Questionmark Scoring Tool Enhances Grading of Essays

November 23, 2004

The Questionmark Scoring Tool helps both individual and multiple graders maintain consistency in marking constructed answers such as essays and vocal response questions. This is achieved by using the Scoring Tool to define rubrics, or scoring rules, for each question. For example, the rubric for a history essay might assign points to grammar, spelling, persuasiveness and quality of research, while a rubric for a customer service essay might assign points for procedure, empathy with the customer, and follow-through.

The Scoring Tool also offers the following features:

    – In-line grader’s annotations as well as overall comments
    – Up to 12 scoring dimensions within each rubric
    – Individual scoring comments for each dimension of the rubric
    – Automated, customized, template-driven emails relaying scores and comments to participants
    – The ability to assign different rubrics to the same question, depending on how the question is used

The Scoring Tool is accessed as a separate application from Questionmarkâ„¢ Perceptionâ„¢ testing and assessment software. However, answer data from the Scoring Tool can be stored within Perception and analyzed for the production of comprehensive statistical reports. Further details are available at

“Scoring schemes for essays do not have a strict answer key in the same way questions that require multiple choice or yes/no responses do,” explains Questionmark President Eric Shepherd. “Scoring will inevitably involve making some subjective judgments about the quality of students’ responses. The Scoring Tool enhances people’s ability to consistently grade questions that require constructed responses rather than selected responses.”

“The Perception Scoring Tool utilizes features that align with the Rio Salado brand of eLearning,” adds Laura Helminski, faculty chair, Communication/Reading at Rio Salado College in Tempe, Arizona and a beta tester of the new product. “It is easy to use the different screens, such as select assessment, select question, and select participant. It is also easy to use the different scoring functions. Overall, it provides flexibility in developing integration points our course management system, RioLearn.”

About Questionmark:
Questionmark has been producing testing and assessment software since 1988, enabling educators and trainers to write, administer, and report on tests and surveys securely using individual PCs, local networks, the Internet, and intranets. Some 2,000 businesses, governments, schools, colleges, and universities in more than 50 countries use Questionmark Perception. Typical applications include exams, quizzes, study aids, diagnostic tests, pre-course skills assessments, and course evaluations. Questionmark has offices in the United States, England, and Belgium, with distributors worldwide. Complete details are available at 800-863-3950 or