5 Reasons to Use GoFormative For Distance Learning (2024)

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If you have talked to me about my classroom at all, I have probably brought up GoFormative. It's a tool I use nearly daily & has totally transformed my classroom by giving students ownership of their learning. However, the conversation about GoFormative in the classroom is for a different time. It's looking like my school district & others will be starting with Distance Learning for Fall 2020. During the spring when we first went to Distance Learning, I started using GoFormative a little differently than I do in my classroom. Below are a few big takeaways & things that I liked about GoFormative during distance learning in the Spring, and plan on using again in the Fall.

5 Reasons to Use GoFormative For Distance Learning

1. Instant Feedback

The instant feedback that GoFormative offers is so valuable and what made me love it in the first place! For distance learning, it was even more valuable since I was not with my students to give them feedback. I would monitor my students' work throughout the day, and could immediately see who needed help and give them detailed feedback (see #2).

Here's the teacher view on GoFormative. I can quickly see who needs assistance with the green/red!

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Students were also able to monitor their own work through the instant feedback with GoFormative, which gave them ownership in their learning. When they got stuck, they were able to reach out to me for help. I love that they were able to see exactly how they were doing, even without me there.

Here's the student view on GoFormative. They type in their answer, and immediately get green/red feedback.

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2. Variety for Students in Showing Their Work

In math, showing your work on paper is just easier, so the "show your work" feature on GoFormative is a feature I did not use very often prior to distance learning. I was so thankful for this feature during distance learning though, as it allowed me to still see my students' thought process virtually. I loved that students had multiple ways to show their work and gave them some choice during a time when they did not have much! Here are a few examples of the way my students showed me their thinking:

Students can write their work directly on their touch screen.

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Students can type out their work. This is actually easier than it sounds because they can click anywhere and type - it's not like in a document where you can only do a line at a time.

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Students can even take a picture of the problem & upload it to the show your work area! This worked well for students that didn't have internet at home, and relied on their phone for the data.

Obviously students can email you a picture of their whole paper of work - but this way makes the grading so much easier because it's all of my students' work is in one place (GoFormative) rather than multiple emails, google classroom comments, or shared documents I have to search for.

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3. Teacher Comments & Feedback

This is another feature I never really used in class since I was able to have a quick conversation with my students if they needed my help or clarification. However, I was really thankful for this feature once in person conversations were no longer an option!

Here is me helping a student through the comments! I love that you can comment directly on the question so that there is no confusion about what we are discussing.

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Not only can you leave students written comments, but you can leave them videos, audio recordings, and even draw on their work! I was so excited when I figured out that last feature, because I felt like that was super close to replicating the help I give in small groups in my classroom.

Here are my edits in orange directly on a student's work.

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4. Embed Notes, Videos, Calculator, Etc.

I think it's safe to say our students were overwhelmed & inundated with all they had to keep track of on their computers during distance learning. One thing I did to help with this was embed everything that they needed directly on the GoFormative, so they did not have to go searching for another website or document! I got very few questions asking where the notes, calculator link, videos, etc. were since everything was in one place. This was my same mindset behind my one-page Distance Learning Weekly Agenda.

As you can see below, there are so many options of material that you can add to the GoFormative! Most often I used the upload PDF (pink) to add completed notes/examples directly to their assignment for them to refer to. I also added my videos, and embedded the Desmos calculator my students needed directly on the GoFormative. This GoFormative Clone has the embed code for 3 different types of calculators.

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5. Easy to Use While Video Conferencing - Live Student Work

Another thing I did not use or realize about GoFormative until we went virtual is that teachers can see their students working live. If a student is typing out or drawing out their work, I was able to watch them write just as if we were in person! This was a great feature to use with Zoom. We could talk about their thinking and I could help them just as if I saw their writing in person. It was a lot more effective than waiting for them to work out a whole problem on paper, show me over Zoom, and then talk about what they did. We were instead able to talk about what they were doing, as they were working.

I also liked that they didn't have to screen share or try to figure out how write on the whiteboard on Zoom. All they had to do was go to their work on GoFormative for me to see what they were doing. It was important for me to keep things as simple as possible for my students during distance learning, and being able to see everything they did on GoFormative helped with that!

It's crazy how I had been using GoFormative for years, and discovered so much more about it when we went virtual! Whenever we get back to the classroom, I will have to do another post about how I use GoFormative features in person. It is a great tool whether we are in person or virtual!

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5 Reasons to Use GoFormative For Distance Learning (2024)
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