Our research themes

The Centre for Educational Assessment employs specialists in a variety of different research themes. Our researchers comprise thematic research groups that share expertise and the latest research findings. We undertake assessment and research projects related to all our research themes.
Support for learning and school attendance

The thematic group for support for learning and school attendance is composed of specialists in special needs education who comprehensively represent the various methodological perspectives of the field, from statistical expertise to case studies. The group members are interested in the relationships between the learning support system, assessment and the curriculum, and the systemic change pertaining to the support system. The group’s research activities are interwoven into most of the centre’s projects and datasets, with the focus invariably on support for learning and school attendance. Research topics are examined on different levels from individuals to communities and society. Questions related to support for learning and school attendance are discussed not only in separate projects but also in other studies on the broader themes of the Centre for Educational Assessment. 

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School(ing) as an organisation

The thematic group for school and schooling as an organisation has brought together a group of researchers who examine the organisation of school and schooling from several perspectives. The research themes of group members combine the development needs that emerge from the requirements generated by societal change, the control exerted through education policy and the professional community of organisations in the field of education. The group is interested in the relationship between the organisation of the education system and the educational assessment apparatus (e.g., control and management of the system). Dimensions of leading and leadership, as well as structures of decision-making, constitute a central part of this theme. You can read more about the group’s research and publications here.

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Development of assessment expertise and equality

The thematic group for the development of assessment expertise and equality investigates the activities and practices taking place in schools and educational institutions as well as their development, challenges and opportunities through the prism of prior research-based knowledge and prevailing normative documents. The group’s goal is to produce knowledge in support of the Finnish and international field of education and research, which can be used to develop teaching, learning and assessment practices and to formulate norms. Research provides knowledge useful for developing teaching, learning and assessment increasingly supportive of learning concepts and lifelong learning.

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Learning and competence

The thematic group for learning and competence focuses its research on the learning, skills, attitudes and wellbeing of pupils developing through schooling and education. For more than 20 years, research conducted at the Centre for Educational Assessment has focused on learning to learn as well as the relationships between and development of learning, attitudes and wellbeing. Extensive longitudinal studies have demonstrated how the area of residence, family and cultural background, gender, language of instruction and need for support of pupils are connected to the development of the centre’s research focus areas, as well as the role of the education provider, school and class in this development. In addition to the topic of learning to learn, the group investigates other areas of transversal competence. Understanding the developmental relationships between learning to learn, school performance and wellbeing also enables the examination of various structural differences at the levels of the system, school, class and individual, as well as the functioning and effectiveness of teaching arrangements and interventions. In addition to basic research, the group aims to produce research-based assessment data that can be utilised in the development of learning and teaching at the national level as well as at the level of education providers, schools, classes and individual pupils. 


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Learning analytics

The thematic group for learning analytics is composed of researchers and specialists whose goal is to develop measuring techniques for digital data collection. In contrast to the previous practice of acquiring data primarily through questionnaires, digital data collection enables the investigation of study subjects’ behaviour and activities in real time. Consequently, the group aims to develop digital research environments where subjects themselves benefit from their research participation. The purpose of developing learning analytics is the production of research-based knowledge and tools for the assessment of education as well as in support of the formative assessment of pupils. The activities of the group serve the data collection goals of the Centre for Educational Assessment by redesigning the indicators in use and producing knowledge on applied analytics particularly in the study of learning to learn.

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