An Application for Automated Evaluation of Student Essay

5644 Words Mar 23rd, 2013 23 Pages
Criterion SM Online Essay Evaluation: An Application for Automated Evaluation of Student Essays
Jill Burstein
Educational Testing Service Rosedale Road, 18E Princeton, NJ 08541 jburstein@ets.org

Martin Chodorow
Department of Psychology Hunter College 695 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021 martin.chodorow@hunter.cuny.edu

Claudia Leacock
Educational Testing Service Rosedale Road, 18E Princeton, NJ 08541 cleacock@ets.org

Abstract
This paper describes a deployed educational technology application: the CriterionSM Online Essay Evaluation Service, a web-based system that provides automated scoring and evaluation of student essays. Criterion has two complementary applications: E-rater®, an automated essay scoring system and Critique
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Work in automated essay scoring began in the early 1960’s and has been extremely productive (Page 1966; Burstein et al., 1998; Foltz, Kintsch, and Landauer 1998; Larkey 1998; Elliot 2003). Detailed descriptions of these systems appear in Shermis and Burstein (2003). Pioneering work in automated feedback was initiated in the 1980’s with the Writer’s Workbench (MacDonald et al., 1982). CriterionSM Online Essay Evaluation Service combines automated essay scoring and diagnostic feedback. The feedback is specific to the student’s essay and is based on the kinds of evaluations that teachers typically provide when grading a student’s writing. Criterion is intended to be an aid, not a replacement, for classroom instruction. Its purpose is to ease the instructor’s load, thereby enabling the instructor to give students more practice writing essays.

This paper appeared in the published proceedings of the fifteenth annual conference on innovative applications of artificial intelligence, held in Acapulco, Mexico, August 2003. Reposted on www.ets.org with permission of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

ple and because), or whether it is used to begin a new discourse segment (first or second). E-rater parses the essay to identify the syntactic structures in which these terms must appear to be considered discourse markers. For example, for first to
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