The reliable assessment of learning outcomes and learning conditions is an important basis for research on teaching and learning, educational monitoring, and the evaluation of learning environments as well as the individualisation of learning in educational settings. To this end, innovative tests, technologies and psychometric methods are developed and researched at DIPF. Next to investigating possibilities for their practical application, DIPF also engages in research of historical assessment practices.

Empirical educational research depends on high-quality measurement of learning outcomes and learning conditions. Their diagnosis plays an important role in educational practice, too, e. g. regarding the individualisation of learning processes. Research in the field of assessment at DIPF focuses on the construction and advancement of test procedures, the development of innovative technologies and psychometric-methodological questions.

Test Procedures

A focus in the construction and advancement of test procedures lies on performance tests regarding learning outcomes. Research covers an array of issues: Learning outcomes in school contexts as well as in vocational and higher education settings are assessed, as are learning conditions such as working memory and processing speed. Furthermore, questionnaire procedures for the assessment of characteristics of school and familial learning environments are developed and researched (context assessment).


Regarding the development of technologies for diagnostics, DIPF is both nationally and internationally recognised for the work of its interdepartmental Centre for Technology Based Assessment (TBA). The TBA Centre is involved in various research projects at DIPF while at the same time offering infrastructure services that support other educational research institutions and projects. Software developed at the TBA Centre is employed in national and international Large Scale Assessments such as NEPS or PIACC. Furthermore, the centre develops technology for ambulatory assessment, the online measurement of cognitive performance in everyday surroundings.


General research questions regarding psychometric methods of test analysis for example focus on adequate simultaneous consideration of several abilities when working on complex competence tests. In the area of technology based assessment, researchers at DIPF investigate specific issues such as effects of test mode and media on answering behaviour, computer based adaptive testing (CATI) or the modeling of processing time and answering process data.