committee believes state leaders in education and other readers will benefit from seeing how this type of testing might play out.
Beyond the call for modified or new assessments, the discussion of determining content for an assessment of teachers (Case 3) illustrates the need for careful development of assessment frameworks (Recommendation 11). And the cases related to broad populations (Case 4) and visitors to a museum or other informal-education institution (Case 5) suggest the importance of new measurement methods (Recommendation 10).
Even though the sample cases touch on many of the issues facing designers of assessments, they are meant to be descriptive rather than prescriptive. Each case includes a rationale and purpose for the assessment, suggests a source for deriving the assessment content, proposes a way of thinking about performance levels, and addresses some administrative, logistical, and implementation issues. The committee intends this chapter to be a springboard for discussion about designing and carrying out assessments of particular groups and for particular purposes.
The committee intends this chapter to be a springboard for discussion.
When reviewing the examples in this chapter, readers should keep in mind the discussion of the design process in Chapter 3. Design is a process in which experience helps. When experienced designers are faced with a problem, they immediately ask themselves if they have encountered similar problems before and, if so, what the important factors were in those cases. The committee adopted the same approach, beginning with a review and analysis of existing studies and instruments, the identification and incorporation of useful aspects of those designs into the sample design, the identification of needs that had not been met by existing designs, and attempts to devise original ways to meet those needs. Anyone who intends to design an assessment of technological literacy will have to go through a similar process.
During the committee’s deliberations, considerable time was spent discussing the value of including a sample assessment for an occupational setting. Ultimately, the committee decided not to include an occupational assessment for two reasons. First, the goal of most technical training and education for specific occupations is to provide a high level of skill in a limited set of technologies (see Box 2-2), rather than to encourage proficiency in the three dimensions of technological literacy spelled out in Technically Speaking. Second, two industry participants in a data-gathering workshop (one from the food industry and one from the automotive industry) expressed the view that a measure of overall