School Improvement in Maryland
Format for an Extended Constructed Response (ECR)
Format for an Extended Constructed Response (ECR):
Read the information below and use it to answer the EXTENDED CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE that follows.
  • Directly ask students for information or an explanation.
  • Ask a higher-level cognitive question.
  • Ask a follow-up higher-level cognitive question.
  • Remind students to "Include details and examples to support your answer."
Other Suggestions:
  • ECRs should be "big picture" ideas about political science. They should elicit comprehensive government concepts to add to the richness of the response.
  • ECRs must have one or more stimuli associated with them from the approved list of stimuli.
  • The item should give students a broad range of opportunity without resorting to a laundry list for answers.
  • Avoid quantifying the student's response by asking them to give two or give three reasons why. This approach will not hold up well using holistic scoring
  • Avoid using verbs such as "illustrate" , "consider" or "discuss".
  • Bullets in Constructed Responses can be questions or statements eliciting higher order thinking skills. They should not be questions that could be answered in one word. Avoid "if" and "whether or not" statements. It is preferred to use "Explain why or why not" as a tag to the question or task.
  • Some CRs ask the same question two different ways. This issue is apparent in the second (HOTS) bullet. HOTS bullets need to be clear questions that develop the content asked in first bullet.
  • Avoid writing questions where students do not need to know anything about government to answer the question. Students should be cued to discuss the impact of governmental decisions or what role the government would take in addressing this problem/issue, etc.
  • Avoid one-sided/biased questions. Allow students to express their opinions based on content knowledge with out predetermined parameters.