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Practices of Data Use in Norwegian Municipalities and Schools (PraDa)

PraDa aims to enhance knowledge about how the information regarding student performance on national tests and grades are used by municipalities and schools. The project period runs from fall 2014 to spring 2018, and is financed by the Norwegian Research Council (FINNUT).

During the last decade, although there has been an increase in information available for local authorities, school leaders, and teachers in terms of student performance, knowledge about how data are used is scarce. Practices of data use will be investigated in terms of what happens when individuals interact with two assessment tools: national testing and grading. The first tool represents a new innovation, while the second is a more traditional mode of assessment. From a governance perspective, the first represents a way for national authorities to coordinate actions and activities; as such, it has a stronger accountability logic. Even though there is a growing interest in the study of data use internationally, only limited research has been carried out on data use at different organizational levels; equally, theories of organizational development that might suggest possible pathways between practices of data use and student outcomes have not been developed. Such investigations will be made possible through a multi-methodological and longitudinal design, where a cohort of students (and thereby their teachers, principals, and local authorities) in three lower secondary schools in different municipalities are followed from levels 8 to 10. Two surveys and qualitative studies (observations of meetings, interviews, and documents) will be conducted. Municipalities with different characteristics in terms of quality assurance systems will be cases that merit closer investigation. The surveys will be conducted in a third of the municipalities of Norway, also using data that are already available on student performance. This research will develop new knowledge of national and international significance in the field of data use and educational accountability.

The project has three subprojects:
Sub-project A: Mapping local practices of data use (responsible: Dr. Guri Skedsmo)
Sub-project B: Characteristics of data use practices within schools (responsible: Dr. Sølvi Mausethagen)
Sub-project C: Data use in a governance perspective (responsible: Dr. Tine S. Prøitz)


Presentation of the research team
Dr. Guri Skedsmo, Senior Researcher at the Institute for the Management and Economics of Education (IBB) at University of Teacher Education Zug (PHZG) and Associate Professor at the University of Oslo
Dr. Sølvi Mausethagen, Associate Professor at Oslo and Akershus University College
Dr. Tine S. Prøitz, Associate Professor at Vestfold and Buskerud University College and NIFU Step.
Nora Kolkien Sarastuen, Research Fellow at Oslo and Akershus University College
Kristin Thorshaug, Research Assistant at the Institute for the Management and Economics of Education (IBB) at University of Teacher Education Zug (PHZG)

International Advisory Board
Prof. Jim Spillane ( is Professor of Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University, USA.
Prof. Cynthia Coburn ( is Professor at Northwestern University, USA.
Prof. Jan- Eric Gustafsson ( is Professor at University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Prof. Christian Lundahl ( is Professor at Karlstad University, Sweden.

For more information about the project, please see the following website:

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