How I Use It
Formative is a formative assessment tool with a lot of potential. Many classes I start or end with a short answer question; this allows me to see their answers as they work. Every single student answers; no one can skip answering the questions. That allows the students' knowledge or misconceptions to guide my teaching for the lesson.
The students love the 'show your work' feature, which has the draw something, either on a blank canvas or the teacher can embed an image for them to draw on top of. As a geography teacher it is perfect for me to embed a blank map and have them add specific locations or physical features. At the beginning of the year we were doing the continents. Instead of having them label the continents (which would have been boring), I had them draw pictures to represent each continent: a kangaroo on Australia, fireworks over Asia, the Nile River and pyramids in Africa, etc. The students loved seeing each other's drawings and it demonstrated to me that they knew the locations of each place.
I can also use the draw feature to have them highlight for text dependent analysis. A follow up question has them explain the significance of the text in relation to the stated claim.
Formative offers a lot of creative applications beyond gamified multiple-choice questions, so it does stand out from some other fun review tools.
I wish there was a way to duplicate questions. I often have very similar questions that just differ by a few words. Another feature I wish they had was the option to randomize the order of the questions and/or the answers.
Sometimes the website is glitchy. I have given up a Formative in the middle of class because the students were frustrated. Sometimes when students try to login they are prompted to join the class again, even though we have used it all school year. I just keep the class codes handy when I know we are going to do a Formative on a given day. The majority of the time it works fine, so I will not give up on the website completely. There is always a lag when trying to view student work live and going from one question to another.