A new program created by a Michigan State University and private business partnership is ready to tackle the challenge of educating writers in the new economy head on.
“There is a perception that we’re in the post reading, post writing world,” says Andrew Henry, CEO of Red Cedar Solutions
and of company’s new partnership venture, Drawbridge. “I think it’s just the opposite. Students in particular, if they’re going into these professions with higher order thinking, need to be well spoken and well trained writers.”
Over an 18-month period Henry and MSU went from casual conversations about how their organizations could work together to creating Drawbridge. The new entity produces and commercializes Eli
, software that improves writing by helping teachers and students conduct reviews, see and assess feedback, and learn from the revision process. It is capable of teaching students in K-12 schools, colleges and in continuing education.
“We don’t have the sort of people on staff who have researched how students write for 25 years like the folks at MSU, but we do have writing software experience,” says Henry. “You get those two things together and we think we’re going to have a significant impact with this software.”
Eli is now in its first round of commercial use by 900 MSU students. Henry expects to see the program used on an even larger scale in the near future. The software has been chosen as one of ten finalists in the The Software & Information Industry Association conference awards, which will take place in early December.