Improvement ideas for Formative - wish list

I agree! It’s useful on a number of levels which again mirrors the versatility of this awesome platform! It not only can ascertain whether a learner has cheated but also that they have followed instructions.

The latter is an important variable in English (and a plethora of other subjects too, I imagine) where learners fail to comprehend the question. In literature exams, we often ask them to ‘support their answer with reference to the text’ and this Formative update will enable the teachers to affirm whether the class have read that question correctly. I know @Lisa_Scumpieru will love this for that reason too!

This update has significant pedagogic value like all the others we have seen. Many thanks indeed, @admin1 !


yeaaaah!!! Aaaawesooooooome!


Hey! I would also like the highlighter function for show your work and also directly on the text doc. For a reading comprehension, this would be greaaaaat!!!


I would also like an option that requires students to submit the formative before it becomes available for grading. It is frustrating that often my students do not submit and therefore I do not have the benefit of the timestamp.


When checking student responses, I would like to be able to check just those who have them incorrect or not responded. It would make it easier to look through to see who I need to help answers for and provide feedback for the first time or maybe again. Myabe if we could click the red or gray bars at the top of the results page to sort the students.


That’s a very interesting idea, @lara.applegarth!

Hey Lara,

This a great idea! In our old version, you could sort the student responses by score. Would this meet your needs?


@david it might help because then I could see who has no score therefore needs to be scored still, who has lower scores and maybe I need to take a peak at still to see if they modified their answers and I can improve their points.
Sometimes even those with the Short Answer I look through because if I input an answer or a few versions of the answer sometimes students will do a typo or put extra info in so they will be correct without matching exactly the options I provided as correct. It would be helpful to sort who is wrong so I can give them a glance though to see if they really were wrong.


Thanks for sharing why this feature would be helpful for you! We record every piece of feedback we get and use it to inform our design and development of new ones!

I learned about GoFormative from my husband, I shared it with fellow math teachers at my school, and the Algebra 1 group is now using GoFormative on a regular basis. The Geometry group is starting to use it, as well.

There are some things that quia does that I would like to see in GoFormative in order to reduce cheating:

  1. Be able to schedule an assignment (date and time when it is available, and be able to set different dates and times per class).

  2. Have a secret word that the teacher has to give to the class in order to enter the assignment so that everybody starts at the same time, once everybody is logged in, and be able to assign a different secret word to each class.

  3. Be able to see one question at a time. I know this would be difficult for a pdf, but maybe we could have a select tool where we can select an area and specify where each question is, and then GoFormative creates a separate question section for each one of our sections. It would be like cutting it into strips of papers, and having those strips randomized. I hope that makes sense.

  4. Be able to randomize questions and answers; that way, question #1 for one student would be question #10 for another student. Choice A would be Choice C for another student. For pdfs, be able to randomize the strips and the answer choices if we chose it to be multiple-choice or multiple-selection. When randomized, the strips would have different numbers when they show up to different students.

  5. Have the option of not allowing students to see the assignments once they submit them. This is the most important to me, in fact, if there were only one feature I would like to choose, it’s this one. The reason why is because, currently, students are submitting their formatives, checking which answers they got correct, and telling other students what those answers are. I know that a work-around would be creating different assignments for every class, but that would defeat the purpose of having a user-friendly assessment program that makes assessing easier for educators.

Other ideas that are not as crucial to me, but would make assessing easier to me:

  1. Have the ability to ask GoFormative to send me notifications whenever a student submitted work after a certain point. Meaning, after I enter grades in my gradebook, I can go to the fomative’s options and tell GoFormative to start sending me notifications if a student submits work. That way, I can get late work and catch it without having the student tell me to check GoFormative. The notification would be something like: “Student John Smith from Period 3 class submitted Quiz on chapter 7 and received a score of 7 out of 10.” That would give me the basic information I need.

  2. Be able to give partial credit. For math, this is a big deal. I know it can be done manually, but it would be great to tell the system that, if students choose a certain option (or 2 out of the three possible options), to give them a certain amount of points.

  3. Have the ability to have the students type answers in Latex form, or, even better, MathType.
    We were trying to give tests on radicals and exponents, but we had to end up using multiple-choice questions, and some teachers even chose to do paper and pencil exam, because the formatting for the answers was very confusing to the students. Another possibility would be, which would be way too much to ask, is that students be able to write their answers in “Show your work”, and have the system convert it into Latex and grade it automatically (yes, I know I’m dreaming :-)). The latter could be a premium feature.

  4. Be able to limit the number of attempts for a particular assignment. Right now, we can only do one or an unlimited number of attempts (quia gives up to 10, I believe, plus unlimited). It would be nice to do something in between, and have the ability to have the system average out the scores, or tell us which were the highest and lowest scores for each student.

  5. Be able to upload an image from my computer onto a question, rather than only having the option of providing a url.

  6. Also for world languages that quia has, be able to have international keyboards with accent marks and special characters. I have been able to work around this by giving the students the special characters in the questions and then they copy and paste, but having the Spanish keyboard, in my case, would make it faster and much easier for them.

  7. Be able to download a pdf that we submitted, in addition to being able to print an assignment.

  8. I, too, would like to be able to copy the same question within the questions in a pdf file, and not resulting in copying the entire pdf again, which is not what I need.

  9. I, too, would like to be able to assign a formative to a particular student to deal with students who were absent during an assignment.

  10. Be able to upload audio for listening exams for world languages, and the students be able to record their answers, and me be able to listen to one student’s answers in a single file (for multiple recordings in the same formative) by clicking on the student’s name when I open the formative. It would also be nice to have the option of listening to all the responses to one problem in a single file, or to each response at a time. Out of those three, my preferred option would be to have all of the student’s responses in one file as that would make it easier to grade; but, it would be nice to have the flexibility of listening to the responses in all those three ways. Although free is better, this could be a premium feature with teachers having the option of trying it out for 30 or 60 days to see if they like it.*

*On that note, I would be tremendously happy if the premium rates decreased, even if it is by half. I know that’s too much to ask, but quia charges $49 a year, which is much more reasonable for a teacher than $180 or $144 a year. Premium would become more attractive and justifiable to teachers, schools and districts if goformative if it were more affordable.

I know it’s not possible to have everything in one place, but it would be great to have as much as possible to so that we can justify paying for the entire school and, hopefully, the entire district, which is what we are hoping to achieve.

Thank you for your consideration.


Woah, thank you so much for this great list of suggestions regarding free features and premium. It’s super useful for to consider and we record every piece of feedback that we hear.

I was wondering if you could tell me a little more about why #2 would be useful for you. It seems that if you were able to schedule a formative for a particular class (#1) then you wouldn’t need to give students a secret word since you could schedule it to open at a certain time (that way everyone in the class would be able to open it at the same time and not sooner).

Have you ever tried using Speakpipe to record audio? You can then embed it into Formative. Check out my webinar here for an example and this example from Certified Educator @Dawn_Frier1 :

Also, we do have a premium Audio question type. I love the three different ways of listening to that audio (that you suggested too)!

While I don’t use the math functions, I am 100% in support of the 2nd-4th ideas. The “not deleting answers when switching questions types” is a BIG one that needs addressed.

THIS IS A HUGE NEED for me as well. I have a lot of students who miss frequently and need to make up work later. It would be great to have a notification, but also to have some kind of alert next to their name in the class.


Thanks for sharing your support for assigning to specific students and specifying why it would be helpful for you!

I am not sure what this is in reference too. Can you clarify? :slight_smile:

Not currently. Even if you haven’t specified to return scores, correct answers, or allow edits, it still show up on the student end after they press submit. We need to make it so that the formative doesn’ts how up at all if the teacher hasn’t specified anything.

Thanks! I noticed that you’d like this as well :slight_smile:

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I wonder if there is a way to be notified when students submit their assignment. I realize it might be a bit Irritating when students turn things in on-time, but it would be very helpful for late submissions.

If not a notification, how about a time/date stamp when students submit?

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@yazelj Thanks for the feedback June! I am glad that you agree with @teacher.hine & @Veronica_Bass

This is actually available when you hover over student names

and also

When you export the formative!

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Hi June @yazelj,

The timestamp is already there: Go to the tracker, choose Totals and then click or hop over the green icon:


Great! I found the time stamp. That’s very helpful. Thank you.

I thought of one more thing I would like:

When we click on the responses for a GoFormative and we can see the totals, we are able to click on a specific student and a specific question to see what their response was, which is great. What I would like, in addition to that, is to also see the correct answer, especially when the students left the answer blank or answered incorrectly. That way I could compare the answers more easily than having to look back at the formative to see what the answer was. I hope that makes sense.

Thank you again.

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We just added this feature :slight_smile:

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I love this thread!!

My improvement ideas are honestly about returning essential “show your work” features from the previous version of GoFormative.

  • Rotation of Text
  • Edit Selected Text (size, color, etc.)

The old system allowed quick rotation of text and easy resizing of text, too. This allowed me to do daily practice and assessments using this website with sentence diagramming (which is a lost art form and powerful visual tool for teaching mechanics!). I’ve gone from using GF almost daily to barely a few times a month due to the loss of functionality along these lines.

A year ago, I was giving presentations about GF to my school and to our entire network of schools, and I currently cannot recommend the site given the loss of “show your work” functionality which was essential for a variety of high school tasks.

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