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Project DiFA impresses in Leibniz Competition


Thanks to its innovative approach, the application for the cooperative project "Digital Formative Assessment (DiFA)–Unfolding Its Full Potential By Combining Psychometrics With Learning Analytics" has won the grant from the Leibniz Competition 2020. The project is led by the Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education (DIPF), with the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) and Goethe University Frankfurt acting as project partners.

The DiFA team at the kick-off meeting (Foto: Sebastian Wollny, DIPF) 

In addition to the interdisciplinary cooperation, the innovative approach of the project has left an especially convincing impression. "We will examine how data collected through the use of digital learning environments in higher education can be used in comparison with standardized psychometric survey procedures. We hope to gain insights into the knowledge, competencies, and characteristics of learners. For example, temporal behavior can be a useful indicator for the assessment of individual learning", says LIfBi Director Prof. Dr. Cordula Artelt, co-applicant of the DiFA project.

The project combines two separate research traditions: on the one hand, theory-driven psychometric assessment procedures and, on the other hand, data-driven analysis of digital learning tracks. Its goal is to develop new digital methods to enhance and automate the assessment of learner characteristics and competencies as well as learning progress. According to the Senate Competition Committee of the Leibniz Association, the project thus addresses a politically and socially highly relevant topic. In the evaluation of the project, the Senate Competition Committee also emphasized the high practical relevance of this basic research, whose results can, for instance, be incorporated into the development and application of an online course for teacher training. The project started in February 2020 with a kick-off meeting of the project partners.
At its fall session on November 26, the Senate approved 27 out of 89 applications entered in the Leibniz Competition 2020.

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