PEG Writing and Automated Essay Scoring

No one disagrees that grading essays is a time consuming process. The main concept behind PEG Writing is to automate this process. PEG uses the automated essay scoring engine from Measurement Incorporated. Measuremnt Inc. (MI) acquired PEG from Dr. Ellis Batten Page and his associates in 2002. PEG stands for Project Essay Grade.

There have been a few research studies comparing automated essay scoring (AES) and human rates. You can find them on According to one of the reports the AES engines "performed well on five of seven measures and approximated human rater performance on the other two."

PEG Writing Score Report

If automated grading tools like PEG correlate well with human graders then the argument companies like Measurement Incorporated make is that their software is valuable because students can be assigned more essays since the time required to grade them has been significantly reduced. MI, in fact, makes exactly that argument. They say on their site,, "Educators everywhere agree that the path to better writing is practice, practice, and more practice. That's why PEG Writing is the perfect solution for you and your students."

The software generates scores and automated feedback. Teachers can also add feedback of their own. The image above shows a PEG score report. Here's a video from MI explaining how it works:

With this type of software, automated feedback and increased practice writing essays there is a strong argument that students can learn to make less mistakes and improve their writing. The same can be said about some grammar checking software tools. The concerns are that computer software and AI are unable to do more than find grammar and spelling errors and cannot check that students are engaging creatively or making logical and compelling arguments. A Wikipedia entry on AES notes that there are also concerns that the computer software may be vulnerable to new types of cheating.

Image: MI