Evaluation research

As not everything can be done, there must be a basis for deciding which things are worth doing (Patton, 1996, p.11).

This pragmatic view lay at the root of the development of evaluation research in the US in the middle of the 20th century. Evaluation can be understood in a narrow sense as the scientifically-supported test of the effectiveness (extent to which goals were achieved) and efficiency (relationship between effort and utility) of measures, taking into account applicable standards. In a broader sense, evaluation can make a contribution to societal progress and democratic governance by providing a rational foundation upon which judgments can be made.

Social scientific and interdisciplinary evaluation research has experienced a notable upsurge in popularity since the 1990s, including in Europe. The (further) development of evaluation standards, models, methods and designs have made important contributions to evaluation quality assurance and are now mandatory for programs and measures that receive public funding .

Our research deals with evaluation models and methods. We also conduct evaluations (mostly for publicly-funded or our own programs) using custom-developed evaluation designs.


Internal Quality Management: Evaluating and Improving Competence-Based Higher Education

  • Project management: Evelyn Bergsmann (Christiane Spiel & Julia Klug verantwortlich für Evaluation)
  • Funding: Erasmus+ Programm der EU

Evaluation of the Admission Procedures of the Bachelor's and Master's Programs at the FH Vienna - Study Programs of WKW: Application of the Utilization-focused Evaluation Concept

  • Project management: Christiane Spiel
  • Project staff: Andreas Pfaffel
  • Funding: FH Wien der WKW 

Evaluation of the fairness of the aptitude test for medical studies at Austrian universities

  • Project management: Christiane Spiel, Barbara Schober & Margete Litzenberger
  • Project staff: Michaela Fasching, Andreas Pfaffel & Eva-Maria Schiller
  • Funding: Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Wirtschaft (BMWFW)

 Selected Publications

Lüftenegger, M., Finsterwald, M., Klug, J., Bergsmann, E., Schoot, R. van de, Schober, B., & Wagner, P. (2016). Fostering pupils' lifelong learning competencies in the classroom: evaluation of a training programme using a multivariate multilevel growth curve approach. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 13(6), 719-736. doi:10.1080/17405629.2015.1077113

Pfaffel, A., Kollmayer, M., Schober, B., & Spiel, C. (2016). A missing data approach to correct for direct and indirect range restrictions with a dichotomous criterion: A simulation study. PLoS ONE, 11(3), e0152330.

Bergsmann, E., Schultes, M.-T., Winter, P., Schober, B., & Spiel, C. (2015). Evaluation of competence-based teaching in higher education: From theory to practice. Evaluation and Program Planning, 52, S.1-9.

Gradinger, P.; Yanagida, T.; Strohmeier, D. & Spiel, C. (2015). Prevention of Cyberbullying and Cyber Victimization: Evaluation of the ViSC Social Competence Program. Journal of School Violence, 14, S.87-110.

Spiel, C. & Schober, B. (2015). Der Beitrag wissenschaftlicher Evaluation zur Evidenzbasierung in Politik und Praxis. In: V. Hennefeld, W. Meyer & S. Silvestrini (Hrsg.): Nachhaltige Evaluation? Auftragsforschung zwischen Praxis und Wissenschaft (S.41-52). Münster: Waxmann Verlag.

Spiel, C., Schober, B., & Bergsmann, E. (2015). Program Evaluation. In J. D. Wright (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social, & Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed.), Vol 19. (S. 117-122). Oxford: Elsevier.

Spiel, C., Schober, B., & Reimann, R. (2013). Modelling and measurement of competencies in higher education: The contribution of scientific evaluation. In O. Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia & S. Blömeke (Eds.), Modeling and measurement of competencies in higher education (p. 195-206). Rotterdam: SensePublishers.

Popper, V., Spiel, C. & von Eye, A. (2012). Evaluation von Führungskräfteentwicklung: Lösungsansätze zur Sicherung methodischer Standards an einem Fallbeispiel. Zeitschrift für Evaluation, 11 (1), 39-59.

Spiel, C., Lüftenegger, M., Gradinger, P. & Reimann, R. (2010). Zielexplikation und Standards in der Evaluationsforschung. In H. Holling H. & B. Schmitz (Hrsg.), Handbuch Statistik, Methoden und Evaluation (S. 252-260). Göttingen: Hogrefe.