Samuel Greiff

Professor of Educational Psychology & Artificial Intelligence

Curriculum vitae


Department of Educational Psychology

Goethe-University Frankfurt


International large-scale assessments (ILSAs) are comprehensive evaluations conducted to measure and compare educational performance and skills across countries. These assessments play a crucial role in understanding the effectiveness of educational systems on a global scale. Among the most prominent ILSAs, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) stand out, both conveyed by OECD
PISA runs since 2000 in 3-year cycles and assesses the skills of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics, and science. Going beyond traditional school domains, PISA also measures skills in problem solving, collaboration, creative thinking, and other transversal domains. These are collectively called the "innovative domain". In contrast, PIAAC focuses on the skills of adults, assessing literacy, numeracy, and problem solving. PIAAC addresses the evolving needs of the global workforce by examining the capabilities of adults.
Together, PISA and PIAAC contribute to a comprehensive understanding of educational outcomes and workforce readiness across nations, fostering international collaboration and informed policy decisions to enhance educational systems worldwide. They serve as benchmarking tools for educational policymaking globally, providing educators and policymakers with comparative data and insights that inform evidence-based reforms and strategies to enhance educational quality and prepare individuals for the challenges of the 21st century.
Ever since I started as a PhD student in 2007, I have been fascinated by PISA and PIAAC. Since the 2012 PISA cycle, I've played a pivotal role in both of them, engaging in diverse capacities from committee roles to sub-contractor positions (through my institutions). My involvement spans the entire process, encompassing tasks like preparing calls for tender, framework and item development, technical implementation, analyses, reporting, and dissemination. I've maintained coordination with the Department of Education at OECD, its contractors (mainly ETS and ACER), expert groups, and test developers and I have repeatedly provided input to the governing bodies of both PISA (PGB) and PIAAC (BPC). Content-wise, I've contributed to domains like Science, Reading, Creative Problem Solving, Collaborative Problem Solving, Global Competencies, and Learning in the Digital World (links below).
Below, you find a list outlining examples of my active participation.
  • PISA-VET (planned for 2029): A new and exciting international initiative in the field of Vocational Education and Training. I am the lead expert for "Employability Skills" and a member of the Technical Advisory Group;
  • PISA 2025: Learning in the Digital World as innovative domain with a focus on computational thinking & self-regulated learning. We are supporting framework and item development as well as self-regulated learning measurement;
  • PISA 2022: Focus is on Mathematics, again after 2012. We support with CogLab studies and item development;
  • PISA 2018: Global Competencies as innovative domain and Reading as core domain. We help in reviewing the framework, developing items, and testing usability;
  • PISA 2015: Collaborative Problem Solving is ground-breaking as innovative domain. We support with all aspects of this controversial assessment and also help with Science, the core domain;
  • PISA 2012: Creative Problem Solving - the first time the innovative domain is  assessed computer-based across countries. I am a young PhD student and participate as visitor and advisor in the Expert Group Meetings;
  • PIAAC Cycle 2: Adaptive Problem Solving as third domain together with Numeracy and Literacy. I am chairing the APS Expert Group and we sign responsible for APS item development;
  • In addition to regular PISA and PIAAC cycles, I have also beee involved in PISA for Schools and several national assessments such as EpStan in Luxembourg, NAEP, the "Nation's Report Card" in the USA, and national assessments in Hungary and Finland .

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