In 2011, Writing Planet™’s global team collected thousands of essays written in English by non-native English learners from more than 40 countries. These essays were graded by trained professionals at Measurement Inc. headquarters in Durham, North Carolina. The PEG assessment engine was then “trained” with data from the expert human evaluators. Writing Planet, therefore, is the only automated writing assessment tool developed with and for international writers of English.
PEG’s effectiveness derives from the grading of thousands of actual student essays by professional educators specially trained in IELTS and TOEFL scoring to evaluate writing. By analyzing the scores assigned by these educators, PEG produces a mathematical model that can predict how an expert would score a particular student essay. Because its “predictive models” are based on decisions made by expert human evaluators, PEG delivers assessment that is as valid and reliable as that of the most trusted writing teacher.
PEG calculates more than 300 measures connected to writing effectiveness. These measures fall into 6 major categories: ideas and development, organization, word choice, sentence structure, grammar, and mechanics. Thus, students receive immediate feedback, not merely on the correctness, but also on the effectiveness of their writing.
Writing Planet™ rubrics for PEG were developed by international ESL writing experts and benchmarked against globally recognized examinations including IELTS, TOEFL and SAT. The rubrics are also mapped to the Common European Framework Proficiency Levels.
PEG is based on the observation that in order for students to become better writers, they need to have opportunities for practice and constructive feedback. Immediately after students submit their essays, they receive 6 separate scores, one for each of the major writing traits. In addition, they receive written comments in their native language that are simple, direct and positive. Finally, students receive suggestions for improvement and links to Writing Planet interactive lessons that address areas of particular weakness.
Writing Planet™ is most effective with English language learners who have already mastered basic social English and are interested in developing academic or business writing skills. The program is ideal for secondary and university students as well as professionals operating in the global arena, where the ability to write fluent English is now mandatory.