or view responses directly from that specific formative. An extremely nice feature of Formative is that if you are viewing a student’s formative as they are working on it, it automatically updates so you can see work immediately. Imagine a situation in which you have a group of students working on the same formative, you can see student work and thought as they are completing the formative.

Assigning Formative Assessments to a Class

To assign a formative to a class, you need to create a class. This is accomplished from the home screen. You can add a new class manually or import the class from Google Classroom. With the popularity of Google Classroom, that is a wonderful feature. Google will look for rosters, email addresses, coursework, and grades to share with Formative. The image below shows one class transferred from Google Classroom and one added manually.

formative classroom

If you are creating a manual class you will have to name the class and add students individually. There are three options for adding students:

  1. Students already have Formative, Clever, or Google Accounts
  2. I will create new Formative accounts for my students
  3. Students will create their own Formative accounts

Naturally, the first and last steps reduce the amount of work required for teachers. Students do not necessarily need to have an account to access and complete the assessment. However, creating a classroom affords for learning analytics and a way to track progress over time. To do this, students simply need to enter the class code.

types of classes for formative assessments

Sharing Formative with Students

The next step focuses on sharing Formative with your students. If they are added to a class on Formative, they automatically see their assessments. However, it is also easy to share the Formative using a code. This code is able to be saved, printed, and distributed to students. to access the Formative, students simply need to enter their code or log-in to their class. To enter a quick code, locate the ‘Enter Quick Code’ text box. This should open the proper Formative. If a Formative has been assigned to a class, the quick code will not work.

Providing Feedback to Students

After a student submits their Formative assessment, you can provide feedback. There are two options for providing feedback. The first of these options is a quick rating scale. However, manual feedback also exists.

Formative Assessment Tracker

The final feature of Formative to draw your attention to is the tracker. This is the learning analytics tool. The tracker works best when tags and metadata are added to different Formatives. You can see that the sample tracker has standards attached. When you create a Formative, you are able to add either state or national standards.


Finally, formative assessments provide so much feedback to the teacher. They are typically done without much thought and do not necessarily impact future teaching behavior or content. Using Formative creates a more formal tool around assessments and provides very helpful learning analytics to know where students are struggling and where they are excelling.

Article Categories:
Assessment · Guide · Tutorials

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