September 07, 2003

For Student Essayists: an Automated Grader

So. Whaddaya thin, CynicalCyn... DocRoc... Punctilious... Artichoke Heart? You educators out there: Why not let a machine grade essays? (Requires NYTimes registration / Free)

Posted by fred1st at September 7, 2003 07:59 AM | TrackBack

Quelle horreur!!! But it only figures, I guess. My first thought, when I learned the SAT will require an essay as of next year, was, "Who's going to READ all those things?" Now we know: R2D2! I will elaborate on email, or perhaps blog.

Posted by: Doc Rock at September 7, 2003 12:11 PM

OOOH my aching head. I just got back from a conference on teaching where we spent three days intellectually challenging each other. I turn to the internet for some light relief before I sit down to grade 67 one and a half page papers and what do I find???? THIS! At the moment, a computer grading system has an big appeal.

Actually, I just want my well callibrated grader back from last semester, but she is taking this semester off to explore. GACK. I do not know how it works well enough to decide if a computer using my rubric that can be calibrated to 95% is different from a grader using my rubric who is probably calibrated to a similar extent. With the grader I always review a random sample and will personally regrade any paper with which a student has issues. I, like most people am constantly fighting the timely and MEANINGFUL feedback problem. Always looking for ways to optimize the system....

The point to this seemingly endless ramble... I need time to think more about it. I'll stop here, focus my thoughts and post a blog or something once I am caught up. Happy weekend to you all.

Posted by: punctilious at September 7, 2003 04:18 PM

It is basically another AI, artificial intelligence scheme, no worse and perhapes better than spending time deciphering crib notes. For 50% of today's students, it may represent an improvement because of the thorough feedback, but it will never replace a gifted teacher.

The amusing thing is that students will quickly realize they can generate acceptable "machine readable" text using specialized authoring software. They will also realize that a group of them can take one document and by making slight variations, produce many acceptable variations with little effort. Plagarism will be highly rewarded! The term paper industry is now going to be mainstream.

Posted by: David St Lawrence at September 8, 2003 06:21 AM

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