Vantage Learning has announced the alignment of 25 writing prompts as part of the prompt library for its latest version of MY Access! online instructional writing program. These prompts are aligned by level and thematic unit to the scope and sequence of SRA/Open Court Reading, a core reading program adopted by school districts for both instructional and intervention reading strategies.
MY Access! is a Web-based writing environment that scores essays and provides immediate diagnostic feedback to engage and motivate students to write more and improve their composition skills, according to the announcement. It is based on Vantage Learning's IntelliMetric engine, which uses a blend of artificial intelligence (AI) and the digitization of human expertise to assess a student's competency of writing. [Editor's Note: For a discussion of the IntelliMetric prompt-based essay scoring engine, see Charles Doe's article AI vs. the Pen: Cutting-Edge Tools for Teaching Writing, in the May/June 2005 issue of MultiMedia & Internet@Schools.]
Incorporating these new writing prompts extends the value of MY Access!, as well as the adopted reading program, according to the announcement. For example, if an upper elementary student is using Open Court Reading, and the focus of the unit is cooperation and competition or perseverance, MY Access! will assign an appropriate writing prompt aligned to this unit. In addition, this provides a chance for students to enhance their vocabulary, spelling, and other skills taught within the program.
MY Access! contains multi-lingual dictionaries, thesauruses, word banks, spelling and grammar checkers, writing editors, tutoring, and other tools to assist students. Students can write and revise while their interest in the subject is high. Moreover, teachers can select that ELL students receive prescriptive feedback in their native language, as well as tips on how to improve their English writing skills.
With the MY Access! program, students maintain their work in an online portfolio that contains their initial draft, evaluation scores, and subsequent revisions. Similarly, teachers can review any individual student's portfolio, provide comments, and track the overall class portfolio to manage writing instruction.
Source: Vantage Learning, http://www.VantageLearning.com