Slice-Up – The Thin Slices Procedure: Application to Instruction and the Analysis of Judgement Processes

In the Slice-Up project, teaching quality is assessed on the basis of short videos. For this purpose, laypersons watch short excerpts from instructional videos and judge them based on their first impression (the so-called Thin Slices Technique). The interactions between teachers and students are important for the quality of teaching. This includes, for example, successful support by teachers or lessons with as few disruptions as possible.

Project Description

We know it from everyday life: After just a few seconds in a new situation, we form a first impression. Psychological research shows that this first impression is often correct, for example when assessing personality traits or couple interactions. For this purpose, research uses the so-called Thin Slices Technique, in which assessments are made on the basis of short videos (five seconds to five minutes). The Slice-Up project uses this Thin Slices Technique to assess the quality of teaching.

In an initial phase of the project, preliminary evidence was found that thin slices can be successfully used to assess instructional quality (see Begrich, Fauth, Kunter & Klieme, 2017; Begrich, Fauth & Kunter, 2020). For example, assessments of instructional quality based on 30-second video clips were shown to predict how much students learn with a teacher (Begrich et al. 2017). These promising findings will be further tested in the Slice-Up project, including using various instructional videos from other projects.

In Slice-Up, three questions are examined:

  1. Is the Thin Slices Technique suitable for assessing the quality of teaching?
  2. How exactly does the Thin Slices Technique work? How do people arrive at their judgments?
  3. How successfully is the Thin Slices Technique used in other application areas?

If the Thin Slices Method proves successful in measuring the quality of instruction, it would provide an economical method for measuring the quality of instruction across many classes (e.g., in the context of large-scale assessments).

Slice-Up is a joint project between the DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education (Mareike Kunter) and the German Youth Institute (Susanne Kuger).

Project Objectives

  1. Deepening exploration of the Thin Slices Procedure as a potential approach of video-based assessment of instructional quality.
  2. Examination of cognitive processes underlying Thin Slices Ratings of instructional quality.
  3. Examination of the state of research concerned with the predictive validity of Thin Slices Ratings across the various research fields.


Logo Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG

Project Management

Prof. Dr. Mareike Kunter

Project Team

Project Details

Completed Projects
Department: Teacher and Teaching Quality
Unit: Teaching and Learning in School Contexts
Education Sectors: Primary and Secondary Education, Science
05/2020 – 06/2023
External funding
Contact: Dr. Lukas Begrich, Associated Researcher