Grading Software makes Professors a Slack Job

Description: Imagine taking a college exam, and, instead of handing in a blue book and getting a grade from a professor a few weeks later, clicking the “send” button when you are done and receiving a grade back instantly, your essay scored by a software program.

Source: nytimes.com

Date: April 4, 2013

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The new service will bring the educational consortium into a growing conflict over the role of automation in education. Although automated grading systems for multiple-choice and true-false tests are now widespread, the use of artificial intelligence technology to grade essay answers has not yet received widespread endorsement by educators and has many critics.

Anant Agarwal, an electrical engineer who is president of EdX, predicted that the instant-grading software would be a useful pedagogical tool, enabling students to take tests and write essays over and over and improve the quality of their answers. He said the technology would offer distinct advantages over the traditional classroom system, where students often wait days or weeks for grades.  READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. Comment on the following statement “The technology is available therefore we should be using it?”

2. What do you see as the two biggest benefits of this technology and what do you see as the two biggest detriments to using this technology?

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28 thoughts on “Grading Software makes Professors a Slack Job

  1. ...

    We should use new technology. New technology can make a chart for calculate scores easily. It saves time and energy. I think we can use computer software to calculate process, applications, assessments, and so forth. Using grade system can really reduce people’s workload. To use computer software can reduce mistake opportunities.

    Especially when we are doing last numbers calculation, and order a large group of number, we can choose to use computer software to operate a formula then to solve the complex calculation.
    But sometimes,, through using the computer software to get the results is not a good way. We are too dependent to the new technology.

    Reply
  2. Xiao Yang

    Proponents of using a software program ( EdX) argue that the technology is available therefore we should be using it. On the surface, this point seems to have merit. There are some fantastic advantages via using this technology. Firstly, technology would offer the students get their grades back instantly. For me, it is frustrated sometimes you should wait a couple weeks to get a grade back. For instance, I once tried to wait for my final grade of my research paper nearly 2 weeks, and I was told that the instructor was still marking, he would sent my grade by email when he is done, actually I will back to my home country 5 days later at that time. In other words, it seems like I just can know my paper grade until the beginning of next semester. Secondly, students can get instant feedback on their work, so that it can enable students to take tests and write essays over and over and improve the quality of their answers. Students are able to resubmit the work until they get it right. However, there are more drawbacks than virtues. First and forest, Essay-Grading Software can not replace the human element.They cannot measure the essentials of effective written communication: accuracy, reasoning, adequacy of evidence, good sense, ethical stance, convincing argument, meaningful organization, clarity, and veracity, among others. Second, the automated system is not mature and accurate as we expect. If some one fool software grading programs with nonsense essays, they might be get high marks. Last but not least, this technology can not help kids learn how to think critically. It’s probably impossible to do that with multiple-choice tests. The challenge is that this requires human graders, and so they cost a lot more and they take a lot more time.
    As far as I am concerned, we can use this technology as a “second reader” to check the reliability of the human graders. It can be an assist but not instead of live teachers.

    Reply
  3. Amber Siemens

    In my opinion, I do believe that if the technology is available that we should be using it. I think that it is great to have the accessibility of having a program to mark and evaluate your essay. With the increase of multiple choice and true and false exams being used already, as it is more time efficient, a program that marks essays really is not that far fetched to be using at this point in time.

    The two biggest benefits of this technology would be the fact that it would speed up the marking process significantly.Many students are often waiting weeks, to have an assignment/ essay returned to them, waiting to read the feedback, as well as waiting to know your evaluation. The other benefit would be that it would let the professors have more time dedicated to their lectures, and managing the course for the semester, rather than marking hundreds of essays.

    The two biggest detriments with using this technology would be the amount of errors that could occur with this new software. When it comes to students and grades, it should be taken seriously, and if we have programs interfering with that, it could do some extensive damage. Another detriment could also be decreasesd grades due to inaccurate word recognition.

    Reply
  4. Rémi Cizeron

    Actually, this technology can be an advantage and a disadvantage. The fact that we have to really take is: Is it a real advantage for students to be correcting by an automatic computer. Because it is going to be a real benefit for some students and a disadvantage for others. This technology must be fair for everyone. Maybe we should maybe do some comparisons of the correction of a teacher and one of the computers on the same subject. This would be the best way to know if it is really working. We could also use it for little paper, not for major exams that are determinate in the student’s scholarship. It is true that for the student it is an advantage to have is grade directly after the exam to know where he is true or false and why. But if it is too categorical it won’t be useful for students.
    The most advantages is, first, you have an instantly answer. So you can correct your answers when your wrong answers are fresh and when you can remember it.
    Then, the second advantage is that you can improve yourself and try again and again the assignment. You will always be correct. That is not the case if it was a teacher.
    The most disadvantage is the fact that the computer has no judgement. So it can be a disadvantage for the student. If the student doesn’t have the good way to write the good things in the write order it is not gone be fair.
    Than the second thing is that a teacher as more competences than a computer, he knows about the news, he knows about you, what you can do, what is your background so your grade can be much more fair than from a computer.

    Reply
  5. Janine Hawkins

    Technology has become involved in almost every aspect of our lives and now a company called EdX has found another use for technology to make our lives easier by creating software to instantly mark student’s essays and short answer questions. Using this technology created by EdX poses many opportunities and threats. Some positive aspects of using this software include the ability to provide instant feedback to students. Additionally, students are given the choice to redo a question once it is marked to see if the can improve their grade. This technology will also provide an objective measure to the students work. Finally, the use of technology for grading can save the professor’s time because they don’t have to read numerous essays. However, this will only be beneficial in a large class.
    In contrast there are many negatives to using technology for grading. For example, the technology may lack accuracy because even the most advanced software will never be able to read and think like a human mind. Another negative is that the instructors aren’t able to gain any insights from marking their students work. By personally grading assignments, instructors can discover if their students don’t fully understand a concept or they many get ideas about how to teach a topic in following years by the way students explained it in questions. The final drawback is that it can be time consuming to setup. The instructor has to grade 100 examples so that the software understands the Profs grading style. This isn’t realistic to do in a smaller class.

    Reply
  6. Jessica Larsen

    Just because the technology is available does not necessarily mean that we should be using it. There are different situations in which the technology could be used well, but others situations where having a professor mark an essay would be much better. As I see it, this distinction depends on the class size, the level of the class, and the type of things the technology would be marking. If a class is small enough that the professor can give good, in-depth feedback for everyone, the technology would not be a good thing as it cannot give in depth feedback. But if a class were fairly large and the professor was not able to give good feedback the technology would greatly help. If a class is a fairly high level class in which each student must understand what they are talking about very well, then this technology would not be a good tool to use, but if it was an introductory course the technology could be very beneficial. It also depends on the type of work being marked. Short answer questions or questions with just a few variations in the type of answer could easily make use of this technology, but for essays and papers that are very long and in depth, worth a lot of marks, with multiple ways in which a student could decide to answer the question the technology might not work as well.
    But you must also consider that the technology will get better with time, and that this could be used as a great learning tool for students, even if they use it just as a practice tool.

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  7. Stacey Ridler

    In my opinion to integrate new technologies into post secondary education is imperative. I would also depict that this newer technology will most likely still have errors that will have to be corrected but is that not how humans integrate new technology at every point. Consider the smartphone and what it has evolved into because of the ‘real time’ aspect and from the feedback individuals have given. With students and professors working together to perfect this new type of technology, it could add a great deal to a students education. Therefore I agree that if the technology is there we should be utilizing it. Currently in my program I am in a particular class that has written assignments which I await for the grade and feedback in which all I receive is the grade and no feedback. After speaking with the professor about feedback his response was “I don’t have enough time” I look at this technology as an indicator and would appreciate any feedback to go along with a grade. I would state the the areas of benefits from this technology would be the ‘real time’ feedback giving students the upper hand on their education and writing skills. The second benefit would be with a faster grading system students would have the opportunities to notice their strengths much quicker and to move on in their courses to the next section without pondering and wasting extra thought on how well they completed an assignment weeks ago. I think the greatest deterrent would be the testing and implementing period of the technology. Just as Samsung implemented it’s new smartphones I was deterred with the multiple errors I faced when working with their new technologies. The second biggest deterrent would be the lack of acceptance to the change and perhaps some professors deciding to utilize the technology and others flat out refusing to use it leaving students hanging in a balance of new and old interfaces.

    Reply
  8. Brendan Paiha

    If a technology is worthwhile and has a clear way of improving our lives, then it will be likely be used. Nobody needs to make anyone use new tech and nobody needs to make anyone stop using anything. When a technology is widely used, there is a higher demand which inevitable leads to advancements. Take mobile phones as an example. Their huge demand has tech developers foaming at the mouth to pump out wild and innovative ideas. For the use of automated marking in schools, this applies. Based on what the article describes, I would be very hesitant to use something like this. It would lead to a further detachment between the professor and student. Reading hundreds of unique papers is something that only a human being can do. A computer just places another barrier between the two parties. A marking tool like this could be useful for small sentences with finite answers and lightly weighted assignments. For highly weighted papers, the risk seems so high for the potential benefits.
    Technology has had many positive traits as well and some negatives. Technology is a huge time saver. Think of how much more work you can do using Microsoft word vs. a paper and pen. The rate at which technology is advancing is also causing a ‘golden era’ of idea to come about at an astonishing rate. On the other hand, there are some drawbacks. It is nearly impossible to be disconnected from everything and everyone. You can’t go on a vacation without getting badgered about work, you can’t have unique experiences on your own without being five seconds away from sharing every minute with everyone you know.

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  9. Kyle Dalton

    Just because this technology exists does not necessarily mean we should begin openly adopting it. The technology may not be perfectly fine-tuned at its current stage, and it may have operational issues that affect how it will deliver its final product. The speedy return of essays would be very appealing. This would satisfy a lot of students who want quick returns on their work, and it would give them the opportunity to redo essays with some given help. The technology definitely has some positive and potentially negative aspects to it. The technology would be great in assisting students in the development of their critical thinking and analysis skills (as mentioned in the article). This would promote advancing education and communication ability – skills essential in today’s world. On the flip side, if the technology is not developed enough yet it may not have enough capacity to properly evaluate essays. Another plus I could see, having some experience teaching, is the lightened load on already overloaded educators. Taking the time to grade essays (minor or major) is consuming, especially when you are still teaching on top of that. If the technology was sound, I can see many teachers wanting to adopt it as soon as possible. On the flip side, if the technology is not consistent in how it grades, it may not be advantageous in how it grades essays. If students do not (or are not able to) improve their abilities, teachers will still have to commit time to teach them or reteach them.

    Reply
  10. Arlene Across The Moutain

    There is obviously benefits and drawbacks as to whether or not this type of technology should exist. I think this type of technology will be very beneficial to students, as it would allow them to work on areas they may be having trouble with. I think without this technology, a student may hand in their paper only once to be edited and reviewed by a professor or a peer. Having this technology will also allow students to submit a paper, for editing, more than the usually one time. Some students may have a hard time making the professors office hours as it conflicts with work, life, and school schedules. This technology becomes more accessible for students.
    There are also drawbacks when it comes to this technology. For some students, part marks are a plus when it comes to essay writing. The drawback of this type of technology would be that there would only be a right and wrong answer. I think it would focus more on the grammatical errors then the meaning of the story.

    Reply
  11. Melanie Scheffelmair

    Just because the technology is available does not mean we should use it. I think everything should be used in moderation. This technology can be useful in many ways, like saving time. We are a generation of instant gratification so this new technology sounds great to use.
    Two major benefits of this technology are the instant grade and the ability to fix your work with the feedback provided. The age of the smart phones has made it more important to learn how to critically think and this technology gives people the ability to develop those skills because you can see errors as soon as they are made and correct them. Two major detriments of the new technology is it takes away the teacher/student relationship creating a computer/student relationship and the computer can not think like a human can. Interpersonal relationships are also a diminishing skill with the smart phone age and this technology increases the gap between people. Since the computer can be fooled it still has room for improvement before it should be used fully in schools. I see nothing wrong with using the technology as a learning tool, like helping fix grammatical errors however human feedback should also be used for things like developing ideas.

    Reply
  12. Samantha Mazury

    I disagree with the statement “The technology is available therefore we should be using it?”. Just because something is available to you does not mean it is the best option available. I think this new technology is quite impressive in the manner that it is capable of learning and copying human marking patterns (to some degree). Although I find my biggest issue with this is that just because the technology is available for use and has some known benefits, does not mean it is necessarily the best universal method of marking written assignments or papers. I believe this technology could be useful for certain uses but ultimately I don’t support this technology as a replacement for human judgment. There are just certain human elements such as “measuring effective written communication, accuracy, reasoning, adequacy of evidence, convincing argument…” that computers simply cannot understand nor measure in the same way humans can.

    I see the two biggest benefits of this technology as being the immediate feedback this technology is able to provide, and the ability to improve your grade immediately after. Once a student writes a test, more often than not they walk out and start to forget everything they just studied and wrote. Then by the time they get their test back they may not remember things the same way anymore and aren’t able to value the feedback in the same way they might if they were to be able to review their mistakes right after the test. Also, then it would be very beneficial for retention of information and overall improved knowledge if students were able to review their mistakes immediately and then take the opportunity to improve on their faults.

    I see the two biggest detriments to using this technology as being the lack of a human element, which I believe no matter how advanced technology gets it isn’t able to completely mimic certain elements that make humans human. As well, I believe the face to face human component of teaching would be minimized by this technology and would ultimately affect the overall learning experience for students.

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  13. Dani Rasmussen

    This technology could be very beneficial to individuals who take it seriously and are trying to honestly succeed and learn more. However it also could assist many people who are trying to fool the system and receive grades that they do not deserve. So I feel that the statement applies to certain individuals. The two major benefits of this technology is the immediate feedback of marks and of course that you are given the opportunity to improve your work. Some professors are so overwhelmed with their classes and workload that it can take weeks to receive your mark and any comments back. By this time students have completely moved onto their next projects, papers and assignments and are not focused on that piece of work they handed in weeks ago. Any comments made do not have the same affect on the student as they would if they received them instantaneously. With this technology available they could receive feedback on their work immediately, which would be very useful. It is also a huge benefit to students that they could have the ability to receive instant feedback and improve their work. Two major downfalls to the technology are that there is not always accurate information provided and the technology can be fooled. As well it will not always be to the same quality of feedback from experienced professionals like your professors. People have fooled the technology and found ways to beat the system by writing meaningless papers and receiving high grades. This could happen purposively by students with the intent to try to trick the system. This could also have the opposite affect to students who actually tried to write the best essay they could and have it marked very highly by the technology even though it is not of high quality.

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  14. ornella cleone

    yes we have access to greater technological improvements each day, it could be used for many other duties in reducing the work load; but as for me, lecturers should be the only one grading essays and not some form of instant grading software who might end up giving poor grades to students who do not deserve it and over grading others. For the truth is, computers are mainly automated objects, they can’t measure accuracy, can’t reason nor compare opposed thoughts constructed in a reasonable way. On the other hand, lecturers can easily detect such difference while going through the students scripts,. Therefore technology is essential in the running of our everyday lives; this is due to its efficient ability in handling multiple tasks, reducing workload, rapidity in delivering results. It could also be helpful in grading students essay once in a while not for exam purposes but for practical purposes , giving them quick feedbacks which will inturn permit students to improve the quality of their answers. But as from my view, in no way should an instant grading software be used in grading students essays, for there is a particularity in the writing style of each student which might not always be the best but given the lecturer gets to mark such distinct script ,he will better know which approach to use so as encourage the student to work on his or her weakness. In a situation where the computer program does everything, in an event of the misunderstanding of a concept, the lecturer will not be able to detect where the problem comes from.

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  15. mina omidian

    I agree with the statement “The technology is available therefore we should be using it?” because people work so hard to come up with the technology and even if there are some glitches in the product it will be improved and that is how our system works. Technology is important in the education system for sure, for multiple choices and true and false but when it comes to marking essays, it requires a human element. a computer may not understand the point that the student is trying to demonstrate and therefore losing all marks. A teacher on the other hand can might be able to understand the students point of view and help by giving part marks to the student. I am sure that they will come up with a system that will allow a human element come into play with the technology whether it is flagging a really bad grade and having the teacher mark that exam or a really good grade.
    two benefits that come from using this technology would be the speed of grading a exam or assignment so that students can have their marks back the same day and if there are any questions it can be addressed right away.
    Two negatives would be that since it had not been fully tested it may not be fully accurate in how the marks are handed out. another negative would be if a student is having a difficult time in school the teacher may not be able to assist the student.

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  16. Donggu Kang

    First of all I am not agreeing with the statement “The technology is available therefore we should be using it?” This is because when people are not 100% sure whether the technology is good for people or not, in my opinion, they should not use the technology. For example, a lot of people were injured and died in Chernobyl because of nuclear and radiation accident. The accident was occurred just because scientists did not have much information about the nuclear and while they were experimenting, the nuclear plant exploded and ended up damaging numerous people and the city. Therefore, I think, with the essay grading software, we should take more time to be studied about it and decide whether to use it or not. One of the biggest benefit of the technology is that it will improve our lives and make us more comfortable. The other benefit of technology is that it makes people more productive. By using technology, people improved their productivity by a lot than ever. On the other hand, the down side of technology is that when people do not know and have not much information about it, it may harm us like the accident in Chernobyl. Also it takes so much time to study and work on the technology. For example, it took so many years to develop a personal computer to be able to be selling in the market. Even if people have technologies, they cannot use the technologies right away as they are not sure how the technology.

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  17. Paul Hruby

    1.) We should definitely be using this technology! If we can get computer programs which are even within a 5% range of what the “average” mark as assed by proffs, because that way there will be no bias. I guess I’m sort of different in that I don’t much care for the whole “loosing jobs” debate as we’re at a labor shortage anyways. So I say why not make professors lives a little easier, cut down on costs, and, most importantly, STANDARDIZE the grading system. No more proffs playing favourites, or one proff being easier than another. This is awesome.

    2.) The two biggest benefits are that proff’s can’t play favourites, and choose to give someone a higher mark because they like that student more, and this also eliminates the discrepancies between proffs. The two biggest drawbacks would be proffs would have a lot less work to do, and costs would get cut down so our educations wouldn’t cost so much.

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  18. Jericka Versikaitis

    I think on of the big benefits on this technology is time. I agree that it would save a lot of teachers time to do other things such as make class plans or personally having a few teacher friends I know they would appreciate more time to themselves at night. This will also benefit students because most students are very eager to have their marks back as soon as possible so they can see how well they did or search for ways to improve. I’m sure most teachers would also appreciate no hassling from the students.
    In this day and age we are inventing so many ways to save time however, like most uses of technology being created these days to “save people time” it is also taking away a major part of communication. One of the main reasons we have teacher is to communicate with students when they do something wrong. If we have this technology that is not only not proven to be 100% accurate, it will also in a way only help the students learn to manipulate the technology to give it exactly what it’s looking for while still not actually knowing anything on the subject. Teachers will not be there to identify the students that are struggling the most and take time on the side to help them learn better and in a sense is taking on of the more important teacher-student relationship away. In my experience as a student, the teacher I found most memorable or that made the most impact on me not only scholarly but in life as well were the teachers that took the time to get to know us out side of class and out side of just giving lessons.

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  19. Ryan Parks

    I believe this technology has a place in schools and universities, but should not completely replace professors. The benefits of instant feedback are huge, and definitely should be used to help students improve their ability to write, but I’m not sure this technology can be trusted enough to base a major portion of a student’s grade on its results. Further testing should be done by comparing the grades and feedback that groups of professors give essays and that of this technology. When more conclusive evidence is available, then this automated grading software can be implemented more fully.

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  20. Julie Anderson

    This new technology could definitely have a place in the education system, even with its flaws. Its greatest benefit is its ability to give instant feedback to students and to give extra time to professors to help struggling students. It is for these reasons that this grading technology should be used as a practice system for students and a control system to prevent biased professors.
    The essay grading software could be very beneficial to students as an essay writing practice system because of its instant feedback. Students who struggle with their fundamental writing skills could submit more than the usual one essay per semester in order to gain more feedback and work on problem areas. These essays would not be recorded for final grades because of the issues with the grading system, but would offer a general grade upon which students could work to improve.
    The grading software could also be used as a control to prevent biased professors. If the software is used as a “second reader” it can protect students from professor mistakes, such as an overtired marking session or marking a controversial but sound opinion as low. If the professor’s grade and the software’s grade differ by a great enough margin, the professor should be required to remark the essay.
    These are the only instances I think the essay grading software should be used. There would be significant issues if it were to be used on big projects, like term papers. As shown in the article, there are ways to trick the grading system. Students could learn ways to beat the software with nonsense essays. The grading software has no way of understanding content, or if a student has learned the material emphasized in class.

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  21. yuxuan.hou

    based on the analysis of this article. their is no doubt that this is a great software even though it has negative aspect, especially for professors who have to audit lots of assignments. this kind of software is good for the development of education area if people use this software under ethical way, it would save lots of time and human force for education area . however, not all of homework or assignments are suit for audited by this kind of software. this software lock of human element. assignment is a very important way to connect students and professors, professors would know how much knowledge that students understand. professors would immediately find the shortage of their students’ /

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  22. Bailey Bruised head

    With the wide range of technology coming into the world it seems like this is a great idea 1) because it will make marking faster and easier for the instructors and 2) it will allow for instant feedback which I know a lot of people would enjoy.However I feel their is more cons to this technology then there is pros. The cons would be 1) Is this type of technology tested to the best of its “ability”? I know there are a lot of glitches with new technology and Im sure students would rather have the right mark that they worked for rather then the mark they receive from a machine. 2) Having available feedback on work from profs is something a lot of students look forward to, the face to face recommendations would be taken away for students and I don’t think that is fair for people who rely on that type of stuff. Overall I think we should keep technology to help us along the way but do not let it take over.

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  23. Kerri Ross

    When reading this article it is clear to understand what the benefits of this program is, especially to professors. Professors now have a program to do their work for them! I’m sure all of us wish technology would do our jobs for us allowing us to do whatever we want all while getting the work done and getting paid. Talk about an ideal situation. So of course professors are going to be attracted. However, students may also be attracted to this program as well. Nothing worse than handing in a paper and waiting weeks to get our marks back. For some of us, this mark could be the difference between passing or failing the course or getting in graduate school. It would be great if a program could quickly mark our papers and send feedback to us all within minutes. However, can we trust this program? As a student, I am putting my trust in a computer program and that makes me extremely nervous. Technology is not perfect and I do not want my academic standings in the hands of a software that may or may not be reliable. In the article it said that the software is “good enough”. RED FLAGS RIGHT THERE. No. No software that gets to dictate if I pass a course with an A+ or an F should be just “good enough”. My academic marks are just too important to allow technology to deicide my mark. What happens if I do not agree with the mark it gave me, who do I argue it with? The teacher? The software designers? Seems too much of a headache for me. Let’s just leave it to the professors.

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  24. Jonathan Linowski

    In this case, and countless others, utilizing the technology available at the time to overcome a given problem is how technology grows and adapts. Should we be using this technology? Absolutely, a problem exists, and this may work to overcome it. Will there be issues with implementing this new technology? Absolutely, and either this technology will overcome them and be improved from the process, or prove unsuccessful and no longer be used in this capacity. Either way, there is something to be learned in the attempt.

    In my opinion, the two biggest advantages of this technology being utilized would be the speed in the results being returned, and the ability to test the critical thinking ability of students on a larger scale. Multiple choice exams have always suffered in the later category.

    One of my concerns with this technology would be the potential for gaming/manipulating the system, much like what is done by Search Engine Optimization companies to improve site rankings on search engines. Google is constantly working to overcome “techniques” employed by SEO companies that generate unfair results and dilute the relevance of Google searches. Automated essay grading may open itself to a similar situation, and could require constant patching and updating to avoid issuing false grades.

    My second concern is in alignment with Mr.Perelman from the article. AI cannot interpret or measure the finer details of an essay with nearly the same depth as a human being can. Perhaps this technology may be applicable for simple, fairly quantitative essay questions, but there are disciplines such philosophy, theology, literature, logic, debate, and many more that require a human to really understand and weigh what is being written about them.

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  25. Adam Houtekamer

    This technology as the article claims is becoming extremely popular and I completely understand the controversy surrounding it. This is because I see both the very large advantages and the potentially disastrous shortcomings.
    This technology has the ability to revitalize the education industry. Currently the education industry is under scrutiny for being unaffordable for a large majority of the population. With the implementation of this technology, there is potential for education to become affordable and accessible for everyone. However, from my point of view this has the potential to discredit the education one receives from it. This is for a number of reasons, an example is that with these programs potentially grading thousands of students they will be receiving the exact same education and in fields such as philosophy, that value innovation and new ideas the result would be a streamlined field. New ideas would not be allowed to grow, as the program would fail to promote this kind of thinking.
    Further these programs are able to tricked as highlighted in the article. This can result in hackers taking advantage of this and would discredit others who are going through the motions so to speak. Further these programs can discredit the prestige of professors who are praised for the work they do with students. A student professor disconnect is created through the implementation of these programs and if I went to a school that utilized these programs I wouldn’t feel confident that a program is telling me about my shortcomings – warranted or not.

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  26. Simone Olmstead

    The two biggest benefits of this new technology of essay-grading software in my opinion be the students get their grades back instantly. As a student it is sometimes for difficult to wait a week or two to get a grade back that your are trying to wait patiently for. Another benefit I see would be that instant feedback. If you have just finished writing the paper your brain is already engaged in thinking about that subject so to get that feedback instant would be beneficial to your learning process. However, I personally think that there are more negatives to essay-grading software than positives. I think software that grades multiple-choice or true and false questions is fabulous but getting my paper graded by software….I’m not so comfortable with that because one I don’t feel that the software could measure certain critical parts of the essay with complete reliability. Secondly, if I am paying good money for a class I want the best possible grade I can get. I don’t feel personally that students would be getting the best out of their University or College degree’s by getting their essay papers graded by software. I would like to have my professors thoughts and opinions on my work so I know where or how I could improve.

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  27. Jaden Evanson

    I think that since the technology exists, it should be used extensively. One of the focuses of the article was on how students could use the immediate response to improve their answer, thus slowly becoming better at writing essays. While I believe that it is impossible to fully replace an actual human marker, the benefits of this technology are significant. Especially in a time when many people struggle with professional writing.

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  28. Jodi Berry

    Although I understand that this technology has some merit, it does not replace the human element. How many times have students handed in a paper that is just off the mark that the professor was aiming for? This technology would give a low grade because it missed the topic, whereas most professors marking this would at least give part marks. I can see the value in checking what a professor has already marked so there is less a chance of mistakes and biases but there is no substitution for a human mind marking a paper. We should not be so quick as to jump right into this technology and implement it without further testing, and comparisons with professors work. It may take away the time consuming nature of grading essays or short answer questions but that is part of the job description when becoming a teacher or professor. These people know that if their course has required writing that they must spend a decent amount of time marking. I as a student would prefer to have someone take their time with my work with the assurance that it was marked to the best of their ability and with a grade that they feel I deserve.
    The two biggest benefits of this technology would be the speed and that it may be helpful to check professors work. But the negatives outweigh the positives. The program has not been fully tested and may not be accurate as it has not been checked against human markers and that it may not give our fair and just answers. Another negative is that teachers and professors will stop reading students work and will not be able to see where a student is failing and assist them with their problem areas.

    Reply

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