MY Access!® Frequently Asked Questions

What is MY Access!®?

MY Access!® ( is a prompt-driven, web-based instructional writing program that scores student responses to prompts/writing tasks nearly instantaneously through advanced artificial intelligence technologies. Through the consistent, time-sensitive scoring of student writing, teachers can conduct early diagnosis, deliver writing assignments more frequently, and monitor writing performance by student and class.

How will MY Access!® benefit my students?

Research supports that writing is the one area where we can have the broadest and most immediate impact on student achievement across the entire curriculum. Writing is the one focus that cuts across all subject areas. Writing enhances students’ cognitive skills and, as a bonus, affords teachers a clear view of what their students are and are not gaining from their instruction.

With the MY Access!® writing program, students can:

  • Increase the frequency of their writing.
  • Develop a repertoire of prewriting, drafting, organizing and revising strategies.
  • Receive automatic feedback on scoring for the five traits of effective writing (focus and meaning, content and development, organization, language use and style, and mechanics and conventions).
  • Learn to use rubrics for self-guided instruction.
  • Revise their essays and receive new scores for their revisions.
  • Be directed to explanations and developmental activities for any of the five traits based upon on the needs shown by their prior work.
  • Have access to a Writer’s Guide with over 70 developmental activities that help you and your students work hard and work smart to improve their writing in all five traits or domains.
  • Provide an electronic writing portfolio for students and teachers with holistic and analytic formative assessment information.

How will teachers and students interact with the MY Access!® program?

Since this is an online resource, students and teachers will connect with MY Access!® ( over the Internet. Once they are enrolled, students may develop their responses to prompts, access their student portfolio to view teacher, peer and IntelliMetric® feedback and revise their essay on a 24/7 basis. Teachers control which prompts students write to and will determine the manner in which students will interact with MY Access!.

Does MY Access!® have lesson plans and other instructional materials available?

Yes. Upon logging into the system, please visit the Resource Center. It is filled with valuable information from instructional guides to printable student activities. The resource link is located at the upper right hand side of the main menu.

What are the technical requirements?

Your desktop PC and/or laptop computer needs to have the following minimum technical specifications:

MYAccess!® Technical Requirements (updated April 2012)

How do I know my computer meets the minimum technical requirements needed in order to use the MY Access!® program?

It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3 to get started using MY Access!®. It is, however, necessary for your computer to meet the minimum requirements for use of the program.

  • The MY Access! website is located at Located on the top right section of the log-in screen is a “System Requirements Check” link. Please check to see what has been updated and what has not been updated on your computer(s). This check must be done on each computer that will be accessing the MY Access! program. If any feature has a “fail” in its version check, please upgrade to the specified version. In addition, it would be helpful to complete the web-based technical form located below the diagnostic evaluation section of the systems requirement check. This information will be sent directly to the support team to further assist in trouble-shooting potential problems.
  • Review the Home User: MY Access! Technical Requirements. This will provide additional information to assist in successfully using the program. The Home User Technical Requirements document is available once you login. Locate the Resources link in the upper right hand corner. This will open in a new window and display helpful resources including User’s Guides and Technical Requirement Documentation.
  • If you have made the necessary changes and are still having trouble meeting the specified requirements, please contact technical support for help at 1-800-322-0848 or

Is home/remote/community-based access available to students and educators?

Yes. MY Access!® is delivered completely over the Internet and can be used anywhere a computer with a connection to the Internet running a modern web browser is present. Users in remote locations can employ dial-up connections to access the system. No special hardware or connectivity is required, however at home users should perform the systems requirement check located on the program’s homepage to insure the system meets the minimum technical requirements, and has installed the most updated versions of required web-based applications. The link is located in the upper right-hand corner.

How does the IntelliMetric® artificial intelligence scoring engine work?

IntelliMetric® emulates the process carried out by human scorers. The system must be “trained” with a set of previously scored responses containing “known score” marker papers for each score point. These papers are used as a basis for the system to infer the rubric and the pooled judgments of the human scorers. IntelliMetric® “internalizes” the characteristics of the responses associated with each score point and applies this intelligence in subsequent scoring. The approach is consistent with the procedure underlying holistic scoring. IntelliMetric® creates a unique solution for each stimulus or prompt. This is conceptually similar to prompt-specific training for human scorers. For this reason, IntelliMetric® is able to achieve both high correlations with the scores of human readers and matching percentages with scores awarded by humans.
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How accurate is IntelliMetric®?

IntelliMetric® is as accurate as human expert scorers. How do we know this? One way educators evaluate the accuracy of scoring is to look at how often two experts who review a set of papers independently agree with each other on the scores that should be assigned. In most controlled situations using a 6-point scale, two experts will agree with each other within one point about 95% of the time. When we look at how often IntelliMetric® scores agree with either of those experts we find that IntelliMetric® typically agrees with either expert about 97% to 99% of the time. For the set of prompts included within MY Access!, IntelliMetric® agreed with expert scorers 99% of the time.