This paper reports the design of learning-oriented formative assessments in an EFL writing course that involved learners in regularly responding to teacher feedback. Following major assessment and feedback frameworks developed recently, these formative assessments were explicated in three aspects: the scheduling of learning and assessment activities, instruments used to encourage learner responses to teacher assessment feedback, and the arrangement of gradually removing scaffolds provided by the teacher and peers. Four batches of learner essays written throughout the semester were rated for quality. Results revealed significant improvement from the first to the second, from the second to the third, and from the third to the fourth assignment. To further examine the characteristics of learning, analysis was conducted on the teacher-learner dialogues documented in teacher feedback forms and learner revision reports. Two learners were chosen as cases to exhibit their gradual development on cognitive and affective dimensions. It was found that, with the repetitive opportunities to perform, assess, articulate, and reflect as afforded by conversations on these formative assessments, learners could revisit major themes and deepen understanding, receive consistent support adjusted for their personalities, and co-construct meaning through challenges and scaffolds.