DURHAM, N.C., Nov. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecree, an automated assessment tool that helps students improve their writing through real-time feedback on written assignments, announced today the launch of a new product to make virtual writing tutors available directly to students. The product, called Interactive Editor™, uses artificial intelligence to replicate teacher-quality feedback on essay organization, argumentation, evidence, and analysis. The new tool helps solve for a critical gap in supplemental education services by providing on-demand writing help that is available at an affordable price and accessible from any device and any location.
"Writing is not just another skill to be mastered along the path to finishing school—it is the very engine that powers success in the classroom and, increasingly, success in the workplace, " said Jamey Heit, co-founder and CEO of Ecree. "This work is about democratizing access to writing feedback and guidance to help learners unlock their full potential as writers and communicators. We're thrilled to announce that this will now be available at a much broader scale."
Research has shown that a lack of strong writing skills remains a barrier to student success for many of the nation's students at both the K-12 and college levels. According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, approximately three-quarters of both 12th and 8th graders lack proficiency in writing. In addition, 40 percent of high school students who took the ACT writing assessment lacked the reading and writing proficiency required to complete a college-level English composition course.
Founded in 2014, Ecree has been used by thousands of educators at K-12 schools, colleges and universities as a tool to accelerate the process of improving feedback on essays and other writing assignments, including common college admissions essay prompts and prep for high-stakes exams. Moving beyond basic grammar and spelling corrections, Ecree's virtual writing tutor product provides consistent, teacher-quality feedback on essay organization, argumentation, clarity, and use of evidence in ways that approximate the experience of working in-person with a teacher or tutor.
Data collected from Ecree shows that the tool has begun to achieve results with students. A pilot study of participating students in Houston Independent School District found that those actively using Ecree immediately improve by a full letter grade on average, with 24 percent of academically-failing students improving by at least one letter grade.
Leading up to this launch, Ecree has steadily been growing to serve more than 100,000 students. In 2018, the company received a $500,000 seed investment from SEI Ventures to help the company develop its assessment capabilities and scale its offerings to more students in higher education.
"Developing strong writing skills is an essential precondition for student success," said Terry McDonough, senior vice president and managing director of SEI Ventures. "By making writing feedback accessible on-demand, Ecree's student-centered innovation is accelerating the cycle of feedback and improvement for students and helping them become more confident writers."
About Ecree: Ecree is the only virtual writing tool that provides unlimited, immediate, and consistent teacher-quality feedback on essay organization, argumentation, evidence, analysis, and grammar. We provide simple and effective writing tool that provides unlimited feedback quickly and consistently, helping students improve their confidence as writers and effective communicators. www.ecree.com