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Turnitin Announces Availability of Turnitin Scoring Engine for Automated Writing Assessment

Turnitin Scoring Engine uses machine learning to accurately score an unlimited number of new essays quickly and reliably.

OAKLAND, Calif. (April 28, 2015) – Turnitin®, the leader in originality checking and online grading, today announced the general availability of Turnitin Scoring Engine, a service that provides automated scoring of short answer texts and written essays. Turnitin Scoring Engine provides instant scoring of student-written texts in online learning environments, or for assessing essays at the district, state or institutional level. It can also assist in evaluating writing for course placement, matriculation exams and for writing assessments in large, undergraduate classes, across disciplines.

Learn more about Turnitin Scoring Engine this Thursday, April 30 during a live, 30-minute, online discussion with the Turnitin team. Register for the webcast:

“The current process for mass assessment of student writing is appalling,” said Elijah Mayfield, vice president of new technologies at Turnitin. “Turnitin Scoring Engine changes the way we think about assessing student writing, while maintaining the high levels of accuracy and reliability that institutions demand. We want institutions to spend less time and energy on testing and placement. This will encourage schools to let instructors focus more on helping students learn to write and focus less on preparing for tests and grading test essays.”

Turnitin Scoring Engine reflects a new approach to writing assessment. The technology is based on breakthrough research in natural language processing (NLP) pioneered by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and developed by LightSide Labs, a company Turnitin acquired in October 2014. Turnitin Scoring Engine analyzes the lexical, syntactic, and stylistic features of writing, such as word choice and genre conventions, unlike other automated essay scoring programs that rely on simple metrics like word count. Turnitin Scoring Engine discovers the unique, content-based patterns in an existing set of hand-scored essays and learns to replicate that judgment as an accurate, reliable, on-demand assessment of student writing.

To begin using Turnitin Scoring Engine, institutions provide their existing rubrics, along with a seed set of de-identified student essays and reliable existing scores. These texts are analyzed to build a custom scoring model for each new writing context. Turnitin Scoring Engine learns to value the same aspects of writing as the instructors at an institution. Turnitin Scoring Engine also automatically tests itself for reliability by comparing the scores it generates to the instructors’ original scores. When this test is passed, the program is easily embedded into existing institutional assessment environments, ready to score any number of new essays or writing submissions. Each student can receive automated scoring for any number of submissions per assignment or writing task.

Turnitin Scoring Engine is available on an annual subscription basis. Pricing is per student. To learn more about Turnitin Scoring Engine, institutions can schedule a consultation or visit

About Turnitin

Turnitin is the global leader in evaluating and improving student learning. The company’s cloud-based service for originality checking, online grading and peer review saves instructors time and provides rich feedback to students. One of the most widely distributed educational applications in the world, Turnitin is used by more than 10,000 institutions in 135 countries to manage the submission, tracking and evaluation of student work online. Turnitin is backed by Insight Venture Partners, GIC, Norwest Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital and Georgian Partners. Turnitin is headquartered in Oakland, California with international offices in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Turnitin Press Contact: Chris Harrick (510) 764-7579

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