TECH TALLY

APPROACHES TO ASSESSING TECHNOLOGICAL LITERACY

Committee on Assessing Technological Literacy

Elsa Garmire and Greg Pearson, Editors

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING AND NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy TECH TALLY APPROACHES TO ASSESSING TECHNOLOGICAL LITERACY Committee on Assessing Technological Literacy Elsa Garmire and Greg Pearson, Editors NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING AND NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract/Grant No. ESI-0138715 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Tech tally : approaches to assessing technological literacy / Committee on Assessing Technological Literacy in the United States ; Elsa Garmire and Greg Pearson, editors. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-309-10183-2 (hardcover) — ISBN 0-309-66003-3 (pdf) 1. Technical education—United States—Evaluation. 2. Technological literacy—United States. I. Garmire, E. II. Pearson, Greg. III. National Academy of Engineering. Committee on Assessing Technological Literacy in the United States. IV. Title. T73.T4165 2006 609.73—dc22 2006019673 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy Committee on Assessing Technological Literacy ELSA GARMIRE, chair, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire RODGER BYBEE, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Colorado Springs, Colorado RODNEY L. CUSTER, Illinois State University, Normal MARTHA N. CYR, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts MARC J. de VRIES, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands WILLIAM E. DUGGER JR., International Technology Education Association, Blacksburg, Virginia ARTHUR EISENKRAFT, University of Massachusetts Boston J. DEXTER FLETCHER, Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, Virginia ALAN J. FRIEDMAN, New York Hall of Science, Queens RICHARD KIMBELL, University of London, New Cross, London, United Kingdom JOSÉ P. MESTRE, University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana JON D. MILLER, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois SUSANNA HORNIG PRIEST, University of South Carolina, Columbia SHARIF SHAKRANI, National Assessment Governing Board, Washington, D.C. JOHN D. STUART, PTC, Needham, Massachusetts MARY YAKIMOWSKI-SREBNICK, Yakimowski and Associates and Council of Chief State School Officers, Suffolk, Virginia Project Staff GREG PEARSON, Study Director and Program Officer, National Academy of Engineering STUART ELLIOTT, Director, National Research Council (June 2003 to project end) PASQUALE DEVITO, Director, National Research Council (October 2002 to May 2003)

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy CAROL R. ARENBERG, Senior Editor, National Academy of Engineering MARIBETH KEITZ, Senior Public Understanding of Engineering Associate, National Academy of Engineering (April 2003 to project end) MATTHEW CAIA, Senior Project Assistant (October 2002 to March 2003) EILEEN GENTLEMAN, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow (January 2005 to March 2005) STEVE MEYER, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Intern (September 2002 to November 2002) ROBERT POOL, Freelance Writer

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy NAE Council Committee on Programs LAWRENCE PAPAY, chair, Science Applications International Corporation (retired), La Jolla, California RAY BEEBE, Homestake Mining Company (retired), Tucson Arizona W. DALE COMPTON, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana RUTH DAVIS, Pymatuning Group Inc., Alexandria, Virginia ELSA GARMIRE, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire ELISABETH PATÉ-CORNELL, Stanford University, Stanford, California JOHN SLAUGHTER, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, White Plains, New York WM. A. WULF,* National Academy of Engineering, Washington, D.C. Staff PROCTOR REID, Director, NAE Program Office * Ex Officio.

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy Board on Testing and Assessment LAURESS L. WISE, chair, Human Resources Research Organization, Alexandria, Virginia LYLE BACHMAN, University of California, Los Angeles EVA L. BAKER, Center for the Study of Evaluation, University of California, Los Angeles STEPHEN B. DUNBAR, University of Iowa, Iowa City DAVID J. FRANCIS, University of Houston, Houston, Texas MILTON D. HAKEL, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio ANDREW J. HARTMAN, Bell Policy Center, Denver, Colorado ROBERT M. HAUSER, NAS, University of Wisconsin-Madison DANIEL M. KORETZ, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts EDWARD P. LAZEAR, Stanford University, Stanford, California RICHARD J. LIGHT, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts ROBERT J. MISLEVY, University of Maryland, College Park MICHAEL NETTLES, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey JAMES W. PELLEGRINO, University of Illinois, Chicago DIANA C. PULLIN, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts LORETTA A. SHEPARD, University of Colorado, Boulder Staff STUART W. ELLIOTT, Director LISA D. ALSTON, Administrative Coordinator

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy Preface This report is the final product of a two-year study by the Committee on Assessing Technological Literacy, a group of experts on diverse subjects under the auspices of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Board on Testing and Assessment at the Center for Education, part of the National Research Council (NRC). The committee’s charge was to determine the most viable approach or approaches to assessing technological literacy in U.S. K–12 students, K–12 teachers, and out-of-school adults. To fulfill that charge, the committee considered opportunities and obstacles to developing one or more scientifically valid and broadly applicable assessment instruments for technological literacy in the three target populations and specified subtest areas and sample test items for such assessments. This report is based on Technically Speaking: Why All Americans Need to Know More About Technology, a 2002 publication by the National Academies, in which technological literacy was defined and a case was made for its importance. A key finding of that report was that few data are available about what Americans—children or adults—know and can do with respect to technology. The general feeling, then as now, was that people in this country are poorly prepared to think critically about many important technological issues—from the safety of genetically modified foods to privacy concerns raised by post-9/11 data gathering to the value and risks of a new manned mission to the moon. But without valid and reliable data from assessments, developing an effective strategy for improving the situation is all but impossible. The present report is intended to provide a road map for organizations and individuals to begin to fill this data gap.

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy The Committee on Assessing Technological Literacy adopted the broad definition of technology used in Technically Speaking. Technology includes not only the tangible artifacts of the human-designed world and the systems of which these artifacts are a part, but also the people, infrastructure, and processes required to design, manufacture, operate, and repair the artifacts. This comprehensive definition differs markedly from the more common, narrower public view, in which technology is almost exclusively associated with computers and other electronics. This report will be of special interest to individuals and groups promoting technological literacy in the United States or developing or using the results of assessments in the domain of technology. Education and government policy makers in federal and state agencies, as well as the education research community, will also find much to think about. At the policy level, growing concerns about the competitiveness of the U.S. science and engineering workforce have highlighted the need for putting more emphasis on what people—particularly K–12 students—know and can do with respect to technology. For researchers, efforts to investigate the dimensions of technological literacy have revealed a largely unexplored territory related to how children and adults learn technological concepts and how computer-based simulation might be used as an assessment tool. The committee met seven times, sponsored one stakeholders’ workshop, and talked informally with a number of nationally recognized experts on assessment, cognition, and related areas. The workshop, held September 2004, brought together more than 20 individuals representing public and private assessment organizations; technology-based industries; classrooms, schools, and school systems; and researchers interested in workforce and employment. The committee also received critical input from workshop participants. Two reviews of the literature were commissioned, one on how people learn technology-related concepts and the other on how people learn engineering-related concepts. The committee also commissioned an analysis of data from the long-term science assessment conducted as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The panel collected and reviewed some 30 assessment instruments on various aspects of technological literacy. Finally, beyond this data gathering, the report also reflects the personal and professional experiences and judgments of committee members. For better or worse, we live in a numbers-oriented world, in education as well as other sectors. Many people can only be convinced of

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy the need for greater technological literacy if the argument can be backed by hard data. For a variety of reasons, gathering such data will not be easy, but it is important that we do so. This report provides a solid platform from which to launch the effort. Elsa M. Garmire, chair Committee on Assessing Technological Literacy

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Philip Bell, Cognitive Studies in Education, University of Washington Christopher T. Cross, Chairman’s Office, Cross & Joftus, LLC Sharon Dunwoody, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison Paul Fleury, School of Engineering, Yale University Joan Herman, Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, University of California, Los Angeles Marie Hoepfl, Department of Technology, Appalachian State University Brett D. Moulding, Science Education and Curriculum, Utah Office of Education Nancy S. Petersen, Measurement and Statistical Research, ACT Inc.

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy John M. Rauschenberger, Personnel Research and Development, Ford Motor Company Larry Snyder, Department of Computer Science, University of Washington Mark Wilson, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Lauress Wise, President’s Office, Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) and William G. Agnew, Retired Director, Programs and Plans, General Motors Corporation. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. In addition to the reviewers, many other individuals assisted in the development of this report. Stephen Petrina, at the University of British Columbia, and Alisha Waller, at Georgia State University, conducted extensive reviews of the literature reviews on behalf of the committee. Larry O. Hatch, at Bowling Green State University, performed a detailed analysis of data on long-term trends from the National Assessment of Educational Progress science assessment. Project evaluators Patricia Bourexis and Senta Raizen, at The Study Group Inc., provided a valuable analysis of input from the workshop. Dan Householder, at the National Science Foundation, provided patient and wise guidance throughout the project. And participants in the committee’s workshop and other, informal information-gathering activities supplied much-needed perspectives on the topics under consideration. Thanks are also due to the project staff. Matthew Caia provided administrative support during the early phases of the project. Maribeth Keitz ably managed the bulk of the logistical and administrative needs, making sure meetings and workshops ran efficiently and smoothly. Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Intern Steve Meyer helped create a Web-based system for recording information about the assessment instruments the committee collected, and Christine Mirzayan Science

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow Eileen Gentleman prepared summaries of those documents. Freelance writer Robert Pool helped write the introductory chapters. NAE Senior Editor Carol R. Arenberg substantially improved the readability of the report. Special thanks are due to Pasquale Devito, head of the NRC Board on Testing and Assessment, who helped guide the project at its inception, and to his successor, Stuart Elliott, who provided insights and advice throughout the study process. Greg Pearson, at NAE, played a key role in conceptualizing the study and managed the project from start to finish.

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   19      How Technologically Literate Are We?,   20      Benefits of Assessing Technological Literacy,   22      Obstacles to Assessing Technological Literacy,   24      Charge to the Committee,   25      References,   27 2   DEFINING TECHNOLOGICAL LITERACY   29      The Designed World,   30      Technological Literacy,   32      Attitudes Toward Technology,   36      Visualizing Technological Literacy,   37      Assessing Technological Literacy,   38      References,   39 3   ASSESSMENT AS A DESIGN CHALLENGE   41      The Design Process,   41      Imperfect Design,   59      Inherent Uncertainties,   60      References,   60

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy            4   AN ASSESSMENT PRIMER   63      Testing and Measurement,   64      Cognition,   72      Research on Technological Learning,   80      References,   86 5   REVIEW OF INSTRUMENTS   93      Mapping Existing Instruments to the Dimensions of Technological Literacy,   98      Attitudes Toward Technology,   113      Filling the Assessment Matrix,   115      References,   124 6   FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE: FIVE SAMPLE CASES   127      Case 1:  Statewide Grade-Level Assessment,   129      Case 2:  Matrix-Sample Assessment of 7th Graders,   136      Case 3:  National-Sample Assessment of Teachers,   140      Case 4:  Assessments for Broad Populations,   146      Case 5:  Assessments for Visitors to Museums and Other Informal-Learning Institutions,   153      References,   158 7   COMPUTER-BASED ASSESSMENT METHODS   161      Computer-Based Adaptive Assessments,   162      Simulations,   164      Computer-Based and Web-Based Games,   168      Electronic Portfolios,   170      Electronic Questionnaires,   171      References,   172 8   FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   175      Opportunities for Assessment,   176      Research on Learning,   186      Innovative Measurement Techniques,   188      Framework Development,   190      Definition of Technology,   192      Conclusion,   193      References,   195

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Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy                APPENDIXES     A   Committee Biographies   197 B   Technology-Related Standards and Benchmarks in the National Science Education Standards, Benchmarks for Science Literacy, and Standards for Technological Literacy   207 C   Challenges and Opportunities for Assessing Technological Literacy in the United States (Workshop Agenda)   251 D   Research on Learning in Technology and Engineering: A Selected Bibliography   255 E   Instrument Summaries   265

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