The things you learn the hard way - Beware "return scores instantly"

I know the misunderstanding is mine, but sharing in case others find it useful. For the most part, I’ve been assigning Formatives with the “return scores instantly” option, thinking that this was a great way to have students correct mistakes as they go along, and feeling good about my students work as they submitted high scoring formatives. Job well done, right?

Today, I witnessed a student simply clicking until green without even reading the question! Should have noticed this sooner. :frowning:
From now on, all Formatives will be “return scores after student submits”


We are thinking of adding an option to limit the number of “tries” that a student has if the formative is set to return scores “instantly”. Does that sound like it would be helpful?


This would be amazing! I noticed students just clicking along with a formative we gave last week as well. If we could limit the number of tried per question that would help in so many to still give students a chance to rework the problem, but not automatically give them the right answer.


That actually would be cool, and really appreciate “coming to our rescue”. I do want them to know sooner rather than later and also want them to be able to re-do.
However, I also wonder if they would learn to “waste” their first try in the hopes of getting lucky. What do the rest of you think?


I limit the use of this feature for this reason as well. I think if they were limited to 1 wrong answer that would at least improve the guessing situation, and still be a help the the students using it properly to fix a mistake and hope get it correct on the second try. Maybe there could be an option to “return scores instantly” with a an extra option for “allow second try”(per question), and return all correct answers after final submission? Just a thought. :slight_smile:


When I use “return scores instantly” I don’t give them multiple choice questions. They are all short answer so they actually have to type in a response. If I do have to do multiple choice, I always do multiple selection so they don’t know if there is only one answer or more than one. It’s something that my students need to know how to do for their end of year state exam, so I figure practicing it now won’t hurt!


That is a great idea!


You bring up a great point that students might still guess even if they are limited to one try. Do you think there is anything we could add to deter this?


Thanks for the feedback Maria! So would this be in any different than being able to limit the number of tries that a “student” has for a question? I definitely love the idea of setting the formative to return correct answers after a student presses submit so that they can compare!


I think what I was picturing David was with for instance MC questions…having the instant scoring on so that students would know correct/incorrect. But, have an extra option available for teachers to select where we choose to “return scores instantly” to limit students’ answer attempts to two - after that if still not correct, their circle remains red. After the entire formative is completed and submit is clicked, then all correct answers could be displayed so that any that weren’t obtained by the student would be revealed. I hope this is making sense (!)


Thanks Maria! That definitely makes sense :slight_smile:


Limiting the number of times they could submit their answer attempts would to get credit is a great idea!


That would be great! I would love to implement the limited try on quizzes!!! I hope this becomes an option!


I would like to take this even further, and have the option of either manually selecting or setting a preference to have short answers to return scores instantly and multiple choice not return scores until either the student submits or after the session ends. That way, if there are mixed types of problems, then the students do not just click and try to guess.

Something else that I have noticed allows students to cheat is that, if you return scores after the student submits, their answers show up, and they can share their answers with other students. I noticed that my last class was doing better in formatives than my other classes even though that class, in general, had lower skills than the others. That is when I realized that, perhaps, they were getting the answers from previous classes.

What I do for actual assessments now is to not allow multiple submissions, and not to return scores nor correct answers until the session ends. The only problem with that is that they have to ask me what their score was if they want to know. So, it would be great if there were an option where they could just get their score after they submit the formative, but not know which answers they got correct or wrong; or, even better, just give them the score and not be able to open the formative any more.

I know, too many wishes. It’s just that, it’s true, cheating is a big problem and students usually find a way to cheat.


I normally use “return scores instantly” on a math investigation that requires short answers. We used to work through the investigation together as a class and ultimately, I would give the answer to the kids because I wanted them to know it. With this option, the kids can guess repeatedly until they are correct and I know they are working cooperatively to solve the problems as we had done prior to Goformatives. It really makes them try to figure it out and use teamwork. I know some kids might drag their feet and wait for a classmate to answer the question, but this is something that happened when we did it together as a class anyway. I couldn’t get 100% participation all the time. This way the kids are way more engaged in their learning.

If we had a limit on how many guesses they can make, I’d like to be able to control that or set it when creating the Goformative. If we could have it go from unlimited guesses to any number that would be a great option.


This is an interesting idea. On top of preventing students from clicking and guessing on MC questions, is there another reason why you’d want to return scores instantly for short answer questions and not return scores instantly for MC ones? It seems that if we were to implement a feature where you could limit the number of attempts that a student has for a MC question, this would meet your need (of preventing students from just clicking and guessing) while still allowing them to get the quick feedback that wouldn’t be possible if they had to first submit the formative or wait for you to end the session.

This is a great point. Would you want them to see their score for each question or just a total score for the formative?


This is a really good reminder! Thanks for sharing your experience!


My former students, middle and high school, tell me all the time that they just go in for the first attempt at an assignment or assessment to “see/peruse” what the questions are like so they can use them to make sure they have the correct answers. They know they have that second chance so they don’t even take the first attempt seriously. Assessment/test means nothing; there is no preparation. Also, the more predictive the questions are, the more likely the students are to memorize the pattern, rather than truly demonstrate an understanding of concepts. Lucky guesses don’t demonstrate understanding. I don’t know how you stop that.


@rwilkins Might this help? A workaround that I learned from @d.vendramin 's webinar is to follow the multiple choice question with one that asks students to show their work or explain their answer! This places more emphasis on the thinking behind the answer and can prevent guessing.


I really like @d.vendramin’s idea, though I have not implemented it in Formative. I have, however, done something similar for quiz corrections regardless of platform (even for Quizziz!). Students that would like to improve their grade on a quiz or test must submit a quiz correction blog post, where they type in the question, correct answer and provide an explanation for it.