What is BHP Score?

BHP Score is an essay-scoring service that we developed in partnership with Students receive real-time feedback while writing BHP Unit Investigations, and teachers receive classroom reports on student writing. Thousands of teachers and students have used BHP Score since it debuted in 2016.

What’s the cost of BHP Score?

BHP Score is free for all registered Big History Project teachers.

Who can sign up for BHP Score?

Any classroom teacher registered for the Big History Project can sign up.

Why should I sign up for BHP Score?

BHP Score provides free, high-quality feedback and formative assessment opportunities for students, at no cost. It’s designed to provide teachers with essay-grading support, and students with essay-writing support. BHP and University of Michigan researchers have studied the impact of the course on student writing. The results have been remarkable: BHP students show significant gains over the school year. This success is the result of simple, clear, consistent feedback. For students to improve even more, they must have more feedback on their writing. But providing that feedback is time-consuming, and time is in short supply for teachers. BHP Score is one way you can help your students improve their writing—at no cost and with no additional time investment.

How do I enroll in BHP Score?

First, register to teach Big History Project. Registration is free, fast, and easy. To activate BHP Score, navigate to the Console and select the BHP Score tab in the middle. Select Activate Service. You have the option of assigning as many Investigations as you’d like—there is one for each unit of the course. Students will only be able to receive writing feedback once you’ve assigned an Investigation.

Why score an essay in the first week of school?

The first essay, Investigation 0, is intended to establish a baseline assessment of student writing. This will provide a more accurate picture of how writing improves as the year progresses. Yes, your students will hate this, but the scores can only improve from here!

Wait… is this different from past versions of BHP Score?

Yup! BHP Score debuted in 2016, and thousands of teachers and students have used it since then. We learned that folks wanted faster feedback, and more of it. So, we turned to our friends at Turnitin, and worked with them to build a custom BHP Score experience using their Revision Assistant product. We spent a full school year piloting the service to make sure it was useful and helpful to teachers and students. What you see now is the result of that!

How are essays scored?

Essays are scored against a single standard rubric (the BHP Writing Rubric) for the course, with exemplars at each level for each of the five rubric components: claim and focus; analysis and evidence; organization; language and style; and applying BHP Concepts.

How are these essays graded? Is this some kind of magic?

No, not magic. The entire process starts with about 1,000 essays graded by a group of human scorers that have been working with us for a few years. These essays are then entered into Revision Assistant and a team at Turnitin makes sure we have enough different kinds of responses for the system to be able to identify the difference between each score for each category. At that point, the machine “learns” and is able to score each essay. 

How long does it take to get results?

As they compose their Investigation essays, students receive feedback instantaneously via “Signal Checks” against the five criteria of the BHP Writing Rubric. Teachers can download a class report once they close the Investigation. This report will show class averages in addition to individual student scores.

What can I do with the results?

Our intent is to provide objective, actionable, and consistent feedback to students and their teachers to help them strategize on how to improve specific aspects of the students’ writing. The goal is to give time back to teachers so they can focus on individual student needs and use class time to reflect on, discuss, and even debate good student writing.

How do I assign essays?

You must first assign specific Investigations by going to the Console and then the BHP Score tab. (Students will not have access to the Investigation writing environment until you do this—this is so you have control over what Investigations students submit, and when they do so.) Once you assign an Investigation—say, for Unit 2—students will see a banner alert appear on their screen that prompts them to start writing Investigation 2. They can also go to Unit 2 at any time and see that that the Investigation 2 tile is now clickable. Students write responses to an Investigation you’ve assigned using the BHP website. When you close an Investigation, the scoring process begins.

How do I submit essays?

Go to the Console, and then the BHP Score tab. You’ll be able to see how many students have turned in an assigned Investigation by clicking View Submissions. When you’re ready for scoring to begin, simply close the Investigation to initiate the scoring process. 

One of my students has not yet turned in their assignment; can I submit their essay for scoring later?

Yes! This is different from previous versions of BHP Score. Let’s say a teacher has already received their BHP Score report, but a new student joins their class and they’d like to have their data in the class report. No problem—just reopen the Investigation, and then close it once the new student has submitted their Investigation. A new report that includes the new student’s information will be ready in 24 hours.