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Test methods for the future: Innovative solutions for technology based competency assessment

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Founded in 2007, Technology Based Assessment is an interdisciplinary research and service unit tied in both the Information Center for Education (IZB) and the Department of Educational Quality and Evaluation (BiQua) at the DIPF. TBA combines information technology with the assessment of competencies and therefore bridges the gap between the DIPF departments of IZB and BiQua. TBA‘ s central task is to support empirical educational research in national as well as international studies, e.g. in PISA, PIAAC or NEPS. Since January 2011, TBA has been permanently established at the DIPF.

TBA accompanies research projects in planning and carrying out technology based assessments. Therefore a proper technical infrastructure is offered as well as advice based on the experience gained so far. Support by TBA is ensured by an interdisciplinary team of psychometricians, computer and information scientists. Because of this close collaboration, the economy of computer based assessment instruments is constantly improved as well as both validity and efficiency increased. This interdisciplinary focus enables TBA to offer integrative services and to initiate innovative research efforts.


TBA supports assessments of performance and questionnaire-based surveys in national and international large-scale studies as well as in educational research projects. To guarantee this support TBA provides service through consultancy, software development and software adaptation as well as provision of web solutions. In different research and development projects technology based assessment is examined to increase the measurement efficiency and to improve the validity of tests as well as procedures and standards for an optimal process of technology based test development.

Examples for the fields of work according to TBA’s three core areas of activities are listed below.


  • Computerised adaptive Testing (CAT)
  • Computer-related competencies (Information and Communication Technology/ICT Literacy)
  • Effects of technology based tests (Mode-effect studies)
  • E-Learning as well as formative and attendant teaching assessment
  • Development of metadata standards for pedagogical-psychological diagnostics
  • Research on test administration effects
  • Modeling of task processing; educational data mining
  • Open text formats (automated response coding)
  • Technology based diagnostics taking processing speed into account


  • Consultancy regarding all aspects of assessment
  • Provision of infrastructure
  • Data Warehouse for research data
  • Support in test administration and delivery
  • Workflows of item generation and translation


  • Integrated delivery of assessment instruments
  • Item implementation and adaptation
  • Meta data editor for questionnaires

Please contact us if you have any questions or if you are interested in co-operation! Also note our regular workshops as well as current job posts.




CBA ItemBuilder

30.01.2015, 8.30 - 14.00 o'clock

A207, TBA (Frankfurt am Main)

Vanessa Teckentrup and Thomas Martens 


 Version 6-00 of CBA ItemBuilder available


Projects & Tools