Automated Grading for the "Categorize" Question?


Hello All,

I am sharing the link for one of my SUPER quick formatives on categorizing elements of the Neolithic and Paleolithic Eras. Does anyone know if there is a way to assign points for EACH answer that a student correctly drags into the right box? What I found when I did this formative was that my students’ scores came out to be a 50% or 0 in some cases because they incorrectly placed ONE item of the five. I don’t see that as an accurate reflection of what they actually know in this case.

Although I could just make these items T/F or MC I love the categorizing feature since it really helps my classes visualize the categories, but on the data end it looks as if the kids are not retaining the information which makes it hard to make decisions off this data. I also could go in and grade one by one but it defeats the point of a quick formative.

Has anyone found a workaround or this feature just not available yet?


That is an awesome question, indeed! I also faced the same problem when our Science Dept. wanted to use this fantastic feature for genealogy. @Lisa_Scumpieru or @david, is there a way round this issue or is it on the list for the developers in the future?


This would be a great feature to see if @michael.lutz and @david could work with this feature and separate it out for all of you. Great idea!


@Lisa_Scumpieru and @kjohnson: It’s on my personal wish list as well. I very much hope that there will be an update soon.

Until then, I’ll give a point for every correct answer and deduct a point for every incorrect answer. You’ll grade by hand:


@michael.lutz Yes at this point I do the same. Hopefully this update comes soon!


Another thing you could do: help your students with: “tick 5 answers”. You then might just give 2 points in total. Tell your students that in order to get the full points, they need to tick all the correct answers.


Being able for the students to have ‘partial credit’ on the categorize questions would be awesome. They get frustrated when working for success. They work hard and know that they are partially correct and have frowny faces with the all or nothing points…



Thanks for the input everyone! This is something we’ve heard a couple people request. I’ve noted that each of you would like it as well as your unique insights too! Thanks for providing the workarounds @michael.lutz !

We tag every piece of feedback we see and use it to inform the features we develop and we are also looking into the logistics of creating a public facing board that would allow you to post features, vote for your favorites, and see how popular they are. While the list of what we actually develop is constantly changing due to different factors, we hope that something like this can provide you further clarity of what other teachers want :slight_smile: Here’s a post I wrote with a bit more information in case you are interested!


Also, it seems like you would want Formative to award “equal” fractions for every correct choice by the student (Ex: 1 correct choice equals 1/4 points, 2 correct choices equals 2/4 points). Is this correct? :grinning:

Also, are there other aspects of this feature that you would like us to consider?


Maybe a hint button…that might highlight/change the color of the box of the ones that are placed wrong. This could be a teacher button to turn on/off for students who are struggling. Or a progress bar that shows what percent are correct. This could be like the progress color bar for each question that shows the results (red, yellow, green).

I love using categorize. It raises the DOK of a simple multiple choice question. Students have to work to get the 100%…I also love that they get frustrated…but working with a few of them, it would have been nice to give them a ‘hint’ while they were working.

Just throwing this out there…



@Pebble_Johnson - Brilliant ideas! I love each one and think that it’s something that makes sense.


I can definitely see how both of these features could be really important to help you provide extra support for students in addition to showing them that they have received partial credit. Giving “customizable hints” to students when they click a button or when they respond to a question a certain way is definitely something we’ve heard support for! I noted that both you and @Lisa_Scumpieru want them!

I am a big fan of DOK and agree that the Categorize question type can help you and your students hit a higher level of it!


I’m sorry, but I cannot figure out what DOK stands for… help?


It stands for Depths of Knowledge Levels! There are 4 levels and each describes a different level of thinking we can help students engage in:

Here’s a great video where Norman Webb describes it:


Thanks @david I have seen other models of leveled questioning just not this one before.


I would like this too! I use “categorize” when we practice grammar.


Thanks Claire! I noted it :slight_smile:


Has anything been done in order to grade the categorize section by correct answer instead of completely wrong for missing one part?? I would like to be able to spend less time individually grading this if possible.


It’s on the feature vote this week, again. At the moment only 2nd place. However, I voted for it!


Wow what is 1st place? This is a very discouraging piece of the student assessment. Yes goformative is great but this is one very important part of the assessment. I hate to create an assessment and then go back and grade this section myself. It takes away the convenience of using the program.