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A Pilot Test of Online Essay Scoring

Powers, Donald E.; Farnum, Marisa; Grant, Mark; Kubota, Mel
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Computer Assisted Testing, Essay Tests, Scoring


This study had two objectives: (1) to determine essay readers' reactions to the prospect of evaluating essay responses on computer screens (instead of as paper copy) and (2) to estimate the effects on both the level and quality of scores assigned to essays presented on screen vs. those presented as hard copy. To make these determinations, a small sample of experienced essay readers evaluated samples of essays both on screen and as paper copy. The results revealed that online scoring was received relatively positively by readers. There were no statistically significant differences between the average scores awarded to on-screen essays vs. hard copy essays. Interreader agreement was comparable for both kinds of essays.

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