Formative Evaluation of the DepEd Commons

DepEd ICTS requested support from the USAID/All Children Reading Philippines activity for evaluating the recently-launched DepEd Commons online resource portal to ensure that it could live up to its potential as a key strategy for giving all Filipino learners access to educational resources. In response to this request, RTI in collaboration with the DepEd ICTS EdTech Unit, designed a process for reviewing the DepEd Commons to identify evidence-based recommendations for a fully sustainable and impactful DepEd Commons. Although we use the term ‘evaluation’, this is a formative exercise, recognizing that the platform is in a nascent stage and would benefit most from forward-looking and actionable recommendations for living up to its potential, not a backward-looking judgment of implementation quality or completeness at a certain point in time. In line with the approach stated above—that the evaluation of the DepEd Commons would be a formative exercise designed to provide actionable recommendations for improvement, given the early stage of development of the platform—we chose a SWOT analysis methodology to frame the exercise. SWOT analyses are conducted to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The study team carried out key informant interviews with stakeholders from the implementing department in DepEd and in other departments with similar systems; a quantitative analysis of platform statistics containing usage data; and a self-administered survey focusing on usage and usability of the platform.