The distinction between the different purposes of assessment is important. Formative e-assessment concerns the use of technology to support the iterative process of analysing information regarding student learning and its evaluation in relation to previous attainment of learning outcomes. In formative assessment or assessment for learning, evidence is used to provide developmental feedback to learners on their current skills and knowledge relative to a defined standard. This information may also be used by trainers so that instruction may be modified to suit learner needs.
There seems to have been a marked turn towards more formative assessment in vocational education and training in many European Countries. This may be because of the widespread adoption of competence-based VET and also because of the importance given to skills. Rather than just measuring vocational learners’ knowledge in an occupational area, technology can be used to record their practice, primarily as a basis for improvement, with competence statements providing a rubric for measuring those skills. This can take place in training centres but also in work, especially for those pursuing apprenticeships.
Pachler, N., Daly, C., Mor, Y. & Mellar, H. (2010). Formative e-assessment: Practitioner cases. Computers & Education, 54(3), 715–721