Assessment and Learning Partnerships

Project Details

This project was an extension of the Literacy Assessment Project, which has investigated the use of student assessment data by Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) in Melbourne catholic primary schools, since 2004. It examined teachers' collaborative use of assessment data to inform teaching. Among the goals of the project was an investigation of the implications of shifting from a deficit or remedial model of teaching to a developmental approach to improving student outcomes. Based on the work of Vygotsky, a developmental approach focuses on students' readiness to learn and individual differences in their capacity to respond to scaffolding of their learning. The study examined teachers' team–based approaches to the use of student assessment data in making decisions about the teaching of literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills.

This project was funded by Australian Research Council Linkage Project grant (LP 0991123), with Chief Investigators from the University of Melbourne and Partner Investigators from the Catholic Education Office Melbourne, and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Victoria (DEECD).

In 2012, the research involved 148 schools across the following regions: Gippsland, Northern Metropolitan, Eastern Metropolitan, Southern Metropolitan, Hume, Grampians as well as from the Catholic Education Office, Melbourne and the Independent school sector. Over a thousand teachers are involved as well as close to 35,000 students.


Chief Investigators
University of Melbourne: P. Griffin, E. Care

Partner Investigators
Catholic Education Office, Melbourne: Leanne Murray (Education Officer, Literacy), Rosemary McLoughlin (Team Leader, Literacy), Paul Sedunary (Manager, Curriculum & Innovation)

Gippsland Region, DEECD
Karen Cain (Regional Director)

Northern Metropolitan Region, DEECD
Wayne Craig (Regional Director), Robert Stephens (Assistant Regional Director)

Academic Research Team
Patrick Griffin, Esther Care, Nafisa Awwal, Elizabeth Bone, Judy Crigan, Alejandra Arratia-Martinez, Leanne Murray, Masa Pavlovic, Patricia Quan, Shafqat Rahman, Pam Robertson, Katina Tan, Alvin Vista, Zuraimi Zakaria


Australian Research Council
Catholic Education Office Melbourne
Gippsland Region, DEECD, Victoria
Northern Metropolitan Region, DEECD, Victoria
Southern Metropolitan Region, DEECD, Victoria

Published Research

Books – Edited

Griffin, P. (2014). Assessment for Teaching. Melbourne. Cambridge University Press.

Book Chapters

Griffin, P., Care, E., Robertson, P., Crigan, J., Awwal, N., & Pavlovic, M. (2013). Assessment and learning partnerships in an online environment. In E. McKay (Ed.), ePedagogy in Online Learning: New Developments in Web-Mediated Human-Computer Interaction. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Care, E., Griffin, P., Zhang, Z., & Hutchinson, D. (2014). Large-scale testing and its contribution to learning. In C. Wyatt-Smith, V. Klenowski, and P. Colbert (Eds.), Designing Assessment for Quality Learning : The Enabling Power of Assessment Volume 1. Dordrecht: Springer.

Griffin, P., Care, E., Crigan, J., Robertson, P., Zhang, Z. & Arratia-Martinez, A. (2014). The influence of evidence-based decisions by collaborative teacher teams on student achievement.  In S. Billet., C. Harteis & H. Gruber, International Handbook on Research in Professional and Practice-based Learning. Dordrecht: Springer.

Journal – Article in a scholarly refereed journal

Griffin, P., Murray, L., Care, E., Thomas, A., Perri, P. (2010). Developmental Assessment: Lifting literacy through Professional Learning Teams. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 17(4), 383-397.

Journal – Non Refereed Article

Griffin, P. & Care, E. (2010). Assessment is for teaching. Independence, 34, 2, 56-59.

Zakaria, Z., Care, E. & Radzi, M. (2011). From Intuition to Evidence. The Use of Evidence-based Practice: Theory, Application and Challenges. Malaysian Education Dean's Council Journal, 7: 118-134.

Conference – Full written paper in refereed proceedings

Arratia Martinez, A., Griffin, P. & Care, E. (2013). Teachers' metacognition: The influence of changes from a deficit to a developmental approach to assessment. International Conference on Thinking, 21-25 January 2013, Wellington, NZ.

Zakaria, Z., Care, E. & Griffin, P. (2011). From Deficit Approach to Developmental Learning Paradigm: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Interplay between Teacher Beliefs, Practice and a Professional Development Program. Procedia - Social and Behavioural Sciences, 29: 1541-1548.

Griffin, P., Care, E., Francis, M., Hutchinson, D., & Pavlovic, M. (2012). The influence of teaching strategies on student achievement in higher order skills. Paper presented at the ACER Research Conference 2012. School Improvement: What does research tell us about effective strategies? Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, NSW.

Conference – Full written paper in non-refereed proceedings

Care, E., Griffin, P., Zhang, Z. (2013). The contribution of large-scale test results to policy. Proceedings of the 12th National Convention on Statistics (NCS), Manila, Philippines.

Conference presentation

Care, E. (2010). Teachers' use of data to support student learning. Paper presented at the Shared vision: An Australian curriculum P-12, 28-30 April 2010, Brisbane.

Crigan, J., Griffin, P. & Care, E. (2011). Developmental approach to assessment: Assessment for Teaching. Australian Psychological Society Conference, 4-8 October 2011, Canberra.

Griffin, P. & Care, E. (2010). Assessment and learning partnerships: Conceptual framework. Presented at the International Conference on Learning, 6-9 July 2010, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong.

Crigan, J., Griffin, P., & Care, E. (2012). The influence of evidence-based decisions by collaborative teacher teams on student literacy achievement. Australian Psychology Society College of Educational and Developmental Psychology Conference, 16-17 November 2012, Melbourne.

Robertson, P. (2013). Measuring the Development of Professional Learning Teams. International Conference on Thinking, 21-25 January 2013. Wellington, New Zealand.

Zakaria, Z., Care, E. & Griffin, P. (2011). From deficit approach to developmental learning paradigm: A longitudinal investigation of the interplay between beliefs, practice and a PD program. International Conference on Education and Educational Psychology, 19-22 October 2011, Istanbul, Turkey.


Griffin, P., Care, E., Francis, M., Hutchinson, H., Arratia Martinez, A., and McCabe, C. (2013) Assessment and Learning Partnerships: The influences of teaching practices on student achievement. University of Melbourne: Assessment Research Centre.

Newspaper or online articles featuring Assessment and Learning Partnerships

Hare, J., (25 June 2013), Study shows top students flatlining, The Australian

Topsfield, J. (10 January 2013), Results flatline for top studentsThe Age

Griffin, P., (10 July 2013), 'Closing the gap' fails schools' brightest, Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Media Releases

Ambitious new project to raise literacy and numeracy levels in Victoria's schools (22 June 2009)

Brightest students not fulfilling their potential (25 June 2013)

Teaching Resources

Following on from the original work conducted on Assessment and Learning Partnerships, a web-based bank of teaching resources for reading comprehension and numeracy has been developed. Included are sample teaching strategies for each level of the developmental continua as well as taxonomies and templates for teachers and professional learning teams to download.
Teaching Resources


ALP/LAP Newsletter August 2013

ALP/LAP Newsletter December 2012

ALP/LAP Newsletter July 2011

Research Centre

Assessment Research Centre

School Research Themes