Study Guide

Field 043: Technology Engineering 
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 1 
Fundamentals of Technology

 start bold Read the information below; then complete the exercise that follows. end bold 

A technology education teacher is advising a student who is interested in a career in communication technology and plans to attend college. The student has done well in activities related to digital photography, Web design and publishing, desktop publishing, and multimedia technology. The student is self-motivated, has an interest in the creative arts, and learns new computer applications quickly. According to the student's teachers, the student is not always a good team player and needs to work on interpersonal skills. Also, the student is sometimes careless in the area of general laboratory and personal safety practices.

Using your knowledge of technology education, write an essay in which you describe an appropriate approach to advising this student in preparing for a career in communications. In your essay:

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 

The student described in this exercise would be well suited for a career in graphic design, computer graphics, or media advertising. The student's strong interest in related areas and ability to learn new computer applications quickly further reinforce this career direction. Since the student intends to attend college, college counseling may be more important at this point than career counseling, although the two are closely related. The student should look at colleges that are strong in computer arts and graphic design and should be encouraged to visit more than one school before making a final choice.

The student should also explore the opportunities provided by the Technology Student Association. This association offers opportunities for networking and meeting potential employers. Summer employment before beginning college strengthens a resume and could provide real-world experience in a job that allows the student to observe graphic artists working on a day-to-day basis. The advisory board of the Technology Student Association might have members who can provide support and advice for the student. Employers who are also members of the advisory board would likely be willing to work with teachers to overcome specific weaknesses such as the student's poor interpersonal skills. The student could be encouraged to understand that interpersonal skills are important in the workplace. Business leaders who are outside the local area might also be willing to offer counseling and support electronically. In addition, any extracurricular activities related to technology and management would help the student's resume.

The student's teachers can help by providing learning opportunities in and out of the classroom. Although socially this student may benefit most from group activities, academically the student may benefit most from a teaching style based on one-on-one instruction and independent study. There are many types of software available that can help this student learn to design and create finished products comparable to those produced by professional enterprises. Output from these programs can be added to the student's portfolio.

Teachers may be able to organize student-run enterprises that would allow this student and other students to plan, start, and operate a small graphic arts business. In some schools, this type of operation has resulted in ongoing operations that have been taken over by a new group of students each year. A student-run business would have the added benefit of providing the student an opportunity to work as part of a team. Faculty advisors could be made aware of the student's weakness and asked to make an effort to reinforce the value of teamwork. The advisors could point out that no one student could operate the enterprise. Classroom teachers could help by providing opportunities for role playing activities that allow the student to see the consequences of poor interpersonal skills.

The student should also be made aware of the importance of safety in the workplace. Many communications enterprises use volatile or caustic chemicals in their printing and photographic development processes. When working with these chemicals, special care must be taken to ensure appropriate ventilation and to avoid contact with the skin and eyes through the use of proper safety equipment (e.g., goggles). Also, many printing processes involve machinery with moving parts, so precautions need to be taken to avoid physical injuries. The student should be given opportunities to become familiar with and to use Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and other sources of safety information regarding the use of chemicals and equipment. The student should be made aware of the fact that safety is important not only for the welfare of workers but also for the health of an enterprise. Accidents cost time and money and detract from profitability. It might be worthwhile to ask the student to serve as safety officer in one of the school's laboratories for a time. This experience may help to convey the importance of safety and the importance of vigilance in preventing accidents. A research project on the cost of accidents in the workplace and the benefits of worker safety programs could also help to improve the student's view of the importance of safety.

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.