Teacher Paced Mode

Guide students through a lesson or assessment so everyone can stay on the same page.

Neta Raz Studnitski avatar
Written by Neta Raz Studnitski
Updated over a week ago

What is Teacher Paced Mode?

Formative's traditional format allows for self-paced lessons and assessments that provide real-time data, so teachers can send immediate feedback. With Teacher-Paced Mode, you have the option to control the pace of questions so the whole class can progress together!

Note: The assign settings mode is switching to a new design on May, 31st 2024. There are new additional assign settings (for example: enabling retakes on formatives, adding a calculator) that are supported ONLY on the new Assign Settings Redesign mode. Teacher Paced Mode will be launched via a dedicated "Present" button once we have switched over to this new design. We highly recommend taking advantage of the early access option and switching over to this new mode now, to enjoy the full array of settings that is now available on our most up-to-date and elevated assigning experience!

Here's how you can get started:

Step 1: Create your lesson/assessment

Open one of your existing formative assignments, build a new one from scratch by adding content, questions, or uploading existing materials, or grab a copy of a pre-made formative from the Library tab.

Step 2: Present to your students

Click the "Assign" button at the top right corner of your screen and select "Teacher-Paced" from the dropdown menu.

Continue to select the class you'd like to present the formative to, and click "Pace [CLASS]".

Note to Silver/Gold users: Teacher Paced mode will automatically disable the options to restrict to individual students, schedule open and close times, and set a time limit. These controls can be restored when Teacher Paced mode is turned off.

Step 3: Open Teacher-Paced Lobby

Once "Pace [CLASS]" has been clicked, the Teacher-Paced Lobby will launch in a new tab.
Join Instructions for students will display on the left side of the screen. For students in a class, you can provide your students with the title of the formative to access form within their own Formative accounts or send them a direct link.

Guest students, on the other hand, will have the option to join the teacher-paced formative either by using a join-code, or scanning a QR code with their device's camera.

If you have paused or navigated out of the Teacher Paced Mode, simply repeat step 2 (above) and after choosing the same class click to resume.

Step 4: Adjust After Submission Settings

Click the Gear icon on the top right menu to adjust your settings for after submission, returning scores and returning answers

Step 5: Check who joined the session

The right side panel of the Teacher-Paced Lobby will present you with a list of all the students in your class. A live-presence indicator will turn green when the student joins the session. If the live-presence indicator is gray, it means the student has not joined yet.

If you've assigned to Guest Students, you will see the name of the guests who have joined appearing on the right side panel along with the live-presence indicator as well

Differentiate pacing for individual students (lobby)

To accommodate for differentiation, you can choose to release one or more of your students from the Teacher-Paced mode and allow them to work on their own pace (Student-Paced). This can be done both before and after you start presenting.

To release students from Teacher-Paced mode from the lobby:

  1. Un-check the boxes next to the students' names

  2. Click "Confirm" above the list

The presentation icon next to the released students' names will change to a lightning bolt icon, signifying they are now working in Student-Paced mode.

To pull released students back from Student-Paced mode into Teacer-Paced mode reverse your actions:

  1. Check mark the boxes next to the students' names

  2. Click "Confirm" above the list

The students you pull back will join Teacher-Paced mode on the same page the rest of the class is on, and the icon will now change back from the Student-pace icon to the presentation icon.

Step 6: Start the lesson!

When you are ready to begin presenting, simply click "Start Now". Then, you can control which question or group of questions students are seeing. Any student that joins in will automatically view the current question or section you are presenting.

You'll be able to see the Join code and retrieve the Join link from the top of your screen while controlling Teacher-Paced mode.

Pace by questions or sections

To navigate between questions you can use the arrow buttons to move forward or backward, or click the corresponding question/content item/section number/icon in the floating navigation bar.

The default pacing will be by questions however, if your formative has sections in it, you can switch to pacing by sections by clicking on the menu carrat next to the question's number and then choosing the title of the section you'd like to present. The view will change to present all questions nested within this section and following that, clicking the arrow buttons will continue to pace by sections. You can always switch back to pacing by questions by clicking on the carrat once again and then choosing a specific question.

On the navigation bar you also have the option to pause the session. Once the Teacher-Paced mode is paused, students will no longer be able to answer the question they are on until you click to resume.

If the navigation bar is blocking your view, please click the dots on the left and drag and drop it anywhere on the screen you'd prefer it to be.

Demo Mode

In standard Teacher Paced mode teachers do not have the ability to enter responses as students do. If you're presenting to the class and would like to demo responses to your students simply click on "Demo Mode Off" within the navigation bar. This will unlock the response fields to allow you to enter responses.

Clicking "Clear Demo Responses" at the top of the page will remove all responses you've entered in this mode with one click.

Done with demo mode? Click "Demo Mode On" within the navigation bar to close the demo mode and lock the response fields again.

Differentiate pacing for individual students (during presentation)

To accommodate for differentiation, you can choose to release one or more of your students from the Teacher-Paced mode and allow them to work on their own pace (Student-Paced). This can be done both before and after you start presenting.

To release students from Teacher-paced mode from the presentation page:

  1. Expand the student management panel on the right side of your screen.

  2. Un-check the boxes next to the students you'd like to allow to proceed on their own pace

  3. Click the blue "Confirm" button above the list of students.

The students you un-checked will now be released to work on the formative on their own pace. The icon next to their names will change from the presentation icon to a lightning bolt (signifying Student-paced mode).

To pull released students back from Student-Paced mode into Teacer-Paced mode reverse your actions:

  1. Check mark the boxes next to the students' names

  2. Click "Confirm" above the list

The students you pull back will join Teacher-Paced mode on the same page the rest of the class is on, and the icon will now change back from the Student-pace icon to the presentation icon.

End the session

Once you have finished presenting, select the "End session" dropdown from the floating navigation bar. Here you can choose from three options:

  • Switch to student paced: Keeps the assignment open and allows students to view and answer all questions at their own pace and submit at their own time.

  • Close assignment: If all students have provided answers, this closes the assignment for the students.

  • Force submission: Submits all students' assignments for grading, regardless of completion. More on force submission can be found in this article.

  • Return to Lobby: Takes you back to the main presentation lobby without changing any settings for the students.

Once an option has been selected, an end slide will display with the appropriate status of the formative at that time (assignment closed, assignment switched to student-paced, or assignment submitted).

To continue the session another time, select "Pause" from the floating navigation bar instead. This prevents students from continuing the formative while allowing you to keep the assignment open.


🙋🏽 Am I able to display responses and frequency charts for students to see?


There are two ways for you to view student responses and display them to your class:

Displaying responses and frequency on the main presentation page

Click the graph icon on the top right corner of the question, and a right side panel will expand. There, you can navigate between the Responses tab which will present all the response cards of the students and the Frequency tab which will present the frequency of responses across the class.

Responses can be sorted randomly or in order by student name or response, simply click the "Sort by" button to choose your preference.

Please note - student names will be hidden in this view as a default. You have the option to toggle off "Hide student names" to reveal the names if you so choose.

(Coming Soon!) This view also allows you to present the correct answer! Simply toggle on "Show correct answer" and it will be revealed right above the students' responses:

This view is for presentation purposes only and you can not grade or send feedback to students from it. If you need to grade or send feedback, please use the method below instead.

Navigating to the Responses screen on a separate tab

Click on the "view responses" icon at the top right of the screen. All student responses will populate in real-time in the Responses page of the formative, just like they do for every other formative you assign. This will be on a separate tab from your Teacher Paced session. If you are screen-sharing for your class, you can display responses for students to see simply by switching tabs!

From this page you can grade, send feedback and drill down into different sorting and filtering options to include batching scores by standards.

To protect student privacy when sharing your responses tab, make sure you hide student names and randomize sort order at the top of the page:

🙋🏽‍♀️ What does Teacher Paced Mode look like for my students?

Students will not be able to access any questions on the formative until you start the live session. Once you do, they will only view the question or group of questions you have selected on the Teacher Paced mode tab.

Once the lesson has started, the navigation bar at the top will indicate to students which question you are displaying by highlighting the question number/group in blue:

🙋🏿‍♂️ I differentiated pacing, what will the released students experience when released to Student Paced mode and when pulled back into Teacher Paced mode?

When releasing students to Student Paced mode their screen will immediately change to the regular Student-Paced view and a notification will pop up notifying them that you are allowing them to proceed at their on pace.

When you pull the students back into Teacher Paced mode, their screen will immediately change to the Teacher-Paced view and they will join in on the same question or item the rest of the class is on, regardless of having answered it already or not.

🙋🏼 What happens if I close the Teacher Paced mode tab?

If you close the tab, students will still be able to answer the question where you left off but will not be able to continue to the next question until you reopen the tab (see step 3 above) and continue the session. To return to student-paced mode, you must re-open the tab and choose "Switch to student paced" from the "End Session" dropdown menu.

🙋🏻‍♀️ Can my students go back to previous questions?

Students are not able to adjust the question they are on when Teacher Paced mode is active. If you want, you can select "End Session" in the Teacher Paced mode tab and choose "Switch to Student Paced." This will return the formative to the traditional format, where students can view all questions (see above).

🙋🏿‍♂️ My students' screens aren't changing when I change the question

Make sure that you have the correct class's Teacher Paced Mode open. Each class has its own individual Teacher Paced link.

You can check which class you are presenting to in the upper left corner of the Teacher Paced Mode tab.

🙋🏻 Am I still able to send students feedback?

Yes! You can control which questions students see in the Teacher Paced tab, and still view responses and send feedback from the "Responses" screen.

🙋🏽 Are my students still able to ask questions in the feedback chat?

Yes! Students will still see the blue chat bubble icon under each question as you reveal them. Any feedback you send will also show on their screen.

🙋🏿‍♂️ Can I assign more than one class with teacher paced mode?

No, but our team would love to hear more about your needs with assigning multiple classes while in teacher paced so please be sure to provide your feedback through your Formative Dashboard under "Resources" and "Submit a Suggestion."

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