This article is intended for students (and parents of K-12 students) to navigate and use Formative!

We’re excited for you (or your student) to use Formative this year! Whether learning from a school building or from home, Formative allows teachers to give assignments securely online, assess progress, and more effectively support every student's learning!

Formative's benefits:

  • Allowing the teacher to see responses to assignments in real-time so they can provide feedback and support immediately!

  • Tracking growth by assignments and standards so the teacher and student can understand their progress towards mastery.

  • Facilitating teachers and students to exchange messages about their work securely online.

Formative is safe and private. Students cannot access other students’ work or send messages to other students.

Signing Up and Creating a Formative Student Account - First-Time Users

Your teacher or school's administrators may have already created a Formative student account for you. If that is the case, please skip the Signing Up section and go straight to the Logging In section below. If you're not sure if an account has already been created for you, please check with your teacher!

If a Formative student account has not been created for you, your teacher could invite you to create an account in one of two ways:

  1. Your teacher may send you an invitation email containing a Join Link to join their class or

  2. Your teacher may provide you with a 6 characters Join Code to join their class

If your teacher sent you an invitation email, start by clicking the Join Link in the body of the email:

You will then be re-directed to Formative's Join Class page where you will click the "Create Student Account" button:

If your teacher provided you with a 6 characters Join Code, please go to where you will be prompted to enter that Join Code:

Once the Join Code has been entered, you will be re-directed to the Join Class page, where you will click the "Create Student Account" button:

After clicking "Create Student Account"

You will be redirected to Formative's Student Sign Up page where you will have the option to sign up using an email address and a password of your choice, then click "Create Free Account".

Alternatively, if you hold an existing Google, Clever, or Microsoft Teams account, you can choose to sign up to Formative with it instead. This method is referred to as a Single Sign-On method. Simply click the respective provider's icon at the bottom of this page, proceed to choose/enter your existing account when prompted, and then enter that account's password to complete the sign up process (for example, if you're signing up with your Google account, you will need to enter your Google password).

Note: if you're using a Single Sign On method, make sure to be logged in to the correct account on your browser or device as well.

Finish your sign up process by entering your first name and last name, and click "Let's Go!" to be taken to your Student Dashboard.

Using the Join Link or the Join Code when creating your account, will add the teacher's class to your classes list on your dashboard (click the dropdown next to "Class" from the menu bar to reveal the list).

If you're missing classes on the list, you will need to either ask your teacher to add you to them or join them manually. We will discuss how to join classes manually in a later section of this article.

Logging In to an Existing Formative Student Account

To log in to an existing Formative Student Account, go to

Once a Formative Student Account has been created, you will need to log in to that account with the same log in credentials that were used when creating it.

  • If you created your account using an email address and a password of your choice, you will need to use these to log in to your account.

  • If you created your account using a Single Sign-On method, you will need to use this method to log in to your account.

But what if the account was created on your behalf by your teacher or a school administrator?

In this case, your teacher or school administrator will provide you with the login credentials they have set up for you. Make sure you follow their instructions!

Here are the three possible scenarios:

  • Your teacher created an account for you using a username and a password.

In this case, your teacher will provide you with the username and password they have used to create your account. When you go to the Login page at , simply enter both and click "Log In".

Note: You can ask your teacher to send you a link to reset the password. This is useful in case you want to create a password that will be easier for you to remember, or if you forgot the password your teacher has assigned you.

  • Your teacher or school administrators have created an account for you using a Single Sign-On method (an existing Google, Microsoft Teams, or Clever account)

In this case, your teacher or school will let you know which account to use to log in. When you go to the Login page at , simply click on the respective icon at the bottom of the page, proceed to choose/enter your Google, Clever or Microsoft Teams account when prompted, and then enter that account's password to complete the log in process (for example, if you're using your Google account, you will need to enter your Google password).

  • Your teacher or school administrators have created an account for you using your email address

In this case, you will receive an email informing you that an account has been created for you, which will contain a link to set up a new password. Once you've set up your password, you will continue to log in using email and password credentials.

Note: In some cases you will have the option to join assignments as a "guest", but we strongly recommend to avoid using this option whenever possible by logging in to your own Formative Student Account.

A guest login is a single-use temporary access to an assignment, and you will not be able to access that assignment again once you leave it, meaning you will no option to view or edit your responses. On top of this, guest data is not stored and therefore any score you achieve will not be associated with your student account.

Joining the correct class

When a Formative Student Account is created on your behalf by your teacher or school administrator, it is most likely that they have already added you to the correct classes, and you will see these classes on your dashboard when you log in however, that may not always be the case.

Once you are logged in, click the "class" dropdown in the menu bar to reveal the list of classes you are already a member of.

If you're missing any classes on that list, you will need to ask your teacher to add you to them, or join the classes manually.

To join a class manually, you will need to get either a Join Link or a Join Code from your teacher.

If your teacher chooses to email you a Join Link, simply click that link and once you're logged in to your Formative account, the class will be added to your list automatically.

If your teacher chooses to provide you with a Join Code, log in to your account and click "Join a class or assignment" in the lower left corner of your screen, and proceed to enter the Join Code there. Once entered, the class will be added to your list.

Viewing your dashboard in Formative

Please note that if your school uses a system like Google Classroom, Blackbaud, etc you will most likely access your Formative assignments through those platforms instead of directly through Formative. Check with your teacher for guidance!

When logged into Formative, and as long as your teacher assigned formatives to your class(es), you will see your assignments and performance on standards from your dashboard.

All of your assignments are listed and the standard order is most recent at the top, but you can organize them by title as well.

Your notifications (the bell icon) will show you any feedback your teacher has provided.

If you have Formative for multiple classes, the class name is listed below the assignment's title. Clicking "Open" will open any assignment that is currently available to you. Assignments that you've submitted will be labeled "Submitted", and as long as your teacher has defined the settings to it, you may still be able to click on them to access and view your submission. In some cases, teachers will allow students to edit their assignments after the submission as well. Your teacher will communicate with you if this option is available to you on any of your assignments.
Assignments labeled "Closed" are no longer available.

Missing assignments?

If any of the assignments that were assigned to your current class are missing from your dashboard, please reach out to your teacher to inquire about them. It is likely that the teacher is the one preventing access to these assignments and they can also release them to be viewed again.

If you're missing past assignments from past classes, it is most likely due to the old class being archived by the teacher or the school. Your scores are saved with them.

Note: If assignments are posted through another system like Google Classroom, you will access them from there

Responding to formatives / assignments

Here is our article about answering every question that goes into detail about the types of questions you may see on an assignment. Please refer to it for technical instructions.

Depending on the settings you teacher chose for the formative, you may have the option to check your score as you are working on the assignment. This option will only be available if the question is automatically graded, no keyboard entries are needed, and your teacher chose to return scores instantly.

Clicking on "Check Answer" at the bottom right corner of the question will allow you to see how you scored on that question. Formative will record the amount of attempts made and will display the number of attempts for your teacher to view.

As you respond to questions on a formative, a progress bar will be presented to you at the top of the screen. The different icons on the progress bar indicate the status of each of the questions you have completed (see image below for visual references).

These statuses can be any of the following:

  • A red circle indicates there's Feedback from your teacher for this question

  • A red triangle indicates an error in the submission of this question. Please go back and check for anything that needs adjusting

  • A gray circle indicates a question has been completed

  • A yellow flag indicates the question is incomplete, yet not required (you will be able to submit your work without completing it)

  • A red star indicates the question is incomplete and required, meaning you will not be able to submit your work without completing it.

If your teacher added a Show Your Work box to a required question , and you did not choose to use it, there will be an indication of "Incomplete Non-Required" on the Show Your Work" box itself.

Once you've finished answering your formative, click "submit" to turn in your assignment. Your teacher will decide if you are able to see your assignment or check your scores after it has been submitted. If you submit before you finish answering, only your teacher can give you access to the assignment again.

Tracking your progress

Your teacher will determine if you can see your score or look at your assignment after you've submitted it. If you're not able to see your score, check with your teacher, but they may have hidden it from view.

Many Formative assignments are automatically graded based on your teacher's answer key, but more complicated questions still require manual grading and your teacher may wait until they have finished all grading before giving access to scores.

If your school tracks progress by standard-based teaching, your assignments may have those standards tagged to the questions! You'll be able to track your progress against the standards by using the "Tracker" tab on your dashboard.

Open the Tracker, verify that the filter is set up with the appropriate date range, and view your scores according to the standards.

If there's nothing here, then your teacher or school may not have tagged the standards to your Formative assignments.

You can also check out your Formative achievements! For every assignment you submit and every question you answer, you'll level up in Formative. Just click on "My Account" and select "Achievements" to see how you're tackling the challenges!

Communicating with your teacher

You can communicate with your teacher directly through your Formative assignment. If you want to explain your reasoning or ask about a question, just click the little conversation text icon on the right side corner below the question and type your feedback into the prompt:

Hit "Send" to send it directly to your teacher.

You can also click on the blue plus sign in the text box to include an image, audio recording, or other content besides just text!

Your teacher can respond or leave feedback for you too! It will show up in your notifications on your dashboard and under the applicable question on the assignment.

You can send messages through Formative only to your teacher and other students will not be able to read what you've written in the feedback section.

Troubleshooting Common issues:

SSO not working - wrong profile

  • If you share your device with anyone else, there may be multiple profiles set up on it. Please make sure you log into your device with the same login you use for Google SSO. Check that your profile icon is correct in the upper right corner of Chrome. Select the correct profile when using SSO.

SSO looping

  • If your SSO is looping you back to the log-in screen or leaving you stuck with a blank screen or error message, try clearing your cache and cookies. (This process differs depending on your browser or device so search for instructions for your particular setup.)

  • If you get an "Oops, something went wrong!" error you may have an unstable network connection. Check your network speed. If you are using your phone to log in to Formative, ensure you are on WiFi or have enough bars of service.

Incorrect password

  • If you normally use SSO through Google, Clever, or MS Teams, you should not be entering an email/username or password. Simply click the appropriate SSO icon and follow the prompts.

  • Verify that you are using the correct email address and not a personal one.

  • You can reset your password through the "Forgot password?" link on the login screen. Just enter your email address and we'll send you a link to reset your password. Didn't get an email? Be sure to check your spam, promotions, or junk folders! Check that you entered the one you use to log into Formative and not a different personal one.

  • If you're in class, you can ask your teacher to reset your password for you as well!

Accidentally signed up as a teacher account:

You may have signed up as a teacher account if your teacher experienced this error while inviting students to your class: "This user currently has a teacher account. Only students can be invited to a section."

You will need to create a student account to join any classrooms. The signup steps above should guide you to create a student account without any issues. If, however, you created an account on your own and accidentally selected a Teacher account, you will not be able to join classrooms or access assignments. If you find yourself unable to join a class, check that you have the right type of account:

If you accidentally signed up as a teacher, you need to delete your Formative account and sign up as a student.

Log in and follow these directions:

  1. From the lower left corner of the screen, click on your initials and then “Account Info”

  2. Scroll down until you see "Advanced settings," then click on that to reveal the "Delete My Account" button:

Browser issues:

Many common problems such as "Oops! Something went wrong!" errors are caused by your browser.

  • Ensure your browser is up to date. Formative works best with the latest version of Chrome or Safari.

  • Check your network connectivity. If you're accessing Formative on a phone, ensure you have enough bars or are connected to WiFi.

  • If you have pop-up blockers or ad-blockers installed, these may be preventing certain Formative features from working. Try removing them and other extensions if you run into issues loading parts of Formative.

  • You have to enable third-party cookies and allow website tracking in order to view embedded items like PDFs, videos, audio, or images. If embedded content isn't loading, it is probably cookie settings or a browser extension blocking it.

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