Current Projects

Progress in Reading Literacy Study 2021 (PIRLS/IGLU)

The Progress in Reading Literacy Study (German: Internationale Grundschul-Lese-Untersuchung [IGLU]) 2021 provides internationally comparative data on how well children read by assessing students’ reading achievement at the fourth grade. In Germany, approximately 4,000 students, their parents, teachers, and school principals provide considerable background information on how the German education system provides educational opportunities to their students, as well as the factors that influence how students use these opportunities. PIRLS has been a central element of the German national educational monitoring since 2001; PIRLS 2021 will be the fifth cycle in the PIRLS framework. Its focus is on reading achievement and its relationship with characteristics of the students (e.g., motivation to read), their instruction (e.g., instructional strategies for reading), their schools (e.g., school climate and resources), and their families (e.g., the home environment for reading). Trend results across assessments permit countries to monitor the effectiveness of their educational systems in a global context.  

In Germany, the Progress in Reading Literacy Study will be conducted in a consortium of a number of researchers from different scientific disciplines (Educational Science, Psychology, Didactics). The focus is on an interdisciplinary approach in close cooperation with international partners. The national scientific consortium consists of Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany (Institute for Research on School Development, TU Dortmund) as National Research Coordinator, Prof. Dr. Andreas Frey, Prof. Dr. Frank Goldhammer, Prof. Dr. Anita Schilcher, and Prof. Dr. Tobias Stubbe. 

Cooperating Partners:

Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany, TU Dortmund

Dr. Franziska Schwabe, TU Dortmund

Prof. Dr. Frank Goldhammer, DIPF Frankfurt (Main)

Prof. Dr. Anita Schilcher, University of Regensburg

Prof. Dr. Tobias Stubbe, Georg August University Göttingen

Duration: March 2019 – March 2023

Further information is available here.


Criterion-Referenced Adaptive Testing in Higher Education (KAT-HS)

The project “KAT-HS” is embedded in the research program “Digital Teaching in University” of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The focus of the project is the development, implementation, and evaluation of a concept for the construction, administration, and scoring of a criterion-referenced computerized adaptive test in higher education. The project’s main objective is to overcome the shortcomings of the university exams currently used. In order to foster a broad application of the concept, software for computerized adaptive university exams and an online portal will be developed.


Project assistants: Aron Fink and Patrick Naumann

Duration: February 2017 — January 2020

 For further information please visit the homepage of the project.


KAT-HS presented at

The project “Criterion-Referenced Adaptive Testing in Higher Education (KAT-HS)” is presented in the Special Issue “What constitutes successful learning with digital media” on (Link). In the podcast, Hanna Koehler explains how to make university exams more individualized, more precise, and fairer.