The Utah State Office of Education has contracted with Measurement Incorporated to provide Utah students with an online writing practice program, Utah Compose. Students can practice using an online writing tool and teachers can use the program as a formative assessment tool to improve writing instruction. After students submit writing, they, and their teacher, are given immediate feedback on their writing as both an overall score and in each of the six traits of writing: Ideas and Content, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, and Conventions. Students in grades three through twelve are provided with access to this program free of charge.
How does Utah Compose work?
"Utah Compose is an online formative assessment tool created to improve students’ writing skills by enabling them to submit essays, receive feedback and revise their work. Students compose essays in response to one of our Utah Compose pre-packaged prompts, or they can respond to a teacher-generated prompt. Upon completion of the essay, the student submits it for feedback. Within seconds, Utah Compose generates a holistic score as well as a standards-based score for each of the six area of writing. This feedback includes suggestions on improvements in each standards area and recommends specific lessons or interactive tutorials. The teacher can provide additional feedback through the use of in-line essay corrections, textual evidence and content accuracy scoring and instant messaging. "
What is PEG?
"Project Essay Grade (PEG) software is the automated essay scoring engine that powers Utah Compose (and other products as well). The technology is based on more than 40 years of research by Dr. Ellis Batten Page, whose pioneering work in the field of computational linguistics has distinguished him as the father of computer-based essay scoring. Using advanced, proven statistical techniques, PEG analyzes written prose, calculates measures that reflect the intrinsic characteristics of writing (fluency, diction, grammar, construction, etc.), and models the decisions of professional readers to produce scores that deliver unparalleled accuracy and reliability. "
FAQ's Specific to Canyons School District
In elementary school, YouTube is blocked. What do I do if one of the stimulus materials is a video? If it is a pre-packaged prompt provided by Utah Compose, you will need to view the video as a class prior to writing the prompt and the teacher must be logged in. If it is a prompt you, the teacher, have made, you can convert the video to a file before you add it and the students will be able to view it.
What do my students change the password to be at initial login? The new password choice is a school-based decision and only applies to brand new students and third graders . We suggest making it consistent school wide. The student and teacher both have the ability to view and change it in their accounts if needed. Any student returning, ie: 4th-12th grade, will use the password they set last year.
What do I do if my student is not on my roster? The rosters are uploaded automatically, so be patient and check back often. A week is to be expected for the upload to happen, especially in the beginning.
Can I create a student practice account? No, accounts are provided by the state and to remain fiscally prudent and responsible, it is only provided for and used with active students grades 3-12.
Who can use Utah Compose? The state provides Utah Compose to grades 3-12. This decision is based on the developmental appropriateness of keyboarding skills, writing skills and alignment to the SAGE test.
Are teachers able to share prompts between colleagues and team members? Yes, any prompts made by a teacher can be shared with other teachers. See page 24 in the Teacher Guide for instructions.
Are students writing an Opinion or Argumentative piece? Opinion is assessed on the SAGE test, Utah Compose uses the term Argumentative. Opinion and Argumentative are used interchangeably because this is a 3-12 program.
What changes were made to SAGE Writing in 2015? Articles and stimulus material will be shortened by approximately 50%.
Guidelines for length: Informative/Explanatory: grades 3-4 will be 1-3 paragraphs and grades 5-11 will be 2-3 paragraphs
Opinion/Argumentative: Grades 3-4 will be 1-3 paragraphs and grades 5-11 will be an essay.