WriteToLearn from Pearson Announces New Tools for Preparing Students for College and Career Success

Next Generation of Online Literacy Tool Planned for Back to School 2015

ATLANTA — June 30, 2014 — Today at ISTE 2014 in Atlanta, Pearson announced enhancements to WriteToLearn, its award-winning online literacy tool, making it an even more powerful tool for preparing students for success in college and careers. During the 2013-2014 school year, WriteToLearn helped more than 300,000 students across the United States in building the literacy skills requisite to meet and exceed today’s rigorous standards.

For back-to-school 2014, WriteToLearn will introduce an additional essay-scoring rubric that maps to college- and career-readiness and helps put students on the path to building robust writing and reading-comprehension skills. The new essay-scoring rubric establishes performance benchmarks for new types of writing prompts, beginning with argumentative essays at back-to-school time with informational and narrative essays added during the school year. WriteToLearn evaluates five specific traits of writing – task and focus; development; organization; language and style; and conventions – representing attributes of writing that address the increasing sophistication expected of students as they advance through grade levels. The literacy tool guides students through the writing process with a four-point writing performance scale, along with instructional support to help them improve their writing.

“Students must develop strong writing and reading-comprehension skills to meet today’s learning goals, as well as to be prepared to compete in our information-based society. For the past eight years, an increasing number of school districts around the country have turned to WriteToLearn to put students on the path to building those skills,” said Alistair Van Moere, president of the Knowledge Technologies group of Pearson. “Moving forward, we will continue to enhance the tool, basing changes on feedback from educators around the country and the evolving standards for student outcomes.”

The next generation of WriteToLearn will debut for back-to-school 2015. Over the coming year, the development team will continue to collaborate with educators throughout the United States to develop the new learning environment for the tool, launching a beta test with schools around the country for back-to-school 2014.

WriteToLearn is a complete literacy tool for implementing rigorous learning goals, providing essay writing to build writing skills, summary writing to develop reading comprehension, and vocabulary exercises in select reading passages to expand students’ word knowledge. WriteToLearn’s emphasis on the comprehension and analysis of informational texts supports the requirements of the new standards.

Developed based on more than 15 years of research and evaluation at the University of Colorado and New Mexico State University, WriteToLearn is illustrative of Pearson’s overall commitment to collaborating with educators to develop next-generation assessments that will improve student achievement.