Formative Assessment Phase 1

In this research project formative assessment is defined as a process of providing information to teachers to focus instruction on the improvement of student learning outcomes. The Department of Education in the Philippines has redeveloped the curriculum from a 1-10 structure to a K-12 structure to bring it into line with school systems in the developed world. A significant part of the curriculum reform is an assessment framework that includes formative approaches to assessment. This shift in approach encourages teachers to use a mixture of formal and informal assessment data to improve student learning. The goal of the policy on formative assessment is to help teachers recognize relevant intervention practices that will improve student learning outcomes, especially in the basic skills assessed annually as part of the national testing program.

In early 2014 an observation study of the link between assessment and teaching in a sample of almost 60 classroom lessons identified ways in which the emerging policy of the Department of Education in the Philippines could be implemented. The observation study focused on the classroom organization, teacher instructional and assessment strategies, lesson structure, resources used by teachers, and student involvement in class work, as well as both formal and informal assessment practices. The observations were documented in a series of narratives designed to identify variation between teachers within grade level and disciplines. It emerged that a standardized lesson structure may be both a major inhibiting factor regarding formative use of assessment data and the most obvious opportunity for change.

This research explored how this change can be assisted through a series of policy strategies designed to shift teaching practices.

Project Team

Emeritus Professor Patrick Griffin, University of Melbourne

Dr Fe Josefa Nava, University of the Philippines

Louie Cagasan Jr, University of Melbourne

Dr Alvin Vista

Dr Esther Care, University of Melbourne


Griffin, P., Cagasan, L., Care, E., Vista, A., & Nava, F. (2016). Formative Assessment Policy and Its Enactment in the Philippines. In D. Laveault and L. Allal (Eds). Assessment for Learning: Meeting the Challenge of Implementation, pp. 75-92. Dordrecht: Springer.]

Cagasan, L., Griffin, P., Nava, F. Vista, A. & Care E. (2016). Formative Assessment Project: Phase 1 Research Report. Assessment, Curriculum and Technology Research Centre (ACTRC). Melbourne and Manila.