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PARTICLES: Profiling And Researching TIMSS by Introducing a Curriculum Lens on Eight-grade Science (PhD project) (completed)

“While a psychometrician seeks a good sample of items from a universe of possible science topics, a science educator sees a universe in each science topic" (Rolf V. Olsen, professor at CEMO). Photo: Colourbox

About the project

The project investigates the content-side of the science assessment in the international large-scale study Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Prior research has mostly attended to the overall subject scores, or at best the science domain scores such as biology, chemistry and so forth. This project dives deeper into the within-domain topics. The difficulty and coverage of these topics are analysed with explanatory item response models, and the relationship between content coverage and achievement is investigated.


The project aims to offer a finer-grained perspective of the difficulty and coverage of the science topics taught in lower-secondary grades internationally and in Norway.


Opportunity to learn is a core principle of assessments that aim to align with the curriculum. However, teachers vary across countries and schools in what they have covered by the end of a school year. This offers an opportunity to investigate the variation in content coverage and to what degree the coverage matters for achievement.

The project runs between October 2014 and October 2018.


The project is funded by CEMO.

Published Nov. 17, 2017 10:24 AM - Last modified Sep. 22, 2022 10:53 AM


PhD Research Fellow Stephan Daus