The Criterion® Online Writing Evaluation Service is an effective tool that encourages students to practice their writing skills. Hundreds of thousands of students, from grade 4 through adult, use the Criterion service in school districts and colleges worldwide.
Wayne County Public Schools
"The Criterion program is an excellent way to assist the writing teacher, but especially helpful for the students because it is a motivator that improves their writing. Students are able to improve their writing because the human element has been eliminated, which in turn, makes it resemble a computer game.
Students love computer games and with the Criterion program, they write their papers with that same determination. They are willing to write and revise until they win the game with the Criterion service scoring their paper a perfect score; a paper with no errors. My students are actually revising their grammar and spelling errors, and also writing papers with well organized focused paragraphs. They are revising, not just rewriting! The Criterion program is fun and easy for my students because everything they need is at their fingertips: Spell Check and the Student Handbook. In addition, I am able to give my students feedback at the exact place of their errors that meets the demands of North Carolina’s writing rubric."
7th Grade Language Arts Teacher
Eastern Wayne Middle School
Plymouth Community School Corp
"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."
English Teacher, Plymouth High School
Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
"The Criterion Online Writing Evaluation program has helped me become a better instructor of writing. I primarily teach grammar to freshmen in high school and was unsure how this program would help my students when I first learned of it. After going to the initial training session, I discovered how easy this was to use and beneficial it would be to have at Bishop Dwenger High School. When I returned to the building, I told our department head that we had to have this program. After the first year, I saw a tremendous improvement in the length of writing and the self-editing process. As I became more comfortable with the program, I discovered many ways to enhance the experience for my students. We now use it to include many elements of writing such as transitions, vocabulary and varying sentence length. Every element I use in grammar can be addressed with the program. If we are studying adjectives, I have them include 25 different adjectives in the writing. If we are studying clauses, this ties directly into varying sentence length. I have seen the students' length and development of writing improve a great deal as has been shown through our writing development scores on the ISTEP+ exam every year. My students also enjoy the self-editing and the immediate feedback. They use the Writer's Handbook almost every time they are doing another essay for some sort of tip or example. I would highly recommend this program to anyone."
English Teacher, Bishop Dwenger High School
Fort Wayne, IN
Council Rock School District
"The Criterion program serves our students well. The feedback options allow students to receive immediate and helpful objective commentary and instruction. Teachers understand that the program is a valuable tool to encourage writing, and when combined with in-class instruction that included pre-writing and pre-thinking strategies, students write confidently.
Both teachers and students find the program easy to use, which increases the frequency with which the program is used. The scoring reports help uncover the needs of the students, which can then be the focus of mini-lessons."
K–12 English/Language Arts Supervisor
Council Rock School District
Placer Union High School District
"I just wanted to say 'Thank you' for your computer program. I used it with my senior English students who have learning disabilities. They had to do a rigorous research paper just like the rest of the seniors. I was able to assign work that the students could access at home, which really helped them. The fact that I also had access at home gave me the opportunity to give them so much more feedback than I could have given them otherwise. Thanks for that!"
Curriculum Coordinator, English Department
Colfax High School
Knox County Schools
"The Criterion service not only provides students with ongoing practice with different modes of writing, but it's also extremely helpful as they prepare for standardized essay writing exams. Knox County began using the essay topics and rubrics offered in the standard service of the Criterion Online Writing Evaluation — real topics that our state educators value — to give our students many opportunities to write and receive immediate scores and diagnostic feedback.
Recently we collaborated with ETS to develop our own topics. State testing performance is our first priority. Together with ETS, we've built Tennessee scoring models. Now we can compare our students' writing to the state AND national standards that are reflected in the standardized Criterion topics.
Every way you look at it, we win!"
Writing Coach, Knox County School District
Irvine Unified School District
"At Irvine, we've been using the Criterion service to benchmark student performance. And, both middle school and high school students have been writing on the Criterion topics in the classroom. The Irvine school district endorses writing across the curriculum, which means that each of our teachers frequently assigns writing for up to 180 students or more. They then must invest somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 hours grading one assignment. The Criterion service gets feedback to the students right away. And, with the individual portfolio feature, our teachers have access to a very large sample of scored essays. At a glance, we can make determinations about student performance levels. We'll use these results to formulate a more definitive writing rubric for our schools and perhaps even the district."
Principal, University High School (retired)
Camden County College
"Camden County College introduced the Criterion service to help make placement decisions for all incoming students. The Criterion service offers an effective initial assessment of student writing ability with immediate results.
Before using the Criterion service, faculty were required to evaluate each incoming student's writing in great detail, which was very time-consuming and created long delays between testing and placement decisions. With the Criterion service, we are now able to collect student essays and scores and make placement decisions quickly.
Instructors use the Criterion service in our composition courses for practice and for extra credit. And, along with a faculty reader, we use Criterion service to score the final essay assessment for English Comp One.
At Camden County College, we've established a Virtual Writing Lab using the Criterion service. We want our students to write often. The Virtual Writing Lab has been so successful that we've provided access to it to local middle and high school students. With so many students writing this frequently, paperless essays and the Criterion service are one way to provide accurate scores and valuable feedback so students can work at their own level and pace, and improve at the same time."
Chair, English Department
Camden County College