View and Score Responses
Learn about different ways to see your students' responses, change grades, delete responses, give feedback, and close assignments.
Neta Raz Studnitski avatar
Written by Neta Raz Studnitski
Updated this week

Navigating to the Responses Tab

To get to the "Responses" tab:

  1. Go to the "Formatives" tab on your dashboard.

  2. Click on the name of the formative you want to see.

  3. At the top of the screen, click on "Responses."

Understanding the symbols on the Responses tab

You can see which students have not started the formative, have started but not submitted, and which have submitted. It also shows which questions they are getting right or wrong as they answer them!

Here is an example of a formative in progress on the Responses tab:

What do the symbols mean to the right of the student names?

Green checkmark

This student has submitted their formative.

Gray dot

This student has opened their formative. They may have started answering questions. However, they have not submitted it yet.

No indicator

This student has not yet opened the formative.

Red suitcase with exclamation mark

This student has submitted their formative past the defined due-date (late submission). Hover over this icon to reveal the timestamps for the submission.

Gray play icon

The formative is timed, and this student did not open it or start working (hence, the timer did not start counting).

Blue pause icon

The formative is timed, this student has opened and started working, the timer is counting.

Click this button to pause the formative and timer for this student.

Blue play icon

The formative is timed, this student has opened and started working, but the formative and timer were paused.

Click this button to un-pause the formative and timer and allow the student to resume their work.

Autograded answers show with the standard color scheme. If you are a Silver/Gold user, you have the option of adjusting these thresholds:

In our example:

  • Blue speech bubbles on the student answer bars are indicators that there is feedback on that response!

  • By system default, Red answers are incorrect (0%-24%), orange (25%-49%) and yellow (50%-74%) are partially correct, and green is correct (75%-100%).

  • Gray bars will appear if a student answered a question that cannot be auto-graded and requires a manual grading by the teacher. This will happen if the question does not support auto-grading (for example, an audio/video response), or if the teacher did not set an answer key for auto-grading.

  • Blank white spaces on a formative that has yet to be submitted signify unanswered questions. Once the formative is submitted, these blank white spaces will change color and a 🚫 symbol will appear inside the cell indicating that the response was submitted unanswered:

The Responses tab also presents the option to change the assignment settings of the formative itself.

Click the symbol presented next to the class' title to reveal the dropdown menu:

There are additional help center articles that elaborate on these, but in brief:

  • Additional Settings: Change the assignment settings for the formative in real-time. Note that you will need to adjust the settings for each class separately.

  • Force Submissions: Submits the assignment for all the students in the class, regardless of progress or completion of the formative.

  • Pause Assignment: Temporarily disable access to the assignment so you can clarify a point, make a change, or if class was suddenly disrupted.

  • Close Assignment: Unless you've allowed edits after submission, closing a formative will prevent any more responses.

Sorting Views

It can be helpful for you to change the way the Responses tab displays, both for sorting information and when sharing your screen.

From the menu at the top of the Responses tab, you can

  • Show responses by archived students

  • Hide student names (Silver/Gold feature): Protect privacy if you're sharing your screen. Use this in tandem with randomized student sorting.

  • Group by standards to see how your students performed on the assessment according to tagged standards

  • Change between viewing scores by percent or by points.

Clicking the "Sort By" button at the top right corner will give you a wide arrey of sorting options. By default your view will sort by "Active" students first (active students are those who have the formative open on their devices at that particular moment, they will also have a green live indicator next to their avatar to indicate they are active). Other sorting options include by student name (first or last, A-Z or Z-A), by submission date or by scores. Silver/Gold users can also randomize the list's order.

Filtering Responses

You can view your students' progress overall on a formative from the "Responses" tab. You can also toggle to view their responses for just a single question or zero in on a single student's response. In this section you can read about:

  • Viewing all responses/scores for a formative

  • Viewing responses/scores for specific questions

  • Viewing one student's responses/scores

  • View responses by class and see guest student responses/scores

Viewing responses sorted by standards is covered in this article.

View all responses/scores for a formative:

The "Responses" tab will initially open on the "totals" view, which looks like this:

The average score for questions is shown at the top to give you an idea of how the class is doing with each question. All students show up under their class/org. From here you can navigate to other views.

View responses/scores for a specific question:

Click on a single question number and it will show all student responses for that particular question. This view allows you to see your students' responses as they enter them in real-time!

From this view you can also select individual responses or multiple responses and perform actions such as sending feedback, manually grading, and more.

Clicking the 3 vertical dots next to the question prompt on the far right will present you with a dropdown menu that offers the options to zoom responses in or out, as well as show the question details, i.e. the correct answer(s), the point value, and the standards tagged to the question.

By clicking on an individual student response, a window will open on the right side of your screen, allowing you to interact with that student. From this window you can adjust the score for the answer, send your student real-time or delayed feedback, and even clear the student's response if needed.

Clicking the sideways arrows next to the question number at the top right corner of this side window will allow you to navigate to the previous or the next question response by the same student.

Alternatively, clicking the up or down arrows around a student's name will allow you to navigate to the previous or next student in your class roster to view their response to the same question.

You can make the right-side panel full screen, which is helpful for checking longer answers like Show Your Work or long Free Response. Click on the square icon next to the X in the upper right to enter full-screen mode for a single response.

Note: if you set your formative to return scores instantly on auto-graded questions that do not require keyboard entries, students will have the option to check if their answer is correct as they take the formative. Formative will record the amount of attempts made by the student and will display the number of attempts on the answer tiles in this view

NEW: Frequency Chart

From this singular question view, you can also open the Responses Frequency Chart. This allows you to see how many students gave a particular response to a question. To access the Frequency chart view, click the "Frequency" button to view the Frequency chart which will present you with additional response data for the following question types:

  • Matching

  • Multiple Choice

  • Multiple Selection

  • Resequence

  • Numeric

  • Inline Choice

  • Hot Text

  • Categorize

Using the "Filters" button you can define which classes to showcase in the Frequency Chart. You can choose to view the results for one class, a few classes, or all at the same time. You can also toggle the "save filters" button at the bottom of the panel to save your filters as the default moving forward (or turn the default off by un-toggling it).

An "Overall Average" bar will appear at the top of the chart for each of the questions. This "Overall Average" will calculate the average response rate for all the classes selected.

Within the Frequency Chart view you can hover over the frequency bar to reveal the class name, the response percentage and the student count for each of the response options.

Clicking on the bars within the frequency chart will open the right side panel where you can view the full list of students who provided this response, adjust everyone's score at once, send them all instant or delayed feedback at once, or even remove their responses if needed.

See responses from one individual student for all questions

You can look at a singular student's submission for all question on a formative in one view as well. This is helpful if you want to grade one student at a time or go over an assignment with an individual student.

  1. From the Responses tab, click on the student's name or on the total points/percentage cell next to their name.

  2. A side panel will appear with their responses and scores.

  3. Scroll to see all of that student's responses.

View responses by class and see guest student responses

If you have assigned a formative to multiple classes, they will each show separately on the Responses tab. Students for each class will be nested under their class heading.

If "guest students" completed the formative, those results will be visible under "Guest Students." Guests are not associated with a class and therefore appear in a separate list.

Please note: We do not recommend using guest codes with students who have a formative account as guest logins are temporary, one-use logins. Guest students can not access the formative again once they've exited it, and if deleted - their scores can not be restored. Please have your students log in using their account credentials, and use guest codes only if absolutely necessary.

Change scores

If you created an answer key for a question, it will automatically be scored on the Responses tab. You can change the score or, as a Silver/Gold user, add answers to the answer key for certain question types.

Click on a single student's response to expand it to the right-hand side panel. From there you can type in a score out of the total number of points, or simply move the score bar.

Silver/Gold users can also add manually-graded responses to the answer key with a single click. This will update your answer key so that other students with the same response are auto-graded as correct!

Note: An answer key must have been defined for a question for the system to offer you to add another response to it from this view. If you haven't defined an answer key for auto-grading in advance, you will need to manually choose the student responses and grade them. You can use Group Scoring (see below)

Group Scoring

We have recently introduced a new design to this capability! Instead of clicking the circle next to the students' names, a checkbox will appear on the top right corner of the student's response card to check-mark and multi-select students. In the meanwhile:

Manually scoring students one by one can be a daunting mission. Formative makes it easier and faster by allowing the teacher to select a group of students and score them with one click!

  1. Click a specific question number.

  2. Check the check box next to the students' names for all the responses you'd like to group score, or click "all" to select all students for that question. You can also hold down Ctrl or Cmnd on your keyboard to multi-select response cards.

  3. Adjust the score in the right-side panel, and all responses chosen will be scored at once!

    NOTE: Multi-select will only pick up students from classes with an expanded view. If you're scoring multiple classes at once, expand the view for all the classes you're scoring to include the students in the multi-select.

Give Feedback

From the Responses tab, you can comment on an individual response or, if you are a Silver/Gold user, give group feedback.

To give feedback for one response, click on that answer. A side panel will appear with the student's response and score. Type your message into the "feedback" section at the bottom of the panel (If you have opted in to Formative's Early Access to Beta Features, you will also be able to generate feedback using AI)

Feedback appears to the student as a notification and they can respond to it in Formative as long as the assignment is still open or if you allow them to view after submission. (These are options that can be adjusted in the Additional Assign Settings.) You can delay feedback if you want to type it now but have it appear later, for instance after the assignment is closed.

Group feedback, a Silver/Gold feature, can be sent to multiple students by selecting each response that needs the feedback:

  1. Click a specific question number.

  2. Check the check box next to the names of the students you'd like to send group feedback to, or click "all" to select all students for that question. You can also hold down Ctrl or Cmnd on your keyboard to multi-select response cards.

  3. Type your feedback and hit send (or select "Delayed feedback" before sending if you wish).

    NOTE: Multi-select will only pick up students from classes with an expanded view. If you're scoring multiple classes at once, expand the view for all the classes you're scoring to include the students in the multi-select.

When feedback has been sent or received an icon will appear on the response bubble. You can easily tell who sent the last feedback message, the teacher or the student, but the color of the icon: Red icons will appear when the last message is from the student, and Blue icons will appear when the last message is from the teacher.

Remove a Response

You can remove a student's response to the entire formative at once or to individual questions.

To remove a student's response to an individual question:

  1. Click on the individual response to open it on the right-side panel (this can be either from the response-tiles gallery view or from the responses grid)

  2. Click on the triple dot menu within the right-side panel

  3. Choose "Clear Response" from the dropdown menu

To remove all student's responses from the entire formative:

  1. From your main responses tab, click on the student to expand their full submission in the right side panel

  2. Click on the triple dot menu within the right side panel

  3. Choose "Remove Responses" from the dropdown menu

Track or force submit and close assignments


When students complete a formative, they are given a prompt to submit it. You can watch students answer in real time from the Responses tab. There will be a green checkmark next to their name once they have submitted the assignment.

A student may not submit the formative for any number of reasons, so you can submit it on their behalf.

To force submit for one student, click on that student's name. From the side panel, select the dropdown and then select "Force submission."

To force submit for the entire class or multiple classes:

  1. Select the lightning bolt icon next to the class name.

  2. From the dropdown, select "Force submissions."

  3. A pop-up will appear with options:

    1. "Grade empty responses zero": You can have unanswered questions automatically graded as zeroes or leave them ungraded.

    2. Select students: Students who did not submit will be automatically selected. If you select all and have opted to mark unanswered questions as zero, it will ensure that even those who submitted will have their unanswered questions auto-graded.

  4. Click "Submit" to confirm.

  5. You will be prompted to proceed and given the option to change your selection for grading empty responses zero. Click proceed.

You can unsubmit individual student formatives if you wish to allow them to retake an assignment.

Close an assignment

Closing the assignment will execute the additional assign settings for closed assignments. More about how to close a formative and troubleshooting is in this article.

From the Responses tab, you can close an assignment by clicking on the lightning bolt dropdown and selecting "Close assignment."

If the assignment has a red padlock icon, it means it's already closed. You can reopen it if you need to by following the same steps and selecting "Open assignment."

Closing the assignment will not automatically force submissions so if you open it again, it will allow students who did not submit to complete their formative.

What's next?

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