Pearson Knowledge Technologies Research Shows Student Practice With Online Summarization Tool Improves Writing and Reading Skills

BOULDER, Colo. – Dec. 12, 2006 – Pearson Knowledge Technologies today announced results of research revealing that the use of Summary Street, the company’s automated tool to evaluate the content of students’ summaries, builds student reading comprehension and writing skills. The results of the research, conducted by the University of Colorado at Boulder, are published in a white paper, “Building Student Summarization, Writing and Reading Comprehension Skills With Guided Practice and Automated Feedback.”

“We collaborated with the University of Colorado at Boulder on this study because we recognize the critical importance of contributing to the research base of scientific evidence supporting the ways that online tools are helping to improve academic achievement,” said Lynn Streeter, president, Pearson Knowledge Technologies. “The results of this five-year study of the use of Summary Street by elementary and middle school students demonstrate that online practice of summarizing – with immediate, quality feedback – results in marked improvement in student literacy skills.”

Researchers from the University of Colorado Institute of Cognitive Science evaluated Summary Street over the course of a five-year study funded by the Interagency Education Research Initiative, a collaborative effort sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institutes of Health.
In the research, the automated tool measurably increased students’ summarization, general writing, and reading comprehension skills.

In one study, after exposing students of mixed ability to only four weeks of practice with Summary Street, the students improved their content summary scores by more than 30 percent. When the performance of low- and medium-ability students was considered, the improvement in summarization skills was equivalent to one grade level in elementary school. In addition, the study showed that students include 50 percent more relevant content in their summaries after using Summary Street in their schoolwork.

With Summary Street, students use their own words to write summaries of text they have read and receive instant feedback. Their work is measured by Pearson’s state-of-the-art Knowledge Analysis Technologies™ (KAT) engine, which automatically evaluates the meaning of text by examining whole passages. The technology evaluates writing as accurately as skilled human graders, agreeing with them more often than they agree with each other. Summary Street measures student writing by comparing it with the actual text, evaluating it based on content knowledge as well as writing mechanics, redundancy and relevancy. Using Summary Street, teachers can select texts from content areas such as science, social studies and history. They receive automated reports showing individual student progress as well as class results and have access to all revisions of student writing.
Summary Street includes more than 100 reading passages from across the curriculum, including selected readings from Pearson Prentice Hall’s middle grades textbook programs, “Science Explorer” and “World Studies.” Summary Street’s core features are included in WriteToLearn™, Pearson Knowledge Technologies’ complete writing skills and reading comprehension development tool. In WriteToLearn, Summary Street’s capabilities have been paired with Pearson Knowledge Technologies’ essay-writing component to provide students with comprehensive reading and writing practice.
The complete white paper is available at .

About Pearson Knowledge Technologies

Pearson Knowledge Technologies is the developer of products and services based on a unique automated text analysis technology that evaluates the meaning of whole passages. The company’s Knowledge Analysis Technologies (KAT) engine immediately measures writing and content in a way that simulates a skilled human grader and encourages better subject knowledge. Pearson Knowledge Technologies’ writing and reading skills products, such as WriteToLearn, Intelligent Essay Assessor™ and Summary Street, use the KAT engine to help improve writing, reading and comprehension skills, as well as build content knowledge for education and other markets.

Pearson Knowledge Technologies is a business of Pearson Education, the world’s largest integrated education company, which in turn is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the international media company. Pearson’s other primary operations include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

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