About the TEL Assessment
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessment at grade 8 is a completely digitally based assessment that includes interactive scenario-based tasks and selected-response questions that measure TEL concepts and skills. To allow students to demonstrate the wide range of knowledge and skills detailed in the three TEL assessment areas and three practices, they are asked to perform a variety of problem-solving tasks based on interactive scenarios reflecting realistic solutions. Results are reported for the nation overall.
Assessment Framework and Design
The National Assessment Governing Board oversees the development of NAEP frameworks that describe the specific knowledge and skills to be assessed in each subject and how the assessment questions should be designed and scored.
Because of an increasing emphasis on technology and engineering skills inside and outside the classroom, in 2008 the Governing Board set out to develop a framework for a national assessment of studentsâ€™ knowledge and skills in technology and engineering. Completing this work involved the collaboration of technology and engineering experts, business leaders, educational policymakers, teachers, parents, and the general public who provided input via regional forums, webinars, and committee meetings to draft and refine the NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy Framework.
Given the importance of technology and engineering literacy for all individuals in a world of increasingly rapid technological change, the Governing Board developed a framework for TEL that articulated the domain of technology and engineering knowledge and skills that are important for all students, not just those pursuing STEM-related careers. As shown in the graphic below, the TEL domain consists of three major interconnected content areasâ€”Technology and Society, Design and Systems, and Information and Communication Technologyâ€”and three practices that cut across the content areasâ€”Understanding Technological Principles, Developing Solutions and Achieving Goals, and Communicating and Collaborating. Within and across all of these areas, students are also expected to be able to apply each of the TEL practices when approaching a problem. The graphic also shows how the combination of content areas and practices is used to classify the types of reasoning and thinking expected of eighth-grade students to show their ability to understand and apply technology and engineering knowledge and skills in a variety of problem-solving contexts. These reasoning and thinking skills, which are specified in the NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy Framework, are organized into assessment targets for test questions that provide direct and scorable evidence of what students know and can do in technology and engineering literacy.
Click on the columns containing the TEL content areas to see a description of each one. Click on the rows containing the TEL practices to see a description of each one and to view related TEL assessment targets for each combination of TEL content area and TEL practice.
3 TEL Content Areas
3 TEL Practices
Understanding Technological Principles
focuses on how well students are able to make use of their knowledge about technology.
Developing Solutions & Achieving Goals
refers to students' systematic use of technological knowledge, tools, and skills to solve problems and achieve goals presented in realistic contexts.
Communicating & Collaborating
concerns how well students are able to use contemporary technologies to communicate for a variety of purposes and in a variety of ways, working individually or in teams, with peers and experts.
TEL Assessment Design
As with all NAEP assessments, the TEL framework provides guidance for the types of tasks and questions that should be included. TEL is completely computer-based and includes interactive, multimedia scenario-based tasks (SBTs). SBTs engage students to solve technology and engineering problems in a variety of real-world contexts and are designed to allow students to demonstrate the range of knowledge and skills detailed in the three TEL content areas and three practices. Some tasks measure studentsâ€™ abilities in one content area and practice while other tasks measure more than one content area or practice.
Because the questions making up a task are part of the same scenario, the number of measures in the assessment may be reduced because of interdependency between measures. To counterbalance this interdependency and to ensure reliability, the assessment also includes discrete questions that are standalone questions designed to provide independent measures of studentsâ€™ knowledge and skills.
While the complete pool of the 2018 TEL assessment included 15 SBTs and 77 discrete questions, individual students responded to only a portion of the entire assessment. The total assessment time for each student was 60 minutes. Students responded to tasks and discrete questions in two separate 30-minute sections. Individual 30-minute sections were configured in various ways consisting of one long task (about 30 minutes), three 10-minute sets of discrete questions, or a combination of discrete question sets and a short task (about 10-20 minutes) totaling 30 minutes. While some students received two 30-minute task sections, none of the students received two sections of only discrete questions.
TEL tasks are designed to be accessible to all students so they can progress through each task to completion. Individual task questions are designed so that students who have partial understanding can still respond and students who answer a question incorrectly still have an opportunity to answer subsequent questions correctly.
Because studentsâ€™ experiences with technology and engineering are not limited to school, the TEL assessment is accompanied by a questionnaire focusing on studentsâ€™ opportunities to learn about technology and engineering both in and outside of school, as well as a questionnaire for school administrators focusing on resources and school demographics. Explore the TEL student and school questionnaires. Learn more about NAEP survey questionnaires including how NAEP ensures the privacy of questionnaire respondents.