Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Committee Member

Randall Boone

Number of Pages



This quasi-experimental, mixed methods study investigated whether students writing development and proficiency, in combination with teacher-led instruction, are significantly affected by the use of an automated essay scoring (AES) system. The ninth grade standard and honors English students were divided into control and treatment groups at a large, urban high school. Student writing was examined for any changes in proficiency, measured by human- and AES-scored holistic measures. A developmental writing index was used to analyze the rate of change in pre- and post-essays. The AES system was further researched by comparing the treatment and control groups' trait score categories. Finally, treatment students were interviewed and surveyed to identify their degree of satisfaction with the AES system; Automated essay scoring systems have moved from their original purpose of rapidly and reliably scoring high stakes testing into the classroom as an instructional tool providing holistic and trait scoring. One area of potential AES usefulness is to provide students with more writing opportunities that include feedback. While supporting research findings that student writing improves if more writing opportunities with feedback are provided, this also supports the iterative process of writing and revision; To support teachers' optimum classroom technology integration of an AES system to supplement teacher-led instruction, an access ratio of one Internet-connected computer for each student, (i.e., 1:1) needs to be provided. System-provided or teacher-provided writing prompts (i.e., topics) can be selected to provide students with AES simulations of the summative score of high stakes testing, in concert with formative trait scoring, which gives specific recommendations to improve writing; No gender difference was shown for the treatment participants from the AES-scored measures. The human-scored writing proficiency and development measures were inconclusive for gender and class levels due to the small sample size. By class levels, treatment honors students performed significantly better on the AES-scored proficiency measure, but the results were not supported by the human-scored measure. The other AES-scored measures analyzed by class levels, the development and trait category measures, did not show significance. However, the treatment participants expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the use of the AES system.


Automated; Automated Essay Scoring; Classroom; Effects; Electronic Essay Scoring; Essay; Grading Essays; High School; Holistic Scoring; Intervention; School; Scoring; Trait Scoring

Controlled Subject

Curriculum planning; Educational tests and measurements; Educational technology; Language arts; Education, Secondary

File Format


File Size

2539.52 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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