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ETS Launches New Version of Criterion Online Writing Evaluation Tool

Posted Sep 19, 2007
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ETS has released Criterion Online Writing Evaluation v7.2, featuring enhancements to score reporting and an increased emphasis on student planning and instructor training.  Instructors are now able to complete training sessions online and, with the click of a button, access more information about student writing performance.

The Criterion service is a Web-based instructional tool that helps students in grades 4 through upper-level college plan, write, and revise essays. Students work independently to plan and write their essays, and then submit them for feedback. The Criterion service provides immediate annotated diagnostic feedback on multiple basic elements of writing and a holistic score so that students can quickly review the feedback, revise their essays, and resubmit them for further feedback. A context-sensitive Writer’s Handbook provides additional definitions and lessons on grammar, word usage, mechanics, writing style, and essay organization and development.

Instructor involvement is integral to the successful use of the Criterion service. Instructors select from a library of topics or create their own, and set the parameters for the assignment. For example, they can elect to activate a time limit, give options for students to save and revise essays, and determine whether students can see sample essays, scores, or diagnostic functions. Instructors can also review students’ essays and the Criterion feedback, provide their own comments using pop-up notes, and generate reports about their students’ writing progress. 

Version 7.2 includes a more user-friendly score report that enables instructors to easily analyze their students' performance and an expanded resources section with additional information for Criterion users. A new structure for packaged online training modules assures an improved instructor experience. Instructors are trained before using the program within the classroom setting, and can return for additional trainings to delve deeper into the program and learn about topics of particular interest to their schools or institutions.

For more information about the Criterion service and an online tour, visit

Source: ETS,

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