This article presents key findings from a Joint Information Systems Committee-funded project, which aimed to identify existing practices where technologies contribute to formative assessment and identify processes that take place around formative assessment where technologies play a significant role. Using a design pattern methodology, the project developed a range of cases of formative e-assessment with practitioners across a variety of settings through a series of participant workshops. From a selection of these cases, we identified key elements in how practitioners described the problems and solutions they addressed regarding assessment in relation to learning within their different contexts. The patterns were analysed to highlight aspects of them, which are considered critical in theoretical analyses of formative assessment. We provide an overview of the project and discuss an illustrative case and pattern, followed by an analysis which suggests the particular contribution of technologies to formative assessment. Ultimately, for assessment to have formative effects, tutors and students can be identified as appropriating both social and technological resources in learning situations and engaging with both to learn how to take control over learning experiences.