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Monday, March 10, 2008

Freelancing for Pearson

I didn't find any education-related leads today. I did, however, receive a great lead from Liz on writing test items for Pearson:

I do have personal experience with this one that might be helpful to you. From the main page, you can choose different temporary scoring (on-site), scoring essays at home, SAT essay scoring, and test development.

Test Development

I applied for test development opportunities in February of 2007. I promptly heard nothing from them. The end web page was an automatic thank you, but no confirming email. Be sure to document your application if you keep track of such things.

October 2007 I received an email inviting me to write test items. There were emails and paperwork back and forth for a bit. Then I had to attend a workshop locally. The workshop was one weekday evening and a Saturday. There were maybe 30 people in the room to write items. The folks from Pearson trained us on how exactly they wanted these written, and then we spent most of Saturday working with a partner. No one was expected to finish their assignment within that time frame. We had another week or so to get it turned in. They paid us for attending the workshop and for each item we wrote. It was decent pay for the time I put in. I will say that the pay per item was twice what I'd been getting, however, they required so much more work than the lower paid items that I felt I earned every penny. The difference in item writing is for another post.

Since then, I've heard nothing more from them. I did re-enter my information in the database, but I'm fairly sure it's going to be a long wait.

Scoring Essays at Home

In the same February of the same 2007, I submitted my application for scoring essays at home. It was February 2008 before I heard anything. I received an invitation to score essays at home for a state test. They gave a three-week scoring window asking for a minimum of 20 hours per week (50 hours max). I had to take a computer inventory to see if my computer and internet access could play nice with the others. It can't. Okay, my computer can, but my internet access is questionable. Apparently Pearson's computers don't like working with wireless internet access. Today's automatic email from Pearson informed me that I can upgrade to a compatible form of internet access, and they will check my system again. I do have that option, so I will be sending in the upgrade email.

I thought you might like to know how long the wait was. If you do apply, don't get discouraged if you don't hear anything for a while. State writing tests happen in the spring and results need to be turned back in to the schools by the end of the school year. SAT tests happen all year long.


Anonymous said...

I've been working on a score from home project for Pearson for a month. The work is more tiring then I thought it would be (sitting in a chair and reading essays for hours on end). I also have not been paid for any hours yet. I've spoken to a supervisor twice, and was told "oh, it's coming," but nothing. The site has tons of technical issues and kicks me off or locks me out at least once a day. To top that off, I was told two weeks ago I was scoring too many essays above the group's average and to slow down. Now they tell me I'm not doing enough. When I have a question, I get conflicting answers because they have multiple supervisors answering you (same thing if you screw up...multiple messages. Ever seen Office Space?). I probably won't do this again once the project's over. There are easier and far more fulfilling ways for writers to earn $10 an hour! Sorry for the long comment...thought you might be interested in feedback from a scorer though :-)

Laura said...

Wow. Thanks for the comment. I am very interested to hear how it's going. I had the contract in hand to do scoring this year, but decided not to sign after I read the part where I couldn't work on any other assessment work for a year after. I have another assessment project in the works that I liked better. :)

When I did assessment writing for Pearson last fall, the check did seem to take a long time to come. It did show up, though.