GoFormative Fail

By Kimberly Rosander

I’ve been trained on how to use the GoFormative.com website. I’ve used a colleague’s GoFormative, and I’ve been encouraged by the powers that be to integrate this technology into my classroom. – all with varying degrees of success, mostly because it is difficult for students to use math-type on the site. Also, variances and capitalization and spelling score an answer as ‘incorrect’ when in actuality, the student knew what they were talking about.

I still have not cracked the code on this.

A week or so ago, I had the perfect scenario to try GoFormative again. I had a little extra prep time and access to laptops. What a great way to get immediate, automated feedback. Off I went and created a polynomial formative on GoFormative. I even posted it on Google Classroom.

Everything seemed good to go.

Because I posted the GoFormative assessment on Google Classroom, one student came to class with a printed, completed copy. She was done, and I didn’t have a plan B for her. Never thought that someone would pre-print this before class and come in with it already finished. Impressive, but it threw me off.

Little did I know this was the least of my worries. As students began logging in to Google Classroom and accessing the GoFormative link, all seemed calm.

Until one by one, students realized I’d revealed the answers to the questions. Right above each answer blank was the answer itself. Ugh. I kept hoping no one else notice, but as soon as one student asked, others chimed in, “Oh yeah, are these the answers?” I tried to play it cool, but it was clear that this task was over and done. And I learned nothing about their skills with polynomials.

What happened? How did I simultaneously create an assessment and reveal the answers in one fell swoop?

Simple. I typed the answers in the wrong blank, and immediately everyone earned a 100%.

Moments like these are learning experiences, but they are also discouraging. In a day that’s jammed for time, incorporating and figuring out new technology in an effective way drops to the bottom of my to-do list. I’m not sure what my future with GoFormative holds, but on that day, I was ready to throw in the towel. Now weeks later, I’ve proven that I will continue to experiment with other tech resources. Each one brings something different to the table, and I think that’s what the process of blended learning entails. Try, fail, tweak, and try again.

Side Note: All that being said, my favorite feature of GoFormative is turning a PDF into a live assessment, and with the question feature, you can stick a question anywhere on the page. It’s pretty cool.

Ms. Rosander