Turnitin announces availability of Turnitin Scoring Engine for automated writing assessment

(28 April 2015, Oakland, Calif) Turnitin®, the leader in originality checking and online grading, today announced the general availability of Turnitin Scoring Engine, a service that provides automated scoring of short answer texts and written essays. Turnitin Scoring Engine provides instant scoring of student-written texts in online learning environments, or for assessing essays at the district, state or institutional level. It can also assist in evaluating writing for course placement, matriculation exams and for writing assessments in large, undergraduate classes, across disciplines.

“The current process for mass assessment of student writing is appalling,” said Elijah Mayfield, vice president of new technologies at Turnitin. “Turnitin Scoring Engine changes the way we think about assessing student writing, while maintaining the high levels of accuracy and reliability that institutions demand. We want institutions to spend less time and energy on testing and placement. This will encourage schools to let instructors focus more on helping students learn to write and focus less on preparing for tests and grading test essays.”

Turnitin Scoring Engine reflects a new approach to writing assessment. The technology is based on breakthrough research in natural language processing (NLP) pioneered by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and developed by LightSide Labs, a company Turnitin acquired in October 2014. Turnitin Scoring Engine analyzes the lexical, syntactic, and stylistic features of writing, such as word choice and genre conventions, unlike other automated essay scoring programs that rely on simple metrics like word count. Turnitin Scoring Engine discovers the unique, content-based patterns in an existing set of hand-scored essays and learns to replicate that judgment as an accurate, reliable, on-demand assessment of student writing.

Read the detailed announcement here.