Cengage Learning Unveils Details of Write Experience; an Innovative Approach to Drafting and Assessing Written Assignments Using Artificial Intelligence

Stamford, CT, August 30, 2011—Cengage Learning, a leading global provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions, introduces Write Experience, an innovative new digital technology created to automatically assess writing assignments using artificial intelligence (AI).  The new product effectively scores student writing while providing users with detailed revision goals and instant feedback to promote constant improvement. Created through an exclusive partnership with McCann Associates, an innovative leader in assessment, certification, learning management and business intelligence solutions, Write Experience is powered by the same effective technology that is used to score the Graduate Management Admissions Test® (GMAT®) analytical writing assessment and other similar high-stakes exams.

Close to one thousand colleges and universities are certified by a major accrediting body that requires them to demonstrate written communication skill assessment across all disciplines. To address this issue, Write Experience was developed as the first product of its kind to specifically improve writing and outcomes in the higher education market. It is currently offered for courses in the areas of Accounting, Business Communication, Economics, Organizational Behavior, Small Business Management, Strategic Management and Basic Writing, with more to be added in coming months, across various other disciplines.

The assignments used in Write Experience are course-specific, rather than textbook-specific, allowing the material to be relevant regardless of the textbook chosen for a course. Each assignment compels students to write about and apply core concepts from within their respective course, resulting in elevated comprehension of the material. The instructor chooses from a bank of assignments to include in the course, and Write Experience scores each student submission using a six-point scale – a basic holistic score, along with evaluations in focus and meaning, content and development, mechanics and conventions, organization, and language use.

“Data indicates that students who write more often tend to have the greatest improvement in writing scores, which is why it is so important for these writing and critical thinking assignments to be incorporated into curriculums across all disciplines,” said Jonathan Hulbert, executive vice president, academic solutions, Cengage Learning. “We are proud to have the opportunity to introduce this exclusive new technology, developed in partnership with McCann Associates, to help produce college graduates who will enter the workforce with the ability to write clearly and proficiently. We’re confident that the cutting-edge artificial intelligence and useful writing tools within Write Experience will promote retention and help to fine-tune writing abilities among all users.”

Promotes Writing Efficiency in Students
The instant feedback and real-time guidance within Write Experience has been proven to improve students’ written communication and critical thinking skills throughout the course of a semester.  In fact, 80 percent of instructors who have used Write Experience noted an improvement in their students’ writing skills due to the use of the product.

“Students are using what they learn in real world situations,” noted one instructor. “For example, one of my students lost her financial aid. She used what she had learned in Write Experience to construct a convincing argument to have her financial aid reinstated.”

Through the use of the following interactive tools, students using Write Experience can fine-tune and consistently improve their writing skills with each assignment submitted:

  • MY Tutor® – provides real-time guidance as students write and offers writing suggestions while they are working. This feature gives immediate direction for improvement, therefore helping students to learn while the material is still fresh in their mind.
  • MY Editor® – provides an explanation of errors – such as clause errors, doubled words, spelling errors, etc. – as well as possible suggestions for correction and presents students with the option of evaluating the mechanics of their writing skills in their native language.
  • Performance Report – once a student has submitted an assignment, Write Experience will provide a holistic score for the writing, as well as a graphical breakdown of that score by rubric domain.
  • Revision Plan – provides students with goals and strategies for improving their writing based on their current score.

Eases Workload for Instructors
The majority of instructors agree that it’s important for students to have the ability to write effectively, but due to the time it takes to effectively grade and assess each paper, many instructors limit the amount of written assignments in their courses. Of the instructors who have used Write Experience, 68 percent noted that the product allowed them to incorporate more writing assignments into their course, as it allows them to assess written communications skills without adding to their already heavy workload. Additionally, the advanced technology used to create this product aids instructors with the ever-present challenge of detecting plagiarism. Write Experience archives every assignment submitted and will automatically detect if it has already seen that paper, regardless of the campus, geographical location or date submitted. 

For more information and to view a demo of Write Experience, please visit www.cengage.com/writeexperience.

About Cengage Learning
Cengage Learning is a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. The company’s products and services are designed to foster academic excellence and professional development, increase student engagement, improve learning outcomes and deliver authoritative information to people whenever and wherever they need it. Through the company’s unique position within both the library and academic markets, Cengage Learning is providing integrated learning solutions that bridge from the library to the classroom.  Cengage Learning’s brands include Brooks/Cole, Course Technology, Delmar, Gale, Heinle, South-Western and Wadsworth, among others. Cengage Learning is headquartered in Stamford, CT.  For more information on Cengage Learning please visit www.cengage.com.

About McCann Associates
McCann Associates, an affiliated operating company of Vantage Learning, has provided cost-effective, innovative assessment, certification, learning management, and business intelligence solutions since 1959. McCann Associates leverages advanced technology delivered via Software as a Service (SaaS) to provide solutions for Higher Education, Government and Public Sectors, Public Safety, and Corporate HR and Employee Learning.

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