Evaluating an Online Writing Assessment Tool: Reflections of an Instructional Designer
Abstract: This discussion offers suggestions for improving the instructional effectiveness of Educational Testing Service’s (ETS’) Criterion ® writing assessment tool and the underlying e-rater ® technology that supports it. The author’s conceptions for improvement are grounded in instructional design theory and principles. The author also consulted extensively with members of ETS' Natural Language Processing (NLP) Technologies team, and NLP researchers, and ETS Technology Products staff. The writer also utilized the Criterion ® and e-rater ® suite in order to acquire first-hand operational experience. Systems such as Criterion ® and e-rater ® are primed to play an important role in attaining federal education goals. This discussion will highlight the capabilities of the Criterion system and offer suggestions for improvement drawn from instructional design literature.