ETS has announced that it has released Criterion Online Writing Evaluation v6.2, introducing enhanced user features and feedback analysis, as well as upgrades to the e-rater scoring engine, the technology upon which the service is based.
The Criterion service, part of ETS's System 5 suite of K-12 products and services, is an online learning tool that uses automated scoring technologies to evaluate student essays. Through the Criterion service, students work independently to write and submit essays on an assigned topic. The service then generates a score and an in-depth analysis of errors and suggestions for improvement on multiple basic elements of writing — grammar, usage, mechanics, style, and organization and development. Students can review the comments, visit a Writer's Handbook for more information, and revise their work. Teachers can view student essays and Criterion feedback, and can add their own comments directly into an essay using pop-up notes or through an online message board.
Criterion v6.2 includes a number of upgrades to ETS's proprietary e-rater scoring engine, including the ability to detect run-on sentences and missing commas; expanded sentence fragment detection; and analysis and feedback regarding the technical quality of a student's thesis statement, as well as how well that statement reflects the assigned topic.
Other enhancements to Criterion v6.2 include:
* User experience enhancements, such as a split-screen window during the revision phrase, so that students can refer to the Criterion service feedback while they are revising their essay for resubmission.
* Additional resources in tabs for students, instructors, and administrators. The resources allow users to quickly reference information online, including manuals, quick access guides, training refresher videos, and resource guides.
* Technical enhancements like a Systems Requirements Check that evaluates whether a new computer's settings are compatible with the service, and an easier method for users who forget their passwords.