Modern international large-scale assessment in education: an integrative review and mapping of the literature

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Research in international large-scale assessment (ILSA) has become an increasingly popular field of study in education. Consequently, interest and debate in the field by practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and the public has grown over the past decades. This study adopts a descriptive bibliometric approach to map modern research on ILSA in education and provide an up-to-date picture of the recent developments and structure of the field. The analysis of 2,233 journal articles indexed in the Web of Sciences database revealed that ILSA research in education is an emerging field in a stage of exponential growth that has become increasingly international with recent substantive contributions from China, Spain, and Turkey. Research in the field is currently produced by a tupid network of scholars with diverse geographical backgrounds that engage frequently in national and international research collaborations. Also, the field is relatively interdisciplinary and has developed grounded on nine differentiated historical paths. The PISA program has received the greatest attention in the field, and a wide variety of topics have been addressed in the literature in the last decades, including equity and quality education, globalization and education policy, measurement and statistics, student motivation and self-concept, and interpersonal relationships. The paper concludes by pointing to the potential of future ILSA research to make use of new more relevant instrumentation, data linkages, and trans-regional collaborations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalLarge-Scale Assessments in Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Education
  • ICCS
  • Large scale assessment
  • PISA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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