April 26, 2007 10:51 ET

ETS's Criterion(SM) Online Writing Evaluation Wins Top Honor for Global Learning Impact

PRINCETON, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 26, 2007 -- ETS's Criterion(SM) Online Writing Evaluation won the highest honor -- the Platinum Level Award -- at the IMS Global Learning Consortium conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, last week. The Criterion service is a web-based instructional tool that helps students plan, write and revise essays, and provides instant scoring and annotated diagnostic feedback.

IMS's Global Learning Impact Award program honors high-impact use of technology in learning, and the coveted Platinum Level Award is awarded to the finalist that shows superior measurable impact on faculty/teacher adoption, student achievement, and ease of implementation.

"The Global Learning Impact Award is unique in that it recognizes the use of innovative technology within the context of a school or educational program," says John Oswald, ETS's Senior Vice President for Elementary and Secondary Education. "These aren't products that sit on shelves. They are actually in use in the classroom, increasing student achievement and improving school performance. ETS is proud that our Criterion Online Writing Evaluation has been recognized for its demonstrated impact."

ETS staff, some of whom have been contributing members of the Global Learning Consortium, presented the Criterion tool and its capabilities alongside product users from Knox County Public Schools in Tennessee. Writing instructor Aleeta Johnson showed that the Criterion service has truly impacted the writing proficiency trend at Farragut High School and within the district as a whole.

"We showed marked improvement since 2002, when just 69 percent of our students in the district passed the state writing assessment," says Johnson. "In 2006, 86% of the students in the district passed, and 96 percent of the students at Farragut High School passed! I credit our score increases, in large part, to use of the Criterion service, which focused our writing instruction and enabled students to practice their writing and receive instant feedback on their essays."

The Criterion service has helped hundreds of thousands of elementary, middle, high school and college students across the United States and around the world practice their writing skills, and educators are reporting positive impacts.

"Many of our students come from economically disadvantaged families and arrive at the middle school finding it difficult to construct an essay that meets state standards," says Beth Madison, Principal of George Middle School in Portland, Oregon. "This year, our state writing scores went way up, and we had some special education students pass the test for the first time in our school's history. Perhaps the most outstanding data about this year's test scores was that in the number of students who scored low or very low decreased 21 percent in the past year. We credit the Criterion service for being the most effective way to get our students to revise their draft essays, and it shows in our scores. The kids can hardly wait to enter their essays to see their improvement."

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

About Criterion

The Criterion(SM) Online Writing Evaluation service is a web-based, instructor-driven, comprehensive instructional tool that helps students plan, write and revise essays. Instructors can create their own topics or select from the Criterion topic library at any level from fourth grade through upper-level college. The system provides annotated diagnostic feedback and a holistic score to both student and instructor within 20 seconds so that students can quickly review, revise and resubmit essays. Instructors can also provide their own feedback within the system, as well as view summary reports of Criterion feedback.

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 50 million tests annually, in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. Additional information is available at

About IMS Global Learning Consortium

In service to the community of organizations and individuals enhancing learning worldwide through the use of technology, IMS GLC is a global, nonprofit, member association that provides leadership in shaping and growing the learning and educational technology industries through collaborative support of standards, innovation, best practice and recognition of superior learning impact. Please visit for more information.

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