Common Sense Review
Updated December 2015

Grammarly@edu

Eagle-eyed virtual editor points out errors and gives advice
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Common Sense Rating 3
Pros
Lots of great bonuses, like the plagiarism editor, plus detailed explanations of correct grammar choices make this a super-helpful tool.
Cons
There are similar programs that do almost as good a job but without the cost.
Bottom Line
It's a great tool for students who are doing a ton of writing; the site's feedback will help them learn and improve.
Polly Conway
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Design is simple and spare, which should help kids focus on the words and grammar hints that pop up. While it's not exactly fun, it makes grammar as engaging as possible, and kid-accessible language makes lessons stick.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Grammarly@edu not only corrects grammar and spelling mistakes, it lets you know why changes need to be made. This approach is helpful and promotes active, lasting learning.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

Once you're in the Grammarly@edu tool, there isn't a place to click for help, though FAQs answer a couple of questions. Signing up is simple, and the standard Grammarly program offers a lot of information.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

There are a few obvious uses for teachers. First, teachers can easily run all appropriate student assignments through the plagiarism scan, which is very handy. If they trust Grammarly@edu's editor (and it's pretty thorough), they can also mark up student papers with the tool and then review them afterward to see if there are still issues to address. If a teacher's school can afford a schoolwide subscription, kids can edit their own work during class, making sure they're noting why mistakes were made and how to avoid them next time.

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What's It Like?

Grammarly@edu is a website that acts as an automated grammar tutor; it will mark up any document with corrections. Users log in to the site and then upload the document they'd like to edit. (They can also download it as an add-on that works with their computer's Word program.) It'll appear on the screen, with a left and right sidebar. On the left, there are a few icons. Click on the pencil for grammar and spelling corrections, which will be highlighted in the text and explained in further detail in the right-hand sidebar. Click the set of quotes for a plagiarism scan and the open book for what they call “enhancement": It's like a thesaurus, offering alternate words where appropriate.

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Is It Good For Learning?

With a robot's eye for detail and the warm explanations of a human, Grammarly@edu is a very helpful package. Students who have real difficulty with grammar should be happy to see the clear descriptions of why they might want to make a change, and it will surprise them by catching mistakes they didn't know existed. These explanations are what sets Grammarly@edu apart from basic spell-checking programs; there's potential for lasting learning. To ensure learning, though, it's key that students pay attention to what the site has to say instead of just clicking through and approving all the suggested changes.

There's not a ton of navigational help once students start editing a document, which is a little tricky if they have questions. And this excellent editing does come at a price; in order to make the monthly fee worth it, a user will want to make sure there's a lot of grammar to be checked in their life.

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See how teachers are using Grammarly@edu