Instant Multi-Category Scoring
Classroom instructional time is valuable. To make the most of it, Utah Compose provides immediate evaluation of student writing by generating feedback for each essay within seconds of its submission. Comprehensive score reports include trait scores for each of the Six Characteristics of writing, suggested improvements, and recommended lessons.
Utah Compose includes prepackaged writing prompts that are customized to each grade level. Designed to help your students become better writers, these prompts are aligned to the Narrative, Argumentative, and Informative/Explanatory categories of writing. Select prompts also contain stimulus material, including additional reading passages, web links, and videos, for students to reference in their essays. Teachers, school administrators, and district personnel can customize their own writing assignments, including constructed response prompts, to align with school and district learning initiatives. Prompts can be assigned to specific students, or they can choose from a list of enabled prompts in their Practice tab. Advanced prompt settings give teachers control over the timed length of an essay and the number of revisions allowed. Teachers can also set specific parameters for spelling and grammar feedback and enable or disable peer review in the advanced prompt options.
Prewriting can prevent many obstacles in writing – illogical flow, unclear purpose, and irrelevant topics, to name a few. That’s why Utah Compose includes dozens of graphic organizers that students can use to practice and organize their writing. Graphic organizers are available to students for all prompts in Utah Compose. Specific organizers are recommended by the system based on the selected prompt, or students can choose another from the collection. The graphic organizer is accessible during the prewriting, writing, and revision process, so the student can always refer to it while working on their essays. Graphic organizers can also be saved without submitting for a score, so students can come back and complete it on their own time.
The automatic feedback included in each score report provides students with a good foundation to improve their writing skills, but teacher feedback is even more important. That’s why Utah Compose allows teachers to score student essays for textual evidence and content accuracy using a 0-3 star scoring system. When students submit an essay in Utah Compose, teachers can review it and add to the immediate feedback provided by PEG using several tools, including rubrics for textual evidence and content accuracy. This feedback is added to the student's score report and can be referenced at any time within the writing portfolio.
Incorporating peer review into writing practice has many advantages: student authors receive advice on their drafts from a larger group as opposed to one instructor and get insight on how other students would approach an assignment. As peer reviewers, students learn how to give constructive feedback and develop critical analysis skills.
Practice makes perfect, but only if you practice the right steps. That's why Utah Compose includes tutorials and interactive lessons to help students excel as writers. These activities are designed to improve idea development, organization, language/style, conventions, and grammar. Students can move easily from lessons directly back to their essay in progress. Lessons feature a read-aloud option for students who prefer to use it. Tutorials and lessons are recommended in each student's score report for the essays they submit, or can be accessed at any time in the Lessons tab.
Evaluation is an imperative aspect of any writing practice. Without it, there is no measure against which to track progress. In order to make evaluation as simple and easy for the teacher as possible, the Utah Compose database maintains a comprehensive portfolio for each student that includes all submitted essays, progress over time, and lesson activity. Teachers and students can access the portfolio at any time from their classrooms or their homes. By making all of this information available to the student, Utah Compose holds student writers accountable and empowers them to practice and improve on their own time.
The reporting features in Utah Compose make it easy to track students’ progress and see where improvement is needed both at an individual student level and at a class level. Student portfolios are easily accessed from the Reports page, as are several types of student reports that display performance against specific prompts and categories of writing.
When a school purchases Utah Compose, our team takes care of the initial roster upload and generates login information for each student who will be using the software. However, student populations are changing constantly, and the flexible roster management within Utah Compose allows the teacher full control of the classroom. Please note: Newly created courses must also be added via the SIS/UTREx method. If a teacher wishes but is unable to add a student by using the Register Existing feature, then the student information will need to be added to the school’s SIS and sent to UTREx.