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EssayTagger is a web-based tool to help teachers grade essays faster.
But it is not an auto-grader.

This blog will cover EssayTagger's latest feature updates as well as musings on
education, policy, innovation, and preserving teachers' sanity.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Latest Update: Rubric drill-down analytics

This is one of the features I was most excited about when I first conceived of EssayTagger!

Read on or watch the tutorial video!

When you grade your essays in our system you're tagging and evaluating the students' text and storing it all in our database. That means that we can then retrieve all that information in powerful ways that aren't possible with traditional grading methods.

Grade a class set of papers and then go to the assignment's rubric performance analysis screen.
"analytics" tab > view aggregate rubric results

From here you can now drill down into each individual rubric core element. We're going to jump into the "Topic sentence" core element:

Click any of the "show text excerpts" checkboxes and the site will hit the database and retrieve your data:

The bold text is the feedback comment you selected for the student and the quoted text is the corresponding excerpt from each student's essay! The list is filtered to display, in this case, only the excerpts that were evaluated as being of "Level 4" quality. You can display the associated text excerpts for each quality level.

To make all of this more concrete, let's take a look back at the grading app:

Notice the highlighted essay text just above the comment selection box: "Students spend most of their days outside of home." Since that's a bad topic sentence, I'm going to select a Level 4 feedback comment. I chose the "This is a trivial fact" comment (of course you can always add a new comment if the existing ones aren't sufficient).

And if you look back at the drill-down analytics, you'll see that tagged text excerpt near the bottom of the list:

You can also select the "show students" checkbox to retrieve the name of the student who wrote each excerpt in the list:

Thank you to my friends who allowed me to use their names as sample students!

You can also uncheck "show text excerpts" and just display the student names:

This is a very simple--but very powerful--example of what EssayTagger.com can do now that all of your essay evaluations are in our database. Super-cool stuff!

Next I'll give you some ideas for how to use this data in your classroom.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Latest Update: Class rosters!

Major new update: we now fully support class rosters in the system!

I've designed it to be as little work as possible for teachers to build and manage their class rosters. Under the ideal scenario (outlined below), you can let the students build the rosters for you automatically when they upload their first assignment.

Here's the tutorial video for creating and managing your class rosters in EssayTagger.com:

The student upload process has also been slightly altered to accomodate the changes. Here's the new version of the tutorial for student uploads:

And you can still upload essays yourself. It isn't ideal, but we know that not everyone is ready to have the students do the uploading. The biggest downside of uploading essays yourself is that it takes a bit more work to then associate each essay with a student. Here's the instructor upload tutorial: