What is Writing Buddy?
Emily Donnelly avatar
Written by Emily Donnelly
Updated over a week ago

Writing Buddy

What is Writing Buddy?

Writing Buddy is a tool that provides real-time facilitative feedback and support for students’ writing.

How Does it Work?

Writing Buddy responds to student writing with words of encouragement by noticing and naming positive aspects of students’ writing. It stretches students’ thinking by offering explicit and evidence-based writing tips to help them improve their writing.

Writing Buddy is not enabled for students by default. It is enabled by Teachers on the assignment creation page.

As students write, they can activate the Writing buddy by clicking "Give me a hint." The Writing Buddy takes into account the students’ writing, along with the prompt, Writing Plan, and Block to generate feedback for the students.

Pressto's Approach to Feedback

Writing Buddy uses Facilitative Feedback to support students as they write.

Facilitative feedback is a type of constructive feedback intended to support development by offering guidance and specific suggestions for improvement and revision.

Facilitative feedback is designed to accomplish two purposes:

  1. To “audit” or evaluate students’ performance.

  2. To inform or teach. In this way, feedback is expected to advance kids’ understanding so that they can get better at writing. This is analogous to a good coach–someone who tells you what you are doing well so that you can keep doing it; and someone who tells you what you are not yet doing so that you can add it to your repertoire of skills or strategies. Effective teachers use feedback that both audits and informs; our goal is to have Pressto do the same.

As a guide, feedback should consistently “NOTICE AND NAME.” That is, feedback should notice what students are doing well or not so well, and then name a strategy that guides ongoing performance. And, of course, Writing Buddy communicates these ideas with an encouraging and kid-friendly tone.

In a nutshell,

Feedback (like all assessment) should AUDIT (how am I doing so far?) and INFORM (how can I keep doing this or do even better?), while promoting a growth mindset.

Writing Buddy is powered by AI

When enabled, Writing Buddy uses AI to analyze the assignment and the students' writing. Writing Buddy sends that data to OpenAI ChatGPT API to provide real-time writing feedback. Read about OpenAI's safety standards and educator considerations. Teachers retain control by enabling the Writing Buddy on an assignment by assignment basis for their students and have access to a full transcript of each students interaction with the Writing Buddy.

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