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More About the NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) Assessment

Eighth-grade students throughout the nation took the NAEP technology and engineering literacy (TEL) assessment in the winter of 2014. Results of this innovative assessment will be available in 2015.

On this page, learn more about:

The NAEP TEL framework

Because of the growing importance of technology and engineering in the educational landscape, and to support America's ability to contribute to and compete in a global economy, the National Assessment Governing Board initiated development of the first national assessment in technology and engineering literacy. Under the guidance of the Board, the 2014 Abridged Technology and Engineering Literacy Framework PDF File (2.21 MB) was developed to guide the development of the assessment. NAEP frameworks incorporate expertise and input from subject area experts, school administrators, policymakers, teachers, and parents and describe the assessment content and how students' responses will be evaluated.

More than testing students for their ability to “do” engineering or produce technology, TEL is designed to gauge how well students can apply their understanding of technology principles to real-life situations. Find out more about what the assessment measures and how technology and engineering are defined.

Assessment question formats

TEL marks a departure from the typical NAEP assessment design because it is completely computer-based and includes interactive scenario-based tasks―an innovative component of NAEP. Students will be asked to perform a variety of these interactive tasks to solve problems within realistic scenarios. Explore one of the tasks and see what students are experiencing when they take the assessment. More examples of interactive tasks are available in the interactive version of the TEL framework. In addition to scenario-based tasks, TEL also relies on short-answer and multiple-choice questions to measure students’ knowledge and skills.

Who took TEL and how was it administered?

In the winter of 2014, the NAEP TEL assessment was administered to a national sample of eighth-grade students in public and private schools. In the future, TEL will be administered to grades 4, 8, and 12. Results will be reported in 2015.

Before the assessment began, students viewed a tutorial that helped them become familiar with the interface and how to use the program. NAEP representatives provided all the necessary materials to the school on assessment day, including laptop computers and earbuds. It takes approximately 120 minutes for students to complete the assessment.

Additional resources

Watch the TEL video and find out more about the assessment.

For an overview of the TEL framework, see the 2014 Abridged Technology and Engineering Literacy Framework PDF File (2.21 MB).

Learn more about NAEP, the nation's only ongoing assessment of what students know and can do in various subject areas.

Explore the most recent NAEP results in any subject on the The Nation’s Report Card website.


Last updated 23 December 2014 (JM)
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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education