Assessment and research projects

Read more about our on-going assessment and research projects on this page.

Horizon Europe MapIE

Centre for Educational Assessment (CEA) will participate as a partner in a 4-year Horizon Europe project MapIE - Mapping of Longitudinal data of Inequalities in Education. The project is coordinated by Tampere University’s research centre REAL.  The research consortium consists of internationally acknowledged experts in large-scale educational assessment research from Finnish Educational Evaluation Centre, Centre for Educational Measurement at the University of Oslo, University of Gothenburg, Goethe University of Frankfurt and University of Szeged. The MapIE project aims at identifying and analysing longitudinal data both to understand how inequalities develop in different educational contexts and particularly to identify effective mechanisms and interventions to close achievement gaps.

  • Project period: 1 March 2024 – 29 February 2028.
  • Contact person: postdoctoral researcher Meri Lintuvuori
Digital problem-solving scenarios for improving the assessment and quality of learning (DIORA)

The goals of the DIORA project are to develop transversal competences and digital literacy of general upper secondary school students and establish an assessment environment that measures digital literacy. In the project, interventions planned in collaboration with teachers will be carried out at the general upper secondary school of the University of Eastern Finland Teacher Training School. During these interventions, students will draw up assignment scenarios that assess digital literacy. On the basis of the interventions, a guide will be drafted to enable teachers to utilize the project’s teaching methods in developing transversal competences and digital literacy.

The research project is carried out by the University of Eastern Finland and the Centre for Educational Assessment of the University of Helsinki. The project is funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

Children’s and adolescents’ responses to the pandemic – future risks of increasing inequalities in learning and mental health

The research project Children’s and adolescents’ responses to the pandemic – future risks of increasing inequalities in learning and mental health (YoungEqual) examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wellbeing and skills of comprehensive school pupils. Financed with NordForsk research funding, the project is primarily using previously collected Finnish and international assessment data, such as those associated with the collaborative venture of Tampere University and the University of Helsinki focusing on the impact of the pandemic on learning and school work. The results will be used to develop a new indicator for the socio-digital wellbeing of children and adolescents. The collaborative project involves four Nordic countries and five universities and is led by Professor Curt Hagquist of the University of Gothenburg.

Assessment tool for disciplinary literacy in preparatory instruction (Valu)

This project develops a literacy assessment tool targeted at pupils in preparatory instruction in grades 3, and 7 of basic education. The assessment tool, known as Valu, includes general and discipline-specific assignments, drawn up on the basis of research knowledge, that measure multiliteracy. Valu will be web-based and multimodal. Its purpose is to produce information on pupils' Finnish language and literacy skills in different disciplines and indicate their support needs. The project also includes research investigating the kinds of language and literacy skills learned in preparatory instruction. Valu can also be used to assess other pupils in addition to those in preparatory instruction or learning Finnish as a second language. The information it produces on pupil multiliteracies is needed in practical teaching and in organising support for learning. Valu also makes visible the diversity of texts and literacies in different disciplines. 

The project is being carried out by the University of Helsinki’s Centre for Educational Assessment in collaboration with the Education Division of the City of Helsinki. The project is receiving funding from the Finnish National Agency for Education in the form of an operating grant awarded to the Lukuliike literacy programme. 

Learning grouping and optionality: A follow-up study on weighted-curriculum paths in the City of Kerava

This project examines the new pupil grouping introduced in the City of Kerava in relation to the learning, motivation, wellbeing and school-related experiences of lower secondary school pupils as well as the educational choices of guardians. The goal is to investigate how pupil groupings, especially emphasized learning paths affect development of pupils’ skills, wellbeing and experiences as well as the views of guardians in the Finnish urban environment of the 2020s. The research project comprises three work packages where survey, interview and registry data are utilised to determine the following: 1) Are there differences in the learning, wellbeing and motivation of lower secondary school pupils A) between pupils on different emphasized learning paths and B) between pupils’ learning in accordance with the redesign and pupils adhering to the old model? 2) How are the educational choices of adolescents constructed in comprehensive school and how do guardians perceive the emphasized learning paths in relation to one another? 3) What kinds of experiences do adolescents have of different ways of grouping affecting their everyday school life? 

  • Project time: 3 April 2023 – 30 September 2026
  • Contact person: postdoctoral researcher Satu Koivuhovi
Effects of absences in basic education and the related support provided on school attendance

This project surveys the effects of absences on the learning and wellbeing of Finnish pupils. The focus is on measures taken in schools and on examining their effects on preventing pupils’ absences and breaking cycles of absences (so-called problematic absences). Another focus area is how various multiprofessional measures, such as pedagogical learning documents, applied grants and decisions, the support provided and its receipt, have helped pupils with problematic absences and their families in supporting the pupils’ school work in challenging circumstances. In addition, the aim is to examine various practices related to recording absences (e.g., problematic absences) and the connection between such entries, and learning and school work, as well as to identify well-functioning practices that support school work in spite of absences.

The project is being carried out by the University of Jyväskylä (PI Kati Vasalampi) and the University of Helsinki (PI Risto Hotulainen), with one researcher from the University of Turku (Sanna Oinas). The project is receiving funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Co-crea­ting inclusi­ve school com­mu­ni­ties

The aim of the project is to support schools in strengthening inclusive school communities in which every participant is welcomed, respected, valued and given a voice, and that embrace and appreciate diversity. To support schools in this development towards inclusive school communities, a toolbox is developed during the project. The toolbox is aimed to actors within the school to strengthen their awareness and understanding regarding inclusive school communities, to support in the evaluation of the inclusiveness of their school community, and to further help them to identify, select and implement possible next steps for action.

Co-creating inclusive school communities is an Erasmus+ Cooperation partnerships in school education project, worked in collaboration with the following organisations: Regierung des Furstentums Liechtenstein, Tallinna Ülikool, Helsingin yliopisto, Universitatea din Bucuresti, University of British Columbia, Stichting Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Pädagogische Hochschule Zürich.

  • Project period: 1 November 2021 – 1 November 2024
  • Contact person: postdoctoral researcher Raisa Ahtiainen
Na­tional Net­work for De­vel­op­ing As­sess­ment Lit­er­acy KAARO

The KAARO network gathers together national and international research information that various universities have produced on assessment literacy and its development. It also clarifies the objectives and content of strength-based assessment literacy. The network provides MOOCs and online material, assessment training and seminars to students completing their pedagogical teacher-education studies (pre-primary, basic and general upper secondary education), teacher trainers, teachers exercising their profession and researchers.

The KAARO network is a development project in teacher education supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The project involves the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Lapland, the University of Oulu and Åbo Akademi University. We also cooperate with other projects, networks and universities.

The Cultural, World­view and Language Aware­ness in Ba­sic Education pro­ject (KU­PERA)

The Cultural, Worldview and Language Awareness in Basic Education project KUPERA provides research-based perspectives on cultural, worldview and language awareness in education and the development of peace education. In-service training is produced as web and contact courses for primary school teachers and other educational staff interested in the subject. The project is implemented collaboratively by the University of Helsinki’s Centre for Educational Assessment (CEA) and other research groups of the Faculty of Educational Sciences. The sub-projects are funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

Pre­pared­ness to learn

CEA has developed a computer-based adaptive (adaptive to the student's skill level) test of learning preparedness to support the discretionary application process in vocational education. The aim of the test is to offer the applicant a possibility to show her/his preparedness to learn in situations in which the diploma of the comprehensive school is missing or is not comparable. The adaptive test of preparedness has been in use since 2016.


CEA is taking part in implementing the OECD’s international PISA-research in Finland with the Finnish Institute for Educational Research in the University of Jyväskylä.


The Tuettu project is a research project carried out by a University of Helsinki and Tampere University consortium investigating issues of inclusion from the perspective of the placement of students with special educational needs. The main objective of the study is to investigate the outcomes of the different placement options and the effect of class composition on students with special educational needs as well as on their peers.