Best Free Formative Assessment Tools and Apps

Black computer keyboard with large "Quiz" key.
(Image credit: Shahid Abdullah/Pixabay)

Formative assessments are crucial for educators to understand their students’ grasp of concepts and skills as they work their way through lessons. With this understanding, educators can better direct learners to spend more time practicing and gaining mastery of topics with which they struggle.

The following free assessment tools are some of the best ones for gauging student progress at any point in the curriculum. And in this time of pandemic-disrupted learning, it’s critical that all work well for in-person, remote, or blended classes.

Best Free Formative Assessment Tools and Apps 

  • Nearpod
    Highly popular with teachers, Nearpod lets users create original multimedia assessments or select from a 15,000+ library of pre-made interactive content. Choose from polls, multiple-choice, open-ended questions, draw-its, and gamified quizzes. Free silver plan provides 40 students per session, 100 mb storage, and access to formative assessment and interactive lessons. 
  • Edulastic
    Ideal for assessing student progress on standards-based ideas and skills. Free teacher account offers unlimited assessments and students, 38,000+ question bank, 50+ technology-enhanced item types, auto-graded questions, Google Classroom sync, and more.
  • PlayPosit
    The web- and Chrome-based Playposit platform provides customizable interactive video assessments, helping teachers accurately gauge their students’ mastery of video-based content. Free Classroom Basic account includes templates, free premade content, and 100 free learner attempts per month.
  • Flipgrid
    This simple-to-use, powerful, and fully-free learning tool allows teachers to initiate class discussions by posting videos. Students then create and post their own video response, adding enhancements such as emojis, stickers, and text. 
  • Pear Deck
    Pear Deck, an add-on for Google Slides, lets educators quickly create formative assessments from flexible templates, turning an ordinary slideshow into an interactive quiz. Free accounts provide lesson creation, Google and Microsoft integration, templates, and more.
  • ClassFlow
    With ClassFlow, it’s quick and easy to create a free teacher account and start building interactive lessons. Upload your own digital resources or select from the thousands of free and paid resources available in the marketplace. Assessments offered include multiple-choice, short-answer, math, multimedia, true/false, and essay. Student polls and questions provide real-time formative feedback. 
  • GoClass
    Goclass allows educators to create learning materials with embedded assessments and then send them to students’ mobile devices. Built-in classroom management features let teachers track student participation and keep learners on task. Free basic account includes five courses, 30 students, 200 MB storage, and five scribble sessions. 
  • Formative
    Educators upload their own learning content, which the platform automatically transforms into assessments, or choose from the outstanding Formative library. Students respond on their own devices via text or drawing, continuously updated in real time on the teacher’s screen. Free basic account for one teacher offers unlimited Formatives, real-time student response, basic grading tools, feedback, and Google Classroom integration. 
  • Kahoot!
    Kahoot’s free game-based learning platform is an excellent way to engage learners of any age. Choose from among 50 million existing games or create custom games for your classes. Free basic plan provides live and asynchronous individual and class kahoots, access to the ready-to-use kahoot library and question bank, quiz customization, reports, collaboration, and more.
  • Padlet
    Padlet’s seemingly simple framework— a blank digital “wall”—belies its robust capabilities in assessment, communication, and collaboration. Drag and drop almost any file type to the blank Padlet to share assessments, lessons, or presentations. Students respond with text, photos, or video. Free basic plan includes three Padlets at one time.
  • Socrative
    This super-engaging platform allows teachers to create polls and gamified quizzes to assess student progress, with real-time results visible on screen. Socrative’s free plan permits one public room with up to 50 students, on-the-fly questions, and Space Race assessment.
  • Google Forms
    One of the simplest and easiest ways to create and share formative assessments. Create video quizzes, multiple-choice, or short answer questions quickly. Link the Google Form to a Google Sheet in order to analyze responses. Before you share your quiz, be sure to check out 5 Ways to Prevent Cheating on Your Google Form Quiz.
  • Quizlet
    Quizlet’s vast database of multimedia study sets includes a variety ideal for formative assessment, from flashcards to multiple-choice quizzes, to the asteroid game Gravity. Free for basic features; premium accounts allow for customization and tracking student progress.
  • Edpuzzle
    Edpuzzle’s video-based learning and assessment platform helps educators turn one-way videos into interactive formative assessments. Upload videos from YouTube, TED, Vimeo, or your own computer, then add questions, links, or images to create meaningful evaluations. Free basic accounts for teachers and students allow interactive lesson creation, access to millions of videos, and storage space for 20 videos.

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Diana Restifo

Diana has been Tech & Learning's web editor and contributor since 2010, dedicated to ferreting out the best free tech tools for teachers.