Formative assessment – assessment for learning  - Fleksibel utdanning Norge

Formative assessment is about giving the students feedback during the learning process, providing information on how they can further develop their competence. The goal of formative assessment is for students to become more aware of and take greater responsibility for their own learning process. They also receive support to pace their own learning. 

John Hattie and Helen Timperley (2007) call formative assessment feedback and divide it into three key principles (20):

  1. Feed up: clarify the goal. Students must gain knowledge about what the goal is and what is expected of them.
  2. Feed back:feedback on how the student is doing in relation to the goal, or how he or she has performed so far. 
  3. Feed forward: information about what the student needs to do to move towards the goal.

Considerable international research supports the importance of feedback for learning (21). Regardless of the form of feedback chosen, it is important to look at assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process, and to ask at an early stage of planning at what point formative assessment will be appropriate during the learning process.

The model below is a further development of the model in Chapter 6. In this case, it illustrates how formative assessment is an integral part of other teaching activities.

Figure 5 Illustration of how formative assessment can be integrated into a learning process


  1. 20

    Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81– 112.

  2. 21

    Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Granada Learning. Hattie, J. (2009) Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analysis relating to achievement. Routledge.

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