Focus and Design of the Review Study

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Alignment between educational goals, intended and implemented curricula and educational outcomes is considered as a characteristic of effective education. The expectation is that better alignment leads to better student performance. The concept of Opportunity to Learn, abbreviated as OTL, is commonly used to compare content covered, as part of the implemented curriculum, with student achievement. As such it is to be seen as a facet of the broader concept of “alignment”. One of the aims of this study was to further clarify these concepts, identify how they have been used in research studies, and are employed in practice. A second major aim of this study was to review the state of the art on research on OTL effects by means of a search for meta-analyses and recent primary studies. The following research questions were addressed: (1) Which facets are to be distinguished in clarifying the overall concept of OTL, and how are these to be placed as part of more general models of educational alignment and systemic reform? (2) What is the average effect size of OTL (association of OTL with student achievement outcomes), as evident from available meta-analyses, review studies, secondary analyses of international data-sets and (recent) primary research studies? (3) What are the implications of the results on (1) and (2) for educational policy and practice?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOpportunity to Learn, Curriculum Alignment and Test Preparation
Subtitle of host publicationA Research Review
EditorsJaap Scheerens
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-43110-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-43109-3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017

Publication series

NameSpringerBriefs in Education

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