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EDUCAUSE Preview: ecree Is Helping Students Become Better Writers

ecree Is Helping Students Become Better Writers and Helping Them Raise Their Grades

ecree-EDUCAUSE-top EDUCAUSE Preview: ecree Is Helping Students Become Better Writers

If there was unlimited time in a school day you would probably find that most college professors and even high school teachers would spend as much time as they possibly could helping students. One of the things that professors struggle with is giving students timely feedback that can impact an assignment, an essay and even a grade. College professors often have hundreds of students and they’ll turn a paper in on the first of the month and be lucky to get feedback by the 15th.

That’s one of the biggest problems for professors and one that drove Dr. Jamey Heit and Dr. Robin Donaldson to create ecree, a first of it’s kind software platform that gives instant feedback for students essays.

Heit and Donaldson met while they were both pursuing their PhDs in Glasgow. Heit was teaching English and knew there was a better way to give students feedback. Donaldson, a life long programmer, agreed that something could be created and the two embarked on developing software that could give students instant feedback on their papers. The story goes that they barricaded themselves in a Las Vegas hotel room for four days in 2014 and when they came out ecree was born.

While creating this innovative tool Donaldson asked Hiet how he naturally graded papers. They both wanted the software to be as close as possible to having instant access to a professor for feedback. Now we’re not talking Grammarly, spell check or autocorrect. ecree provides a check of the structural features of the paper. It tells if students have a clear thesis statement, that the body paragraphs support the thesis and the conclusion sums it all up. It looks at the mechanisms of a good essay by using 26 different metrics.

ecree can handle these types of essays:

  • Argumentative: Students answer a question using evidence.
  • Definition: Students define an assigned topic.
  • Example: Students give an example of an assigned topic.
  • Personal Narrative: Students provide a personal response to a question.
  • Process: Students explain the steps in a process.
  • Response to Text: Students respond to a full text article.
  • Short Answer: Students provide a paragraph response to a question.
  • Summary/Response: Students summarize an article and provide a response to a question about that article.
  • Synthesis: Students discuss multiple texts while developing an argument.

Once the software was done and the two founders put the first ten papers through the system, they knew they had come up with a life changing tool.

Students can use ecree and run their essays and papers through the software as often as they like before turning it in for a final grade. The software doesn’t change anything for the student it provides feedback in the areas that need improvement and even lets the student know where he or she has done a good job.

ecree is also great for professors and teachers as it helps free up a lot of valuable time. Students that have used the platform trust it before turning an assignment in.

You can check out ecree in the Startup Alley at EDUCAUSE in Philadelphia October 31- November 3rd and online at ecree.com