Automated Essay Evaluation: The Criterion Online Writing Service

Jill Burstein, Martin Chodorow, Claudia Leacock

Abstract


In this article, we describe a deployed educational technology application: the Criterion Online Essay Evaluation Service, a web-based system that provides automated scoring and evaluation of student essays. Criterion has two complementary applications: (1) CritiqueWriting Analysis Tools, a suite of programs that detect errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics, that identify discourse elements in the essay, and that recognize potentially undesirable elements of style, and (2) e-rater version 2.0, an automated essay scoring system. Critique and e-rater provide students with feedback that is specific to their writing in order to help them improve their writing skills and is intended to be used under the instruction of a classroom teacher. Both applications employ natural language processing and machine learning techniques. All of these capabilities outperform baseline algorithms, and some of the tools agree with human judges in their evaluations as often as two judges agree with each other.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1609/aimag.v25i3.1774

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