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The Educational Research Centre

Welcome to the ERC’s computer-based testing website.

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Welcome to the Educational Research Centre’s (ERC) website providing information about computer-based testing, designed to support the new Drumcondra Online Testing System (DOTS). The launch of the DOTS is the latest stage in our long-standing involvement in educational research in Ireland.

The ERC is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in research, assessment and evaluation in education. It was established in 1966, and formally designated as a statutory body in 2015. Full information about the ERC, including information on international studies such as PIRLS, TIMSS and PISA or national studies such as DEIS and National Assessments, can be found on our main website.


What We Offer?

The ERC is Ireland's leading provider of educational assessments

The ERC has been providing paper-based assessments to Irish schools for over 40 years. Our new, state-of-the-art system allows schools to complete educational testing online using a variety of devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets and iPads. Tests were standardised in a selected group of schools in spring 2016 and are available for purchase now.

To coincide with the development of our new test delivery system, we are launching a series of new standardised assessments for 2nd year students. Furthermore, new editions of all current ERC paper-based assessments will be provided before 2019, including new test content and updated standardised scores.

  • Online testing platform
  • Wide range of assessments
  • Automated scoring
  • Customised student, class and school reports

Meet the Team

Our computer-based testing team include technical support personnel, test developers, subject content experts, psychometricians and statisticians. 

Gerry Shiel

Gerry is a Research Fellow at the ERC, and has overall responsibility for the development of standardised tests of reading, mathematics and science for Second years. A member of staff at the ERC since March 1993, he is National Project Manager for the OECD PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) 2015 Study, and is also involved in test development at primary level. He has a B. Ed. (NUI St Patrick's College), an M. S. Ed. in Reading (Western Illinois University), and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy (University of Texas at Austin).

David Millar

David is a Research Associate at the ERC, with responsibility for the standardisation of the computer based versions of the DRT, DPPMT and DPPRT. He has been involved in all stages of the computer-based tests project. David has D.Phil. in psychology from Ulster University and has worked at the Educational Research Centre since 1994. His areas of expertise include survey sampling, test construction, and the scoring and scaling of assessment data.

Adrian O'Flaherty

Adrian manages technical aspects of the computer-based testing system. He also deals with schools taking part in the standardisation, and is the main point of contact for technical queries you may have about any of the online tests. A member of staff at the ERC since 2005, Adrian has previously worked on projects such as PISA (Programme of International Student Assessment), and an evaluation of the SSP (Schools Support Programme) under DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools). He has a B.Sc. in Bioinformatics from DCU and a Higher Diploma in Statistics from Trinity College, Dublin.

Emer Delaney

Emer is a Research Associate at the ERC and specialises in literacy. She is currently managing the development of the new and updated Drumcondra Primary Reading Tests. A member of staff at the ERC since 2013, Emer has previously worked on PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) and an evaluation of the JUMP Math pilot in Ireland. She holds a degree in Psychology and Italian, a Masters in Literary Translation, and a PhD in Italian and Gender Studies, all from Trinity College Dublin.

Rachel Cunningham

Rachel is a Research Associate at the ERC and specialises in mathematics education. She had a central role in developing test content for the Drumcondra Post-Primary Test - Maths and is currently managing the development of the new and updated Drumcondra Primary Maths Tests. Rachel returned to work at the ERC in February 2015, having previously worked at the Centre from 2007 to 2009. In the interim, she studied and worked in research in the UK. She has worked on national and international surveys of maths, science and reading achievement. She has a degree in Mathematics and Psychology from Trinity College and an MSc in Health Services Research from the University of York.

Sample tests and questions

Click for more information and demos of our tests