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Question: How is the computer trained to score writing questions?


Progress uses Intelligent Essay Assessor ™ (IEA), an internet-based service that has been proven to score written essays as competently as a professional educator.  IEA uses the Knowledge Analysis Technologies™ (KAT) engine, a patented technology based on over twenty years of research and development. The KAT engine is based on the mathematical approach (known as Latent Semantic Analysis), which provides a computer analysis of text. It assesses the total content of an essay as well as the correlation between the essay's content and that of training essays previously scored by expert human readers. IEA assigns a score to each essay based partly on the similarity of the content of the essay to that of the training essays. Student responses written for a specific essay question are scored by human raters and these responses and their scores are used to train the computer to score new student essays in response to the essay question. The KAT engine learns to recognize how responses differ for each score point on the scoring rubric. The engine can be trained to provide holistic as well as analytic or trait scores.

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