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The Criterion® Online Writing Evaluation Service is a powerful writing tool used globally by schools, universities and institutions to motivate students and support teacher curriculum, remediation, placement and assessment. Learn how K-12 programs, Higher Education institutions and global customers are using the Criterion service.

Institution in Texas

I wish to share some information about the Criterion service from ETS, a web-based instructional writing tool. My students have been using this tool with much enthusiasm and have experienced great success.

Students follow this process: first, dissect prompt; second, write essay on lined paper; third, type and submit essay on the Criterion service website; finally, revise and edit essay on Criterion website.

Teachers may allow for two or three submissions; the highest score is recorded in the gradebook. Students sometimes ask me to increase the number of submissions; this is an English teacher's dream, students asking to write more. After the third submission though, I ask students to really look at their content and rhetoric; grammar corrections are sometimes enough to pick up a score, but not always.

The icing on the cake is that teachers are provided with a score comparable to the EOC score. The software is by ETS, the company who not only creates the English and Reading EOC Tests, but also trains the raters who score ALL the STAAR®/EOC essays in the entire state of Texas.

Last year's students told me it was a lot easier for them to write their EOC essay because of all the practice they had with the Criterion service.They also shared that the software scored a little harder. I had a lot more students score "4s" on the actual EOC than throughout the school year."

Institution in Florida

I use the Criterion service to teach my advanced writing courses. When they use the Criterion service, most of the editing is done by themselves and this is when they need to become more independent from the teacher or lab tutor. The Criterion service does a great job at it. In addition, I have the opportunity to jump in while they are producing their first drafts to give them my own feedback without penalty — that is, before they submit for a grade. This program is especially helpful for my virtual students. I never meet them and the only way I have to make sure they are the authors of their own writing is precisely by watching them go through this process. The Criterion program allows me to do that."

Institution in California

We use Criterion as an integral part of a comprehensive and coordinated plan to improve student writing across campus. This online program gives students the opportunity to rewrite and reduce the distractions in their papers so that professors can focus on the quality of content and evidence in written assignments. Many students, especially English Language Learners, find that the immediate feedback helps them gain a better understanding of grammatical features in writing. Many faculty like the fact that Criterion does not give corrections, but instead notes "possible" errors so students must think critically about their writing during the revision process."

Institution in Indiana

Just as athletes improve their abilities through practice and coaching, writers also improve their skills through practice and coaching. The Criterion Online Writing Evaluation program provides students practice with a variety of writing prompts and opportunities to revise and rewrite ideas while allowing teachers to coach quality writing. Plymouth High School students have been using the Criterion Online Writing Evaluation program for three years. Teachers and students VALUE the program and have noted improvements in fluency, style, organization, mechanics and usage. Each year, we discover new and better ways to utilize the program, but the bottom line is: our students are writing more, teachers are coaching more effectively, and our writing program is experiencing ongoing progress with the use of the online Criterion program."

Institution in Oregon

I like Criterion because it gives immediate feedback to students in the area of conventions which in turn motivates them to fix mistakes and raise their scores. Criterion can do in seconds what would take teachers hours if they hand-graded and edited essays."

Institution in Minnesota

I've used the Criterion service in my Composition One classes as a learning tool and for pre- and post-testing. I'm thrilled that this tool has helped my students improve, and their scores confirm that. According to the comparisons I've done with my own records, Criterion scores are very accurate. Also, it is a time-saver for instructors trying to quickly assess students' levels of writing ability without consuming inordinate amounts of time reading through essays and calibrating scores of other faculty and their students. Beyond the personalized feedback, I even make use of the sample essays and the scoring guides in a subsequent lesson. The students can then make their own assessments with the samples while matching up their writing to that of their classmates when I turn on the "share" function. Nothing like a little competition among peers to help motivate my students!"