A main purpose of the group's research is to contribute with research findings that can be used to improve classroom practice and student performance.
Several research reviews show that the use of formative assessment in classroom practice is one of the educationally most effective ways of increasing student achievement (i.e. Black & Wiliam, 1998; Hattie, 2009). Formative assessment is concerned with identifying student learning needs and modifying teaching and learning in accordance with these needs. This can be carried out in different ways, so formative assessment may include teachers' adjustment of instructional activities based on short and frequent tests and teacher feedback, as well as students' self-regulated and peer-assisted learning.
The research of the formative assessment group at Umeå University often focuses on formative assessment as a unity of all of the above-mentioned strategies for formative assessment, and its impact on student performance. A special focus is on how to support teachers' development of a formative classroom practice through professional development and combined research and school development projects.