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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.

California State University, Fresno

"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."

Department of Theatre Arts
CSU Fresno

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 includes 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
Newtown, Pennsylvania

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. 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, Indiana

East Texas Baptist University

"We've been using the Criterion service at East Texas Baptist for several years now. The university used to offer remedial writing courses, but now all Comp One students write an essay using a Criterion prompt. Students who receive scores of 3 or less are required to take four tutoring sessions in which they work on their essays. At mid-semester they resubmit their essays.

Some students in Comp One use the Criterion service for every essay. These students refer to the annotated feedback as they work on their essays. The online portfolio and printouts of the feedback give instructors a way to see how students proofread and edit their work. Although it has not replaced instructor-to-student work, the Criterion service adds a very helpful dimension to the writing process."

Faculty, English Department
East Texas Baptist University
Marshall, Texas

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 (retired)
University High School
Irvine, California

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
Knoxville, Tennessee

Plymouth Community School Corporation

"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
Plymouth, Indiana

Portland Public Schools

"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."

Principal, George Middle School
Portland, Oregon

University of 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!"

Lecturer, English Department
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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