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VERA – Good instructional practice

Research Question

The VERA study on good instructional practice targeted the analysis of conditions that are crucial to learning outcomes at primary school, in the subjects of German and Mathematics. A target criterion was given by the longitudinal assessment of change in subject-related achievement across a school year, while other criteria were also taken into perspective (e.g. interest, enjoyment of learning). Conditioning factors concern individual student characteristics (prior knowledge, motivation, social class etc.), school and classroom characteristics as well as instructional characteristics, particularly instructional quality.

The project was run subject to a co-operation among psychologists and experts from subject didactics, and beyond general conditional factors, subject-specific relationships were assessed. An activating, inspiring lesson design was assumed to promote the students’ learning motivation and outcomes. A priority was placed on the detailed assessment of instructional quality, based on video recordings of primary school lessons. Insights thus gleaned were used to design and develop measures of lesson development as well as initial and further teacher training.

Test Language


Test Period


Test Area

Bremen and Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Population / Sample

The sample comprises 54 classes in 48 schools, involving 71 fourth-year teachers and ca. 1,050 students from primary school classes in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Bremen, taken from a sample of classes that participated in the state-wide VERA project.

Survey Procedure and Instruments

Lesson observation (videography)

Link to the Detailed Description of the Study (only available in German)

Persistent Identifier

DOI: 10.7477/20:1:1 - Collection

Data Accessible via Research Data Centre (only available in German)

FDZ Bildung makes available the lesson recordings (student and teacher camera respectively) of the video study carried out for VERA. The media collection is under construction, a part of the collection is available.

Audiovisual data were not anonymised and for reasons of data protection, they can only be inspected after registration and successful verification. Information about the user conditions can be found here: (only available in German)


Doris Bambey
Co-ordination research data education
Phone: +49 69 / 247 08 - 332
Email: forschungsdaten-bildung[at]

Selection of Publications using the Data

Hosenfeld, A., Helmke, A., Heyne, N. & Lipowsky, F. (2007). Praxisworkshop: Videostudien in der empirischen Unterrichtsforschung. In K. Möller, P. Hanke, C. Beinbrech, A. K. Hein, T. Kleickmann & R. Schages (Hrsg.), Qualität von Grundschulunterricht entwickeln, erfassen und bewerten (S. 305-311). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. (In German)

Helmke, A., Helmke, T., Heyne, N., Hosenfeld, A., Hosenfeld, I., Schrader, F.-W. & Wagner, W. (2008). Zeitnutzung im Grundschulunterricht: Ergebnisse der Unterrichtsstudie “VERA – Gute Unterrichtspraxis”. Zeitschrift für Grundschulforschung. Themenheft Zeit und Lernen, 1 (1), 23-36. (In German)

Heyne, N., Helmke, A., Kleinbub, I. D., Merten, S. & Schrader, F.-W. (2008). Videobasierte Analyse des Unterrichts in Grundschulen: Entwicklung eines Beobachtungsverfahrens. In B. Hofmann & R. Valtin (Hrsg.), Checkpoint Literacy. Tagungsband 2 zum 15. Europäischen Lesekongress 2007 in Berlin (S. 76-87). Berlin: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Lesen und Schreiben. (In German)

Hosenfeld, A. & Helmke, A. (2008). Welche Rolle spielen Lehrpersonenmerkmale für eine erfolgreiche Nutzung von Feedback in Form von Unterrichtsvideos? In E.-M. Lankes (Hrsg.), Pädagogische Professionalität als Gegenstand empirischer Forschung (S.47-60). Münster: Waxmann. (In German)

Research Area(s)