Wishlist for updates/improvements in 2020

Here’s a list of things I’d love to see developed in Formative. Feel free to add your own or let me know if any of these have been instituted!

  1. undo accidental deletion of student’s individual response or assignment for all types of teacher accounts

  2. be able to re-number the “1”, “2”, “3”, etc. blue numbers on the PDF upload version with “1a”, “1b”, etc. if you want to in order to match the numbering on the PDF

  3. be able to set different timing and scheduling options for multiple students in the same class section at the same time (currently, if one student was taking a quiz on Monday and another student on Tuesday, I’d have to schedule the Monday student’s quiz, then go back in after that student submits to change the scheduling options to open the quiz up for the Tuesday student - quite frustrating)

  4. see the complete messaging history (rather than just the new notifications, which disappear from the bell icon at the top of the screen once read) - for both students and instructors

  5. have the option to turn on a student-student messaging feature so students can message each other about a question (if the teacher turns on the feature - and also allow the teacher to see any and all messages)

  6. have multiple students work collaboratively on the same file, split up into groups

  7. always let students see the status of an assignment very clearly from their dashboard with (a) the exact day & times it opens on and is due by, (b) the number of questions and total point value of each assignment, © the number of questions answered relative to unanswered, (d) whether the assignment is unavailabile, available + unsubmitted, available + submitted, unavailable + submitted, incomplete, etc., and (e) whether the grading has been finalized or not (add in a feature for a teacher to mark an assignment as “returned” so the students know it’s complete and all feedback is finalized - you can currently set scores to not return until you finish grading (then change the setting to return scores), but this isn’t ideal for teachers who want students to see the results of auto-grading asap but will need to do partial credit and/or some manual grading to complete the overall assignment grading).

  8. enable the ability to students to choose to receive email notifications whenever as assignment status changes (ex: new assignment posted, due date coming up, instructor message sent, etc.) and for instructors to receive an email whenever a student message is received

  9. have the option to make some questions extra credit (so that the grade students see on their dashboard is actually the grade they have - currently, if I write an assignment worth 30 points with 5 extra credit points, Formative calculates their grade out of 35 points)

  10. have the option to add in an assignment penalty or bonus (ex: late penalty for whole assignment, late penalty for just the specific questions which are submitted late (automatically determined by website, not deducting any late penalty for the questions which were submitted on time or questions which the student still doesn’t answer after the extension is granted), bonus for classroom participation)

  11. give the teacher the option to have students see the raw score they earned, not the percentage (or see both or see just percentage - depending on how the teacher calculates final course grades)

  12. have the option to mark the grade for some assignments as “Pass” or “Satisfactory”, etc., instead of a number

  13. give students the same text formatting options when typing responses that the instructor has when writing questions (ex: students told me they didn’t have the ability to do things like superscript and subscript when typing short answer responses, but I would like for them to be able to do that)

  14. mark Formatives according to categories (ex: “Warm-Up Questions”, “Homework”, “Quizzes”) and have it so that they can both (a) see those category labels on their dashboards (along with things like due dates, grades etc. aka the stuff mentioned in request # 7 above) and (b) manipulate their dashboard so that they can see the Formatives in category folders like the instructors can

  15. in line with request # 14 above, make it so that, if the student goes to their category folder, they can see the point value sum for that category and/or enable an overall gradebook feature for any instructors who want to use Formative as their location for all assignments

  16. add the ability to turn on/off a chime to accompany all new messages

  17. during assignment creation, be able to change the PDF uploaded WITHOUT deleting all the questions typed up on the right-hand side of the screen (super important if the instructor realizes there is a slight mistake in the PDF)


Thanks so much for the feedback, some really great items in this list. A good chunk of these come up as requests often and are on the internal roadmap.

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I would love:

  1. The option of a camera on the show your work so they don’t have to save it first to the drive.
  2. The option to Force submit the entire class so the tracker is accurate.

Great, glad to hear it! I’d be happy to beta test features if that’d be helpful

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^^^ second the classwide force-submitting

  1. The option to Force submit the entire class so the tracker is accurate.

@ekelley @Marcia_Davis This is currently in development, will keep you posted.


Allow a “history” of notifications (in Facebook style). I could use the record of communication with students - especially during distance learning. Currently, the notifications disappear after being addressed and sometimes I forget who it was that I was chatting with.

Can you make it so that clicking on a notification will put that student in view on the “totals” screen? When I respond to a notification, I want to also check on their overall progress, but with 170 students in 6 sections, I often have to hunt for the student or look them up in our SIS to see which class they’re in.

I would like a function that allows you to close an assignment without letting the students see the worksheet until it’s open. This would be helpful when giving a test. I want to assign it or see the results after the test, but don’t want the students to see the questions before or after the test. If there was a way to unassign it to the student, but still see their results in the teacher view.

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As long as we are wishing:

  1. An algorithm for questions which allows for numerical randomization so students each get novel problems but the same method to solve them.
  2. The ability to link formatives in a progression based on a parameter. For example it could be as simple as making sure students take all the formatives in order. Students would be notified they cannot open formative 3 without first attempts at 1 & 2. It could also be set so that students can’t take 2 without getting a passing score on 1.
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I use Formatives for quarterly testing for Admin. They want to see each question have a standard attached to it. I have the standard imbedded into the question. When I submit the test admin in the PDF format, I need to be able to have it include the standard.

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Yes to both of these suggestions!

Also, another item for the wishlist: the ability to make sub-groups of students within one class (example, students with standard time vs. students with 50 % extended time for accommodations). I don’t want to create a whole separate class for them, but I also don’t want to have to keep altering the list of students who can see which assignment every time.

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@ekelley @Marcia_Davis

There’s an option in the view responses page to force submit an entire class now.
Screenshot from 2020-09-16 20-00-25

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I’d like the ability to sort students by last response time. It would make life easier when grading late work


Not sure if this has been said, but I would love to see the grading scale colors translate to the students side. I want students to be able to go back work on incorrect answer, so I use the following thresholds and grading rubric. BUT the students don’t see the same colors that I do. I mark something 50% (Blue), they see YELLOW! This is called “Formative”, let’s be able to use it for “assessments for learning”.
Practice Set Rubric


I am pretty sure you can do this. If you scheduled open/close times, students can’t see it until it is open. Then change your settings ‘After Submission’ to ‘Make hidden’ You can still see their submissions, but they can’t see their answers.

It would also be nice if we could move the blue “Selected” box (the one at the bottom of the instructor screen when grading - also has the “Select all” option) out of the field so that it doesn’t cover up student responses. It’s always covering up the response of my last student, so I have to individually click on their answer for every question in order to see what they said.


I would also love for students to have the ability to take a picture from their webcam directly from the Formative so they do not have to save it first.


Please update the attached menu to include images. Lots of teachers don’t know that you can enhance an image too! :blush: