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Chapter image Chapter 29: Strategy 27: Opportunities to learn

Self Evaluation

Please rate yourself or a teacher you have closely observed.




13 Provides adequate active learning time

You maximize students’ learning time within and between lessons.


Mitchell, 2014, pp323–332


  1. set clear learning objectives for all learners (usually through individual education plans for those with special educational needs),
  2. maintain a brisk pace within lessons (not too slow and not too fast),
  3. provide sufficient time for learners to respond to questions and comments within lessons (typically 3–5 seconds),
  4. make the transitions between lessons or between segments of a lesson as efficient as possible.
  1. All the indicators are regularly met.
  2. Three of the indicators are regularly met.
  3. One or two of the indicators are met.
  4. None of the indicators are met.

YouTubeYouTube links

Pause, prompt and praise. (1.56 US)

A brief demonstration of ‘Pause, Prompt, Praise’.


Wait time. (0.38 US)

A brief demonstration of ‘think time’ in a class lesson.


Double the wait time. (1.40 US)

A lecturer argues that teachers shouldn’t be in a hurry to elicit a response from a student since it may take them longer to answer. Instead they should double the wait time.


websitesWeb links

UCLA idea.

‘Opportunity to Learn’ (OTL) is a way of measuring and reporting whether students and teachers have access to the different ingredients that make up quality schools. The more OTL ingredients that are present in an individual school, school district, or even in schools across the state, the more opportunities students have to benefit from a high quality education.


National Opportunity to Learn Campaign.

The Opportunity to Learn (OTL) Campaign unites a growing coalition of advocates and organizers from across the country working to ensure that all students have access to a high quality public education. The Campaign includes local, state and national organizations, grassroots community leaders, policymakers, youth organizers, business leaders and philanthropic partners. 


On the edge of adulthood: Young people’s school and out-of-school experiences at 16, New Zealand Ministry of Education.

‘Competent Children, Competent Learners’ is a longitudinal study which began in 1993 and follows the progress of a sample of around 500 New Zealand young people from early childhood education through schooling and beyond. This is the main report from the age-16 phase of the study and details students’ participation in school, their experiences of learning, and their achievement in terms of the study’s competency measures and their NCEA results. It also describes overall patterns of family life, friendships and interests out of school at age 16.


Tobin, K.G. and Capie, W. (1980). The effects of teacher wait-time and questioning quality on middle school science achievement.

A paper explaining an experiment using two middle school science teachers with wait time as one of the variables in the experiment. The results indicated that using a mean teacher wait time of approximately three seconds may increase achievement and ensure that students are maximally engaged on the instructional objectives.


Rowe, M.B. (1986). Wait time: Slowing down may be a way of speeding up!

A review of the literature on wait time and an empirical study of the method.