September 18, 2007 11:54 ET

ETS Launches New Version of Its Award-Winning Criterion(SM) Instructional Tool for Successful Writing Practice

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - September 18, 2007) - With enhancements to score reporting and an increased emphasis on student planning and instructor training, ETS has released Criterion(SM) Online Writing Evaluation v7.2. Instructors are now able to complete training sessions online and, with the click of a button, can easily access more information about student writing performance.

"The Criterion service is used as an instructional learning tool in schools, colleges and universities worldwide to help students practice writing," says Linda Reitzel, ETS's Director of Development for the Criterion service. "This new version extends the product's training modules to help teachers and faculty members use the advanced features of the Criterion service and apply the tool most effectively within their curriculum. This new version makes it even more convenient for educators to implement this easy-to-use tool, which saves them time while motivating students to become better writers."

The Criterion service is a web-based instructional tool that helps students in grades 4 through upper-level college plan, write and revise essays. Students work independently to plan and write their essays, and then submit them for feedback. The Criterion service provides immediate annotated diagnostic feedback on multiple basic elements of writing and a holistic score so that students can quickly review the feedback, revise their essays and resubmit them for further feedback. A context-sensitive Writer's Handbook provides additional definitions and lessons on grammar, word usage, mechanics, writing style and essay organization and development.

Instructor involvement is integral to the successful use of the Criterion service. Instructors select from a library of topics or create their own, and set the parameters for the assignment. For example, they can elect to activate a time limit, give options for students to save and revise essays, and determine whether students can see sample essays, scores or diagnostic functions. Instructors can also review students' essays and the Criterion feedback, provide their own comments using pop-up notes, and generate reports about their students' writing progress.

Version 7.2 includes a more user-friendly score report that enables instructors to easily analyze their students' performance and an expanded resources section with additional information for Criterion users. A new structure for packaged online training modules assures an improved instructor experience. Instructors are trained before using the program within the classroom setting, and can return for additional trainings to delve deeper into the program and learn about topics of particular interest to their schools or institutions.

The Criterion service won the IMS Global Learning Consortium's 2007 Platinum Level Award for helping hundreds of thousands of elementary, middle, high school and college students across the United States and around the world practice their writing skills, showing measurable impact on faculty/teacher adoption, and demonstrating ease of implementation.

For more information about the Criterion service and an online tour, visit

About ETS

ETS is a nonprofit institution with the mission to advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services for all people worldwide. In serving individuals, educational institutions and government agencies around the world, ETS customizes solutions to meet the need for teacher professional development products and services, classroom and end-of-course assessments, and research-based teaching and learning tools. Founded in 1947, ETS today develops, administers and scores more than 24 million tests annually, in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. Additional information is available at

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