What a ride we were in for when schools suddenly shut down in March 2020. Teachers had to adapt to what everyone called “distance learning” and most created a digital classroom. I don’t know about you, but that was a fairly steep learning curve. None of us have ever experienced anything like it before. But we as teachers banded together on Facebook groups and Instagram to encourage and support each other.
In the midst of the confusion, the question I saw over and over among teachers in these groups was, “What program lets students write directly onto a PDF?”
GoFormative.com Changed My Teaching Career
GoFormative.com. Game changer. Life saver. So much so that I showed my admin and he loved it. He even asked me 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 GoFormative.com is truly exceptional tool for a digital classroom and you need to know it’s out there! This is part one of a two part post and I’ll show you some of the way to use and create assignments.
Before I move on, I should tell you – I’m not getting any kickback from this post! I just love it so much that I need to share. Let me give you the highlights, and trust me… writing on a PDF is the least cool thing about this program.
1. Upload PDFs and Docs, or Create Your Own Assignments
This is the least cool feature. Upload ANY PDF or Google Doc (actually, almost any kind of file) and have the kids answer in a designated box directly on the page. If you have pre-made curriculum, this is an awesome feature because you can scan it in. Add questions directly on top of the document. If you want to create new material or lesson, you can add photos, podcasts, youtube videos, and then choose from so many response options. Create a whole lesson on one GoFormative page for students to work through, or use it as a quick check in. You can also create questions just like you would in Google Forms. It’s a very flexible program.
This is wayyy easier than Google Forms. Of course you can give credit for multiple choice. Asking students to match or categorize? Autograded. Be sure to select the partial credit option and it gives them partial credit automatically. Open response? YES! Add keywords to the correct answer (be sure to check partial credit) and it will score them for you and color codes the answers! They’re not always perfect, but it gives you a place to start.
3. Student Responses
You can see all student responses for the same question on one page! That means no waiting to open every student’s Google Doc. That’s annoying. Look at the answer to question five at the same time for EVERY student. Because you can look at one answer at a time, you can grade that specific answer all at the same time.
4. So Many Answer Options!
Do you want them to write? Done? Matching? YEP! Students can respond with audio, a write an essay, categorize, respond with an image, or use the math keyboard. There’s also a super cool “show your work” response where kids have tools that allows them to draw shapes and type!I love using this for quick assessments if students need to show me something in a less restrictive format than typing (diagram or drawing). Using the show your work feature is a very cool option for a digital classroom. Physical notebooks or paper are easy to draw diagrams on, but there are very few easy tools that let kids draw like this digitally. This is also a great option for math!
5. Batch Grading and Feedback
Say you used the answer key feature to autograde an open ended response and you see a group kids making the same mistake. Select all the answers with that mistake, give them the same score (at the same time) and send the same feedback to each student!
6. Keep Track of Student’s Pace
You can see what students are working on live-time – including what they’re typing at that moment! This probably isn’t as helpful if you’re in the middle of distance learning, but in a regular classroom setting, I can see if a student is on question 3 or question 12. Click TOTALS on the View Responses tab. You’ll see a little marker that shows which questions they’ve reached.
7. Getting a Little Fancy
You can embed content into your GoFormative. Consider adding a Google Form or a Flipgrid. What about adding an interactive website? NewsELA? As long as you have an embed code, you can add it into your document. Check out iFrame to convert any URL to an embed code!
BONUS: GoFormative.com integrates with Google Classroom!
Try Out GoFormative.com For Yourself
Guys, I’m telling you this because it’s an incredible tool that will SAVE YOU TIME! I don’t even know how I would have taught remotely without it. I just told you about the cool features, but I didn’t tell you about so many more!
GoFormative.com is a MUST HAVE in your digital classroom. I promise it will save you time and give you flexibility you’ve been craving with your digital assignments! Sign up for a 30-day free trial here (although, I think you’re gonna want to skip the trial and just sign up)!
If you me to walk through some of it for you, check out the GoFormative highlights on my Instagram!
If you’ve gotten this far, check out 5 More Reasons You Need GoFormative! I’ll let you in on a secret… the power is in the settings!