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iMOAT: The iCampus / MIT Online Assessment Tool

A Collaborative Project of the MIT/Microsoft iCampus Alliance in conjunction with

  • California Institute of Technology
  • DePaul University
  • Louisiana State University
  • University of Cincinnati

iMOAT is a suite of Web services for online writing assessments that enable academic institutions to

  • measure accurately the writing skills their students will need both in college and afterwards;
  • focus on their own educational philosophy and priorities;
  • accommodate easily students with special needs;
  • share IT and administrative costs with other institutions;
  • share best practices in writing assessment with other institutions; and
  • help build with other institutions an extensive national digital research database of student essays.

iMOAT allows students, from the comfort of their own homes to

  • register for an evaluation;
  • review college-level readings and test questions;
  • spend a realistic amount of time planning, writing, and revising essays; and
  • receive detailed written feedback along with test results.

iMOAT allows universities to

  • administer assessments before students arrive on campus;
  • holistically score essays on hard copy or online;
  • make essays and scores available online to students and their advisors;
  • explore new possibilities for writing assessment and pedagogy.

iMOAT is intended only for assessment and evaluation -- it would be inappropriate for high-stakes tests affecting admission or graduation.

Future Developments

  • Expansion of the group of participating universities for the summer of 2003, with the objective of creating an ongoing, self-governing, and self-funding consortium of colleges and universities using this assessment tool.
  • Creation of two ongoing entities
    • Consortium of colleges & universities for policy & educational issues
    • Online Essay Evaluation Service for continuing implementation & operation

Recent article on iMOAT in MIT Tech Talk

Recent mention of iMOAT in CNET News

Links to online assessment home pages at

Presentations on iMOAT at the 2002 Conference on College Composition and Communication in Chicago

Presentation at the AAHE Assessment Conference 2003 in Seattle

Presentation at the Distance Learning Conference in Madison

"Transforming Assessment and Learning Using Online Tools" CCCC 2003 (Microsoft Word Document)

For a more information, or a guided tour of the iMOAT system please contact Chris Felknor at


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page last updated: November 6, 2003