Categories: Assessment
Availability: Browser, iOS, Android
Uses: Formative assessment, Engagement, Creativity

What is it?
Formative is a live assessment app that gives students and educators more freedom to digitally assess subjects in non-traditional ways. Formative allows you to see your student’s responses in real-time and offers a variety of assessment methods including the usual multiple choice and true or false but also a neat “show your work” feature. Students can sign up for free and can access the tests by entering a class code on the Formative website.

Formative offers a free account for teachers and students and teachers can upgrade their account for $12 per month to take advantage of more advanced assessment features including student progress reporting and advanced tracking.

How can I use it?
Formative can be used as part of a flipped classroom approach to gauge student understanding of a topic or concept, as a homework assignment, a lab, a reflection, a review and can be used to track a student’s progress over time (this particular feature may require an upgrade to a paid account).  

To get started with an lecturer account:

  • Create a free account at: by clicking the blue button for teachers and students - “Teachers & Students Sign Up FREE”
    • Choose Teacher in the next option and add your details to create a new account or click “Log In Here” if you already have an account. You can also log in using your Google account details.
    • Click “Classes” to create a new group for your students to help manage your assessments
  • Click New Class, enter the required details and select a colour for the class. 
  • Click Add Students to add your students. If students already have Formative accounts or they will create their own accounts they can go to and enter the class code. You can also add the students manually.
  • Click “Formatives” at the top of the page to create a new assessment
    • Click New Formative to add your assignment. 
    • Give the assessment a name and click the + button to add your content. You can add images, video, audio, whiteboard or text and add questions based on this media. In addition, you can add a straightforward text based quiz such as a traditional MCQ or upload a document and embed questions on to the document.  
    • Some features such as audio response as mentioned in the video below are only available with a paid account. 
  • Click Assign to assign a formative to a particular class group and share the class code with your students. 

Why should I use it?
Formative is a powerful and flexible assessment app that allows you to quickly and easily create a variety of quizzes and assessments to gauge understanding, track progress and engage your students. 

The seamless integration of other media allows you to, for instance, post the link to a Youtube video and ask the students to reflect on what they see in the video. The video and questions will appear in the same page for the student making it easier for them to critically reflect on the question.

Formative quizzes can be previewed before they are released to the students so you can see how it will appear for your students. A button at the top of the screen allows you to toggle between the edit mode, the preview mode and the student responses.

Formative is a non competitive assessment app allowing students to privately submit their answer to a question rather than using popular quiz features like group leaderboards. 

The show your work question type is a useful feature for math/science or creative subjects as students are presented with a whiteboard on which they can draw, type or upload images.

Formative uses auto grading for traditional questions such as multiple choice and true or false. Other questions, such as show your work, essay or short answer can be graded by the lecturer and feedback can be given live to the students. This can help to guide students as they are working to solve a difficult question or providing a reflection.

Top Tip
Formative has a setting to hide the student names on their submissions which can prove useful if you want to share a student answer with the class for discussion, without revealing the identity of the student in question.

Where can I find it?
Unless otherwise stated, all reviews and recommendations are solely those of the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning team and do not reflect the views or opinions of any organisation, including Cork Institute of Technology. The Department is not responsible for any inappropriate, offensive or illegal content viewed or accessed through the tools and products reviewed.