Similar to others’ responses, there appears to be a significant gap in tech tools that can assess writing. I am a huge advocate of adaptive software (particularly in math) but recognize that due to the subjective nature of writing, automated feedback and assessment programs are difficult to design. Yes, it is easy to assess grammar, punctuation, basic comprehension etc. through closed-response questions and provide immediate and targeted feedback, however, it is much more difficult to assess open-ended writing tasks. In Science, I get students to collaboratively write their lab reports. Students also assess each others’ reports (using a rubric) and respond to the formative feedback they receive before submitting them for grading. I find that students are much more responsive to peer feedback and are also more likely to question and inquire about it. My students use Office 365. The collaboration feature in OneNote makes this pretty easy to do digitally.
Also, I’ve recently heard of digital science journals that publish student work and use a formal peer-review process (like the National High School Journal of Science and Journal of Emerging Investigators). Articles from such sources may prove to be excellent exemplars and may help to pique student interest. Wouldn’t it be an accomplishment for a student to be published a digital journal!