Institute for Quality Development in Education (IQB)

Research Foci in the Network:
Acquisition of Competencies and Professionalization, Knowledge and Participation, Education and Equity, Returns to Education, Educational Monitoring and Information
Research Disciplines:
Educational science, Psychology, Subject-matter education
Contact at the Institute:
Prof. Dr. Petra Stanat; Dr. Malte Jansen (iqboffice[at]; malte.jansen[at]


The Institute for Educational Quality Improvement (IQB) is a research institute that supports the Länder (states) in the Federal Republic of Germany in developing and monitoring the quality of primary and secondary education. As an academic institution of the German Länder, the IQB is an associated institute of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The Educational Standards, which have been introduced by the Standing Conference of the Ministries of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK), form the basis of our work. These educational standards describe competencies students are expected to have developed at a certain point in their school career. The mission of the IQB is to monitor regularly to which degree these goals are met by schools in Germany (educational monitoring). Furthermore, the IQB supports the German states in implementing the educational standards, which are expected to serve as a central orienting framework for all actors in the educational system (implementation). In addition, the IQB is a research institute that conducts research projects in several areas of empirical educational research.

Important work and services:

Educational Monitoring and Implementation

  • Under the auspices of the IQB, experienced teachers develop large collections of test items designed to measure competencies aligned with the educational standards
  • The IQB develops proficiency level models as tools for interpreting test scores. These models provide a more concrete description of what students with a given test score are able to do
  • The IQB conducts National Assessment Studies (Ländervergleiche) in order to determine the extent to which educational standards are being met in the 16 German federal states (Länder)
  • The IQB coordinates the development of items for state-wide comparison tests. These tests provide teachers with information on the strengths and weaknesses of their students with regard to the educational standards and are expected to promote the implementation of competence-oriented teaching
  • In collaboration with experts in subject-matter education, the IQB publishes collections of annotated learning tasks which teachers may use in class
  • The IQB coordinates the development of a pool of Abitur examination questions based on the educational standards

Research – Some of the central research questions are:

  • How are students’ competencies structured and how can they be assessed?
  • Which factors influence educational success of children and adolescents?
  • How can methodological and statistical requirements of educational testing and large-scale assessments best be met?
  • Language skills are vital for school success. How can their development be measured and promoted?
  • To what extent and under which circumstances do teachers successfully adopt competence-oriented teaching methods?

Research Data Centre

  • The Research Data Centre (Forschungsdatenzentrum, FDZ) archives and documents data sets from national and international large-scale assessment studies and makes them accessible to researchers



Promotion of Young Researchers