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Superb real-time assessment tool a fit for 1-to-1, BYOD classrooms

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 23 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense


Price: Free, Paid
Platforms: Web

Pros: Create simple or detailed assessments in a snap. Real-time monitoring and feedback.

Cons: Could use more collaboration. No family access.

Bottom Line: This smart tool helps teachers gather a variety of student response types and then offer targeted feedback.

Formative supports truly reflective, student-centered formative assessment regardless of whether students are in school or at home. Use Formative to facilitate a flipped classroom model with videos, reading assignments, and written responses, or ask students to submit a video response to reflect about what they learned in class. View students' progress as they complete graphic organizers, work out math problems, annotate an image, or work through a science lab. Talk with students digitally, giving them the chance to try, fail, try again, and improve learning outcomes. In class, use the teacher-paced mode to guide engaging, interactive lessons that enable students to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of ways, whether it's writing, drawing, video, objective questions, or other response types. Since you can control feedback options, there are opportunities for immediate feedback or for asking students to revisit and retry tasks in order to achieve mastery of learning objectives. During or after a lesson, use the data you gather to inform future instruction, eliminating the guesswork and surprises that often accompany standard classroom lessons and traditional assessments. Set up custom rubrics and use them to grade responses and provide consistent, accurate feedback to students. 

Teachers will want to consider that without the ability to involve caregivers through the platform, those who teach younger students may want to avoid asking them to do too much at home. Options for group collaboration would add to Formative's engagement factor at all levels, but even without those, opportunities abound for teachers to connect with and guide students. 

Formative is a web- and app-based interactive student response and assessment tool that's compatible with almost any device. Upon sign-up, teachers can add classes via class code, QR code, or URL or through integrations like Clever or Google Classroom. Teachers can then choose whether to take advantage of detailed tutorials and a library of user-created content, or they can upload or create assignments on their own that let students type, record audio and video, enter numbers, draw (with a mouse or their finger, depending on the device), upload an image, answer multiple-choice questions, and more. Through teacher-paced or independent means, students complete assigned tasks and submit them for feedback. Students need accounts if teachers want to track their progress over time, but there's also an option to respond as a guest without logging in.

Progress monitoring options are varied, ranging from real-time formative feedback to a student growth tracker, which allows teachers to track student progress by standard. The teacher dashboard lets teachers see student work upon submission, and teachers can manually or automatically send grades and narrative feedback in response.

In a crowded genre, Formative stands out with its wealth of question or content types and excellent options for individualized feedback. The ability for teachers to see their students' learning progress in real time is invaluable and allows teachers to intervene and guide student learning before students are too far into a concept. Because of the browser-based platform, it works on any device, making it adaptable to a lot of different learning scenarios.

There's a remarkable opportunity for scaffolding here. Teachers can provide as many resources as they wish to support student learning. Students will love how easy it is to use the tool, no matter which device they have in hand, and teachers will love how the features for assignment creation, distribution, and feedback are all thoughtfully designed with the end user in mind. The library of high-quality premade assignments will help time-strapped teachers get off the ground quickly, but they'll have to spend some time curating the activities that best fit their students' needs. As with any tool, this site's learning potential is only as good as the teacher behind it, so it's up to instructors to design thoughtful lessons that demand meaningful engagement, feature a lot of variety, and generate thoughtful feedback. Luckily, there's a lot of guidance available to help teachers do just that.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

Students can write, draw, watch or record videos, work out problems, and receive instant feedback from teachers.


Real-time feedback can help students of all ability levels improve, and the dashboard's great at-a-glance tracking supports progress monitoring and learning conversations.


Because teachers and students can communicate in so many ways, it's easy to accommodate different learning needs. Supports for additional languages, fonts, and immersive reader would help teachers reach more learners.

Common Sense reviewer
Marianne Rogowski
Marianne Rogowski Instructional Technology Facilitator

Community Rating


Formative is an educational app which works to transform the dynamics of how educators and students approach assessments. Formative includes all the typical trappings of assessments; multiple choice, fill in the blank, and short answers. However, formative also includes drawings (show your work and whiteboard), audio and video responses, and tools which support the academic needs of various subjects and grade levels. For example, formative includes graphing, table grids, and matching options for students. While these options are great, they can either be done on paper, in person, or over different educational tools. What makes formative so important in changing how assessments are used in the classroom is real-time data. Students can be taking their assessment all at the same time and educators can watch on their own screen what their students are doing and how they are processing information. Educators can then see what their students are doing, step in if they feel the need to, and inform their teaching based on what they see on formative. This final portion of technology that formative provides not only substitutes traditional assessments but, redefines how students and teachers understand and engage with assessments.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information must be shared for social interactions.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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