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Tips for Using Formative with Students with Learning Differences
Tips for Using Formative with Students with Learning Differences

Learn tips for maximizing Formative for students with special needs.

Sarah McGull avatar
Written by Sarah McGull
Updated over a week ago

🌟Read Aloud Accommodation

🎧 If you are one of our Gold users, you can enable a Text to Speech accommodation for your students on the global level from within Formative!

To set a global accommodation for Text to Speech:

  1. Go to your "Classes" tab

  2. Expand the view for the class the student is a member of

  3. Click the "eye" icon

  4. Next to the student's name click "Add accommodations"

  5. If the student already has a different accommodation in place, click the pencil icon next to their accommodation

  6. Toggle the Text to Speech button on

  7. Click "Update" to save

Please read this article for additional information on Formative's in-house Text to Speech feature, it's capabilities and options.

🎧 If you do not have a Gold license with Formative you can enable text to speech capabilities on the student device instead.


  1. At the bottom right, select the time. Or press Alt + Shift + s.

  2. Select Settings .

  3. At the bottom, select Advanced.

  4. In the "Accessibility" section, select Manage accessibility features.

  5. Under "Text-to-Speech," turn on Enable select-to-speak

iOS Mobile Devices:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen

  2. Tap Accessibility

  3. Tap Speech

  4. Tap the switch next to Speak Selection

iOS Desktop/Laptop Devices:

  1. Open “System Preferences”

  2. Choose “Accessibility”

  3. Choose “Speech”

  4. Mark “Speak selected text when the key is pressed”

🌟Chunking Material/Frequent Breaks

All responses in Formative auto-save so students can work on a formative in multiple sessions.  To break up the sessions for the student, try adding a text block after each section notifying the student to stop and take a break.

🌟Insert Support Resources into the Formative

You can add support materials right into your formative!
🧮 Insert an image of a multiplication chart.
🧮 Embed a calculator (basic, Graphing or Scientific) from ClassCalc.
🧮 Insert video tutorials for instruction.

🌟Modify a Grade Level Formative

A formative written can easily be copied and modified for any student.
📍Copy a formative
📍Rename the formative - e.g. "Dividing Decimals Purple Group"
📍Modify the formative to meet student needs - e.g. reduce answer choices on multiple choice questions, add audio, swap out a grade level reading passage for a reading passage on the students' level, add text boxes or videos with additional directions and/or resources, reduce wordiness in math problems, etc.
📍Assign to individuals who need this formative (Silver/Gold feature).

🌟Tag and Track Standards according to IEP goals

Add standards to your Standards Set on which your students are learning and tag questions with those standards. Monitor progress towards mastery of standards on the Tracker.

Silver/Gold users get even more helpful features!

🎧 Add audio to any question type so students can both listen to and see the content.

You can add audio anywhere that you see the "+" symbol. This means that you can read aloud answer options (for example in Multiple Choice or Multiple Selection questions), and send your feedback messages in audio format instead of text.

Video is an option, too! If recording a short video with your webcam is preferable to recording audio, you can select the "Video" option instead of "Audio."

🌟Audio/Video Response

🎤 Students can respond with audio on Audio Response questions, or record a video with their webcam using Video Response questions!

🎤 Students can even use the "Send feedback" feature to respond with audio so they can take the same formative as the rest of the class. Just use their recorded audio "feedback" to grade their answer on any question type, even those that don't support audio responses, such as multiple choice.

🌟Use the Free Response Question for Choice in Response Type

🎤 Students can respond in a variety of ways on Free Response questions. Try adding a "Show Your Work" to a Free Response question for even more options!

🌟 Time Limit Accommodations

Gold plan teachers can set Time limit extensions for students with accommodations.

🌟What's Next?

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