Reflecting on Formative Assessment



We always have a great discussion in Formative Chat on Monday nights, here is Question #1 from last night! Let’s keep the conversation going. What are your thoughts @informed_members @Certified_Educators


I tried everything that Formative put out (except the audio response) while I had Premium access. I found ways to let students explore with the graphing tool before teaching specific concepts. I liked the sorting question that allowed students find compare/contrast different math equations/expressions. With Formative in general, I was very ‘linear’ in my progression and assigning of formatives during the first semester. Second semester, over half of my classes were ‘repeaters’ where students were going to retake semester 1. In order to keep students engaged, I gave students a tracking sheet (pictured below) broken down into strands and allowed students the freedom to choose which strands they would work on for the day. Each strand started with a basic concept and ‘built’ up to mastery level. (Note: Each formative was tagged with the #.# label you see in the chart so students could use CRTL+F to search and find the specific assignment easier.) The students REALLY enjoyed having choice and seemed to be more engaged that if it were a traditional, linear curriculum. Next year, I plan to make a formative that has the tracking sheet embedding into it. Each cell will be hyperlinked to the formative assignment and will offer a short answer response where students can indicate that they are ‘done’ or where they can post a question. That way, students can ‘see’ their progress digitally, and I can see whole-class progress in one place so I can be able to group students more efficiently. :slight_smile:

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This is an ingenious idea! Do you plan on putting the short answer question within the formative that contains the tracker sheet or in the individual formatives that the standards are linked to?


My inspiration comes from @michael.lutz and his webinar on longer units (Using Formative to engage learners actively in a longer teaching unit). I plan to upload the tracking sheet to a Formative and place a bubble in each cell. That bubble will either be a Short Answer with ‘directions’ that read something like: “Click on the link to 1.1 Writing Expressions. Type a message in the box below to indicate if you are ‘done’, or if you ‘need help on problem X’.” OR it can be a Multiple Choice problem with choices of * done, *would like a peer tutor, *teacher help needed, etc". My plan is to not have the auto-grade on so I know which Formatives students have completed (and have a built it direct link to grade the assignment), and students know when I’ve looked at their work. I can give a feedback comment identifying a list of peer tutors or indicate that I’ve given feedback within that assignment, or that I’m on my way to help.

Of course, now that I’m thinking through the process, I might have two levels of tracking sheets. The first level would be bubbles on the tests only… (yellow highlighted spots are bubbles)

… and those bubbles would contain hyperlinks to individual Formatives for each strand…

The idea is that the ‘test’ tracking sheet would give students feedback on the mastery level for each test: mastered (green), tested but retest recommended (yellow), working (orange) and stop and wait for help (red).

Each ‘strand’ tracking sheet could indicate progress towards the test: graded (green), graded but corrections recommended (yellow), feedback given (orange), and stop & work on a different strand while you wait for peer tutor or teacher (red)

Students would also have a hard copy of the tracking sheet so they can cross of or color in cells to match what I put in Formative.

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This is so awesome, Tricia! I was picturing that you were going to embed the tracking sheets using Google Sheets so that there could be clickable links, but now I see how the Upload & Transform feature within Formative and the option to hyperlink text would work well in place of this (with the added benefit of students being able to indicate their progress and you being able to confirm it)! I would absolutely love to see what you create!


LOL - So was I! Then I saw Michael’s approach and thought it would be more valuable than my original idea. I wanted students to be able to ‘fill’ cells in a GoogleDoc to see their progress, but I realized each student would need their own copy and the original Formative idea wouldn’t allow for color coding. While I still plan to give each kid their own digital copy that can be ‘filled’, I think Michael’s idea would be a BIG time saver for me, as the data would all be in one area… with links and colors. :slight_smile:

Another reason splitting it up like I plan is so that all the bubble colors are visible on one screen. If I had bubbles for the entire sheet, students would have to scroll across to see what they needed to work on next.


How will you embed the tracking sheet? I would love to know how you are doing this!


You can simply select “File” at the top of your Google Sheet" and then “Publish to Web”. From there, you can select the “Embed” option, “Publish” and then copy the embed code that appears:

You can then just use the embed block to embed it in Formative! As a side note, if you embed links in your Google Sheets, your students can just right click on them to open the links in a new tab.

Also, I encourage you to check out this awesome example by @michael.lutz ! He shares many great examples of things to embed (including Google Sheets) :slight_smile:


David copied from my post. Here’s where I responded, with some examples: Reflecting on Formative Assessment

Of course, I could have just make a document with hyperlinks to my Formatives built in, and then embedded it after publishing (as outlined by David.)


I love your idea and am trying to think of a way I could do something like this with my students.


I’m happy to help any way I can. :slight_smile: