Improvement ideas for Formative - wish list


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!!!


This! Printing would be awesome!

I have that handful of students who don’t bring their laptop to avoid having to do the work, and I usually don’t do a straight up PDF worksheet in GoFormative.

I’m currently going to “preview” after I’m finished, and using the windows snipping too to copy into a word document, and then printing from there. The upside is I have caught some errors that way, but I’d prefer a print option.

Great idea!


I would also like to be able to use small pictures for students to sort in the “categorize” type question.

I’m sure it’s been brought up before, but being able to use colors and different font size within questions/answer choices would also rock for the teacher side.


@barbara.padget thanks for the feedback! These are three great ideas! Please keep it coming! We record every piece we get and use it to help inform our design and development!


Pretty sure I saw it somewhere on this thread, but would love to have some sort of validation of answers for short responses. I recently had my students do a formative on distance and displacement, and had to manually correct answers that were in essence correct. (i.e. 4 blocks E = 4 blocks East = He walked 4 blocks to the east, etc.)


This is as great idea Mariana! Thanks for the feedback as always :slight_smile:


I would love to have the ability to create custom standards. I teach religious studies at a private school so we don’t use state standards, but there are a set of school standards (and some national standards) for my subject area that I would like to be able to track.


I would love to be able to assign to individual students!


It would be very convenient if you could choose to see all formatives for a particular student. This would also make it much easier to determine which formatives a student still needs to complete. It can be very daunting and time consuming going formative to formative to gather this information.


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.


@jchandler412 You can see this in the tracker view, very easily.


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)!


Setting the time limits is setting the time when students can access and assignment, which I normally set up as the time when a class meets. Once I direct students to log in for an assignment, some students are faster than others to log in. We have to wait for everybody to log in. I do not want any student to start before anybody else, so I wait until everybody is on the secret word screen so that I can give them the secret word, and then they can all start at the same time.

Thank you.