Study Guide

Field 038: Library-Media Specialist 
Sample Constructed-Response Assignment

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Test Directions for the Constructed-Response Assignment

This section of the test consists of one constructed-response assignment. You are to prepare a written response of approximately 300–600 words on the assigned topic. You should use your time to plan, write, review, and edit your response to the assignment.

Read the assignment carefully before you begin to write. Think about how you will organize your response.

As a whole, your response must demonstrate an understanding of the knowledge and skills of the field. In your response to the assignment, you are expected to demonstrate the depth of your understanding of the content area through your ability to apply your knowledge and skills rather than merely to recite factual information.

Your response to the assignment will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

 start bold PURPOSE: end bold  the extent to which the response achieves the purpose of the assignment
 start bold SUBJECT MATTER KNOWLEDGE: end bold  accuracy and appropriateness in the application of subject matter knowledge
 start bold SUPPORT: end bold  quality and relevance of supporting details
 start bold RATIONALE: end bold  soundness of argument and degree of understanding of the subject matter

The constructed-response assignment is intended to assess subject matter knowledge and skills, not writing ability. However, your response must be communicated clearly enough to permit valid judgment of the scoring criteria. Your response should be written for an audience of educators in this field. The final version of your response should conform to the conventions of edited American English. Your written response must be your original work, written in your own words, and not copied or paraphrased from some other work.

Be sure to write about the assigned topic. You may not use any reference materials during the test. Remember to review what you have written and make any changes you think will improve your response.

Sample Constructed-Response Assignment

subarea roman numeral 3 
Information Literacy and Inquiry Skills

 start bold Use the information below to answer the question that follows.  end bold 

You are a school librarian collaborating with a third-grade teacher on an interdisciplinary unit on Oklahoma pioneer life. Students have read a novel on pioneer life and will be working in groups of three to research various topics related to pioneer life suggested by the book. Each group is expected to gather information from multiple print and digital resources, create a display board, and present the display board and the information they have gathered to an audience of parents/guardians. One goal of this research assignment is to teach students to synthesize information from more than one resource.

Using your knowledge of information literacy skills, prepare a response in which you:

Sample Strong Response to the Constructed-Response Assignment

 start bold Please note: The sample response provided below is for review purposes only and should not be used in a response on an operational exam. Use of the exact words and phrases presented in this sample response will result in a score of "U" (Unscorable) due to lack of original work. end bold 

One strategy I would use during an interdisciplinary unit on Oklahoma pioneer life to help third-grade students learn to synthesize information from more than one resource would be to provide students with instruction and practice identifying the main ideas of a text. I would have students work in small groups and I would begin by having each group of students read two text selections on the same topic and highlight topic sentences and key words or phrases in each text. Once groups have had a chance to perform this task, I would bring the class together to share what they have highlighted and I would write the sentences and phrases on the board. I would show students how to identify common ideas in the texts. Then I would model writing two or three sentences describing those ideas along with a few sentences describing other important information that is unique to one of the texts. I would then have students work in pairs to practice this process using a second set of texts only they would synthesize the information into a few sentences on their own.

This would be an effective strategy for helping students learn to summarize information from more than one resource because it provides them with a step-by-step process they can use with any set of resources. Having students practice the strategy on their own after seeing it modeled will give me an opportunity to give them feedback on how they are doing. The more students become adept at identifying main ideas, common ideas across texts, and only the most important details, the better they will become at synthesizing information from more than one resource.

Another information literacy skill I would want to teach students in this context is how to search for resources and information effectively. I would help students construct a chart with three columns. The first column heading will be "What do I want to know?" and students will list their research questions. The heading of the second column will be "How Will I Search?" In this column, for each research question, I would help students list possible key words related to the question. The heading of the third column will be "Where Will I Look?" In this column, for each research question, I would help students list possible resources for the information they need. I would remind them of the various types of resources in the library, including maps, encyclopedias, the Internet, primary sources, and autobiographies. By using this teaching strategy, students will be better prepared to search for resources and information using a variety of sources.

Performance Characteristics

The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to the constructed-response assignment.

Characteristics that guide the scoring of responses
Purpose The extent to which the response achieves the purpose of the assignment
Subject Matter Knowledge Accuracy and appropriateness in the application of subject matter knowledge
Support Quality and relevance of supporting details
Rationale Soundness of argument and degree of understanding of the subject matter

Scoring Scale

Scores will be assigned to each response to the constructed-response assignment according to the following scoring scale.

Score Scale with description for each score point.
Score Point Score Point Description
4  start bold The "4" response reflects a thorough knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is fully achieved.
  • There is a substantial, accurate, and appropriate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence is sound; there are high-quality, relevant examples.
  • The response reflects an ably reasoned, comprehensive understanding of the topic.
3  start bold The "3" response reflects a general knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is largely achieved.
  • There is a generally accurate and appropriate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence generally supports the discussion; there are some relevant examples.
  • The response reflects a general understanding of the topic.
2  start bold The "2" response reflects a partial knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is partially achieved.
  • There is a limited, possibly inaccurate or inappropriate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence is limited; there are few relevant examples.
  • The response reflects a limited, poorly reasoned understanding of the topic.
1  start bold The "1" response reflects little or no knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is not achieved.
  • There is little or no appropriate or accurate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence, if present, is weak; there are few or no relevant examples.
  • The response reflects little or no reasoning about or understanding of the topic.
U The response is unscorable because it is illegible, not written to the assigned topic, written in a language other than English, or lacking a sufficient amount of original work to score.
B There is no response to the assignment.