What Is Criterion and e-rater, and How Can They Be Used in a Classroom?

Youngsoo Song

Abstract


It is not uncommon for teachers to worry about delivering effective instruction and employing good pedagogical methods to maximize student learning. However, this becomes more problematic with the growing number of students per class and by the shortage of teachers who can accommodate the students. An immediate concern that will be discussed in this short piece is assessment, feedback, and scoring on writing from ESL/EFL students. A teacher becoming fatigued by an overwhelming amount of work is one concern, but it is often followed by unreliable and inaccurate assessment and grading of the students’ work. With little control over the shortage of teachers and the continuous enrollment of students, there must be a solution to alleviate the burden of teachers. This is where automated essay scoring (AES) tools such as Criterion by ETS may prove to be useful for teachers to effectively and efficiently provide meaningful feedback and grades. To elaborate, Criterion is an online platform providing convenience and practicality for its users, but it is the technology (also referred to as engine) of e-rater embedded in Criterion that provides automatic feedback on surface features of text such as grammar and scores.

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