Cloud-based assessment and instructional tool, ideal for in-classroom or distance learning

App of the Week

Formative is a cloud-based teaching and assessment solution used for tracking student growth to standards in order to guide instructional practices and personalize learning. Formative, a Premier Partner of Google for Education, uses data to improve learning and outcomes by enabling teams of teachers to collaborate. By utilizing Formative’s platform, educators can act on live responses, give feedback and auto-grade students’ work, track student growth over time, and visualize student performance across assignments/assessments.

Use Formative to bridge the gap between school and home via a flipped classroom model with videos, reading assignments, and written responses, or guide students through an e-learning day with meaningful real-time assessment and feedback. View students’ progress instantly 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 reflect on their learning processes. Create multifaceted lessons that include warm-ups as well as showing work, watching supplemental videos, and submitting written reflections. 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.


Formats/platforms used:
Formative is a web-based platform.


Primary website’s URL?

Problem Solved:
In order for educators to help their students overcome learning barriers, they must first be able to gauge how well their students are understanding the material. Formative gives teachers all the tools they need to assess knowledge retention and mastery, while also allowing them to intervene when in matters. Not only that, Formative empowers teachers with relevant data that they can use to adjust their instruction accordingly.

Grades and/or age ranges:
Formative is a versatile platform. It is currently being used in K-12 to higher education, while also being used by private entities to fulfill their HR and training needs.


Core of Supplemental?

In Formative, teachers can tag core standards to their lessons and assessments, which allows them to track student progress and mastery with accurate metrics.
Formative has also recently added pre-made content to our public library from open-source curriculum such as EngageNY, Open Up Mathematics (Illustrative Mathematics), and Open up ELA. They will be adding MARS Tasks and EL Education curriculum very soon. These resources are available to all users at no cost. The flexible structure of Formative and its wide array of tools make it an ideal tool for differentiation. Formatives can be tailored to meet the specific needs of students and the bidirectional feedback establishes a vital communication channel between teacher and student.


Formative is meant to work with any academic subject, but our most active users are Math, Science, ELA, and World Languages educators. Our standards are imported from Common Standards Project- a database with standard sets from all the 50 states and other organizations, including Common Core . 
Formative also assists its partner schools with entering their own custom learning standards.


Lesson time required:

It truly depends. Some educators use the platform for entire units, broken into several lessons, while others choose to only use Formative for entry and exit tickets. 


Pricing models:

The free version of Formative is completely free, no strings attached. Users can choose to upgrade to an individual Premium Subscription which includes bonus features. A 30-day free trial is available before committing. They also offer team subscriptions that include collaboration and co-teaching features, as well as school and district-wide plans. For more detailed information about Individual or team subscription, please refer to the pricing page: For schools and districts, send your inquiries to


Additional services:
Formative integrates seamlessly with Google Classroom, which allows users to import their classes and pass grades back from Formative to Google Classroom. We also offer class rostering with Clever. Single-sign-on (SSI) is available through Google, Clever, and Microsoft.
OneRoster Sync and LTI integration with various LMSs is also available to school and district partners. Implementation and on-going success support is typically included with partner subscriptions.


What makes Formative unique? 

The versatility of the platform is what sets it apart. Formative can easily be used as a formative assessment tool and an instructional platform.  It works incredibly well for distance, face-to-face, and blended learning. Educators are allowed a lot of flexibility with the variety of question types we offer and the way they can be combined with different kinds of multimedia content. They allow teachers to check for knowledge retention, while also being able to ask open ended questions to gauge comprehension at a deeper level.

Other similar platforms only enable teachers to do more cursory checks for understanding or they are at the opposite end, where it is completely open-ended and creative, but requires educators to spend a great amount of time grading to assess student comprehension levels.

The ability to act on live responses, provide feedback in a timely manner, use relevant data to guide instruction, coupled with the opportunity to co-create formatives with colleagues and co-teach classes is what makes Formative an ideal tool for educators.



Formative is designed with teachers and students in mind. Understanding how and why a teacher uses a feature on Formative has been a key component in ensuring its design aligns with the goal of maximizing a teacher’s ability to be effective and productive in a virtual classroom context. Using this understanding as a guide aids Formative in providing an optimal user interface and user experience for both teachers and students.

One characteristic is the designing of a wide range of question types that enables a virtual classroom experience to not feel limited due to a digital medium. Teachers can choose from a variety of question types to enable them to evaluate and assess students in the most effective way possible. The interface allows teachers to efficiently generate the questions they require and provides students an experience to not feel like answering through a digital medium hinders their abilities to answer questions.

Another characteristic, the real-time capabilities of Formative, provides a unique user experience for students and teachers. Formative’s interface is designed so teachers can see all of their student answers happen in real-time. This provides opportunities for teachers to engage with appropriate students at the right time — something even in-person classroom can’t always provide.

In addition, standard industry UI/UX practices are always considered when designing new and updating existing parts of Formative. Mobile responsiveness (where appropriate), visual indicators (such as progress bars) to provide system feedback, and textual labels are a few strategies that Formative deploys on their product to help provide teachers and students an easy-to-use, enjoyable interface and experience.


Here's what users are saying:

“Enter No, they're not paying me and don't even know I'm writing this post. I'm just that enthusiastic about it.  My amazing department head and current MIWLA president, Marci Harris, has been proclaiming the wonder of Formative for several years. I was actually an early adopter of it in probably 2015, but, at the time, it was clunky and glitchy. I wrote it off and didn't think about it until me amazing Spanish amiga, Laurel Landrum, convinced me to try it again. Marci is actually so happy to be right that she's taken to Twitter to brag ;)”

-- Spanish Teacher


“Game changer. Life saver. So much so that I showed my admin and he loved it. He even asked me to present it in a staff PD and we had enough interest that we got a CAMPUS WIDE SUBSCRIPTION. When was the last time that many teachers were all on board with the same idea. It’s literally the best thing I’ve found in my 7 years of teaching. I used it in my classroom before the COVID shutdown. It’s one tool on a list of many, but is truly exceptional tool for a digital classroom and you need to know it’s out there!”

-- Middle School Science Teacher

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