The web-site is now in readonly mode. Login and registration are disabled. (28 June 2019)

Open Essayist (LAEP Inventory)

Cloud created by:

Rebecca Ferguson
9 February 2016


Open Essayist, developed by The Open University, UK, seeks to provide automated reflective feedback to learners on draft essays. The underlying idea is to present a computer-based analysis of the most important parts and key words in the writing, so that learners can compare those to what they intended to convey, and adjust their writing in the light of that comparison. Importantly, no summative judgement is made of the essay.

Learners upload their draft essay, and the system then generates a series of different views based on analysis of the text, including: the most prominent words and a graphical view of their distribution through the text; the key sentences in the text, with hints to aid reflection; and a graphical view of the structure of the essay.

The tool is intended as a formative, developmental tool rather than for summative assessment.


Inventory type:

learner support tool

analytics for assessment

Role of analytics:

summarisation & description


Data sources:

uses own data (learner uploads)


assessment, natural language processing, visualisation

Tool in Context


higher education

Supply model:

Privately hosted software


Open Essayist/SAFeSEA projects: collaborative project

Ethics and privacy:

Feedback is given direct to the individual learner, not shared or distributed to others.



Maturity and Evidence of Utility

The tool has been trialled successfully with Masters-level students, and the project team is currently looking for wider take-up.

Extra content

Embedded Content


Contribute to the discussion

Please log in to post a comment. Register here if you haven't signed up yet.