How was eWrite developed?
All tasks developed for eWrite have been directly designed to appeal to the range of experiences and interests of students in Years 5 to 8. The tasks are interesting and engaging, inspiring students to develop creative individual responses based on their knowledge and personal experience.
Final e-Write writing tasks were selected after piloting and trialling with over 5000 students. Tasks were marked using a criterion-referenced analytical marking guide. The guide incorporates the following criteria:
- Orientation and engagement
- Text structure
- Sentence punctuation
- Punctuation in sentences
The tasks selected for eWrite were hand marked (double marked and adjudicated where necessary) using the analytic marking guide. The scores were also Rasch analysed and a measurement scale calibrated. The scores were then loaded into the online marking system to create a computer model that replicates hand scoring. The system is designed to 'mimic' the way human scores have been assigned to particular features of writing.
Advantages of computer-based automatic scoring of writing include:
- accurate, consistent and reliable marking
- the effects of 'marker harshness' are eliminated
- student work is scored instantly, giving teachers and school administrators immediate access to individual and group reports
- time usually allocated to marking can be spent analysing students' results to help inform teaching and learning.
Comparison of human and computer-based marking
There have been a number of research studies into the use of computer-based marking of student writing. Results from these studies suggest that computer-based marking is as consistent as traditional hand scoring.
View the article 'An Overview of Automated Scoring of Essays' (external link) published in the Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment.