Study Instruments

Because high-quality instruments collect high-quality data, the survey instruments selected are vital to a study’s success. Instruments need to be free of errors, suitable in terms of language and layout for the intended respondents/participants, able to capture the required information, and correctly administered. The IEA can help you develop and adapt test instruments and questionnaires for use in national, international, and regional surveys.

Development and adaptation

The IEA has developed a standardized process that provides quality control of instrument development and adaptation. The process also includes mechanisms governing instrument release, to ensure that respondents and participants receive the right instrument at the right time. This assurance is especially important in those studies where instruments are administered according to a rotation design.

The IEA can advise on developing study instruments for both paper (print)-based and computer-based assessment. Our considerable experience in implementing studies using both quantitative and/or qualitative methods means we can also help you tailor your instruments appropriately.

Our services relating to developing and adapting study instruments include:

For paper-based assessments

  • Editing the text and illustrative content of the study instruments, particularly in terms of checking instructions, filtering, spelling, and layout.

For computer-based assessments

  • Checking all applications, particularly with regard to instructions, filtering, spelling, and accessibility
  • Programming of online questionnaires
  • Hosting the study instruments on IEA servers.

For more information about our instrument development and adaptation services, please contact:

International studies: Ralph Carstens   +49 40 48500 607 – ralph.carstens [at]

Studies in Germany: Svenja Bundt   +49 40 48500 601 – svenja.bundt [at]

Translation verification*

Careful translation of instrument items into the different languages within and across countries participating in a large-scale assessment study ensures the reliability of the instrument and the validity of the information it collects. Over the years, we have developed robust procedures for verifying the accuracy of translations and ensuring that each translated instrument collects data that can be compared across contexts and countries, despite their cultural and linguistic differences.

Our services relating to translation verification include:

  • Overseeing the translation of instruments into different languages
  • Ensuring instrument content is sensitive to cultural differences
  • Verifying the accuracy, reliability, validity, and cross-context or cross-national comparability of each translated instrument.

To learn more about our translation verification services, please contact:

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

* Available only as part of a larger project