Does Formative save student input in an embedded object?

Hi, everyone!

I want my students to be able to fill out a graphic organizer as they collect evidence for a paper. I know that I can upload and transform a document, but I’m wondering if there are other ways to accomplish the same thing. If I embed a word document for my students to type in, will Formative save their input in the document? What about if I have them add information to an embedded padlet?

I thought about using “Save Your Work,” but the space is too confined.

Here’s a wish for the future: a “fill out this table” question type.


@clairesedoyle As far as I know: No, Formative will not save the input because it’s not in Formative - you embeded it. You can embed a Google Doc File and set the permission to “can edit”. With this all of your student will be able to write in your Google Doc. However, everyone of them is also able to delete, modify etc.

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Thanks, Michael! That answers my question.

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Thanks for the suggestion Claire! We are definitely planning on this as an advanced question type for the near future. Another workaround is to have your students complete the graphic organizer with pencil and paper and then having them take screenshots to upload to the background of "Show Your Work questions.


@david Will the screenshot too small to see? I was thinking about this morning. I want my students to produce a hand-written piece (I prefer they write Chinese more than type in Chinese.) but have figure out how they can submit a doc or a PDF. I will try out this option.



@alison , I agree! I wish the “show your work” space was bigger. Is there any way to zoom in? Maybe I am just missing something obvious.

You are right, it would be amazing if students could embed word documents into their answers. That would combine all of Formative’s flexibility with word’s formatting options and spell check. If that ever becomes possible, I will use it to have students turn in all their writing assignments.



You just gave me an idea @clairesedoyle. The easiest thing for students to include their google doc is to the short answer type. Students can copy and past their google doc link to the short answer section.

I think as a teacher, we can embed a Google doc, Slides or From, easily as well. This will make the document as a living document but not static. This link shows step-by-step how to get the iframe code to embed in Formative.

Hope this helps.



I hadn’t considered google docs! Thanks, @alison!

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@alison Or you can go to an amazing Formative and use the updated (bold) version and you can clone my Formative. In the Formative you will have all the desired wishes at the end. :smiley:


@alison I think it depends on how big the document or PDF is. Here’s an example of how it looks for one teacher. I appreciate you trying it out :slight_smile:

Hey Claire,

There is no formal zoom option for the canvas, but this is definitely something we are planning on as a method to provide more space. I also appreciate the feedback about your wanting to embed documents as answers. We can either consider that and/or adding in more formatting options and spell check!

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Either would work, David!

I know that my students with dysgraphia and dyslexia depend on spell check. I usually tell them to type in Word and then copy to Formative, but it would be great to skip that step.

Being able to embed or attach documents as answers (or having formatting options for answers such as double-spacing, tables, and spell check) would make Formative a powerful tool for longer writing assignments like formal essays. I would love to use it that way. Although my students are mostly resistant to paper writing, they like and understand Formative. I’m trying to work out how to have them plan, draft, format, and revise their formal research paper within Formative–stay tuned.

Thanks for taking the teachers’ ideas so seriously, including mine!

On further reflection, I would rather have formatting options within answers (especially spell check and double-spacing) before the ability to embed or attach documents. Formatting within answers will be easier for the kids, I think.


Thanks for the additional details Claire. Knowing why the features are important to you really helps give us perspective… and that sounds good regarding the formatting options!

You are so welcome! We really appreciate your input!