Data Collection

Recruitment of study participants*

Recruiting and retaining study participants on an institutional or individual level is a particular challenge for large-scale assessment studies. For many years, the IEA has successfully recruited schools, students, and teachers in both general and vocational schools to participate in such studies. We can assist you with strategies to target and recruit study participants and ensure their sustained participation.

Our study recruitment services include:

  • Securing the participation of individuals and institutions
  • Coordinating and managing longitudinal studies using our “Status and contact management” system.

For more information about this service available for Germany, please contact:

Nina Hugk   +49 40 48500 615 – nina.hugk [at]

Test administration*

Our nationwide pool of more than 1000 experienced test administrators in Germany means we can easily conduct large-scale studies within the German national context.

We provide all test administrators with intensive training before their first deployment. This training focuses on the procedures used to administer a test. It also covers communication with study participants.

We also provide written manuals for all administrators. These provide detailed descriptions of the procedures administrators must follow to ensure that test conditions are comparable across all organizations and individuals participating in the study. Establishing a uniform approach to test implementation is crucial in guaranteeing the quality of the study results.

Our test administration services will ensure consistency. We administer many forms of testing, including:

  • Printed test materials and questionnaires
  • Computer-based tests and questionnaires, delivered online or offline
  • Group or individual testing
  • Tests for a wide range of age groups, from kindergarten children to adults
  • Independent surveys, conducted by direct mail or online.

For further information about these services for Germany, please contact:

Svenja Bundt   +49 40 48500 601 – svenja.bundt [at] 

Quality control**

International large-scale assessments require standardized materials and operational procedures to ensure comparable data across the participating countries and systems. Quality control programs need to be established both nationally and internationally.

The IEA has extensive experience in designing, implementing, and supporting international quality control processes for large-scale comparative studies in education. In cooperation with participating national centers, the IEA recruits and trains ‘international quality observers’ from participating countries to monitor and document all data-collection activities. These observers pay particular attention to test and questionnaire administration. They also observe overall compliance with operational procedures.

Our quality control procedures ensure uniformity when administering tests, and include:

  • Helping countries develop their national quality control programs during field trials and main data collection
  • Providing guidelines, manuals, instruments, and training directed toward standardized approaches to observing and ensuring the quality of data-collection processes.

To learn more about our quality control procedures, please contact:

David Ebbs  +31 20 625 3625 – d.ebbs [at]

* Only in Germany

** Available only as part of a larger project