One of the latest hot new ed tech topics, encouraged along by another questionable use of private foundation dollars, is developing software so computers can grade essays. That’s going to certainly energize my students to write — instead of working as I do now to try to identify authentic audiences for their writing, they can plan on not having even a single human’s eyes review it. And it entirely misses the point of strategically supporting writers who might be facing lots of challenges in their writing. For example, having an English Language Learner or someone who has little writing success in their life get tons of mistakes pointed out every time they write something is not going to do much for student motivation.
What do you think?
Here are the best pieces out there that I’ve been able to find on the topic:
Automated essay scoring on state writing tests: as efficiently “meh” as human graders by Sherman Dorn is the most thoughtful post I’ve seen.
Man vs. Computer: Who Wins the Essay-Scoring Challenge? is from Ed Week (be sure to read the comments).
Robo-readers: the new teachers’ helper in the U.S. is from Reuters.
Here’s a Storify documenting a discussion on this topic between Will Richardson and Justin Reich.
Justin Reich is writing a three part series on this topic over at Ed Week.
Facing a Robo-Grader? Just Keep Obfuscating Mellifluously is an excellent article in The New York Times. The Director of Writing for M.I.T. is quoted in it.
Computer Scoring Open Ended History Questions is by Tom Hoffman.
Robot Eyes As Good As Humans When Grading Essays is a strange title for an NPR interview with NY Times writer Michael Winerip.
Machines Shouldn’t Grade Student Writing—Yet is from Slate.
More Important Things to Do With Student Writing Than Just Grade It is by Renee Moore.
How ETS’ computer-based writing assessment misses the mark is by Maja Wilson.
Computers Grade Essays Fast … But Not Always Well is from NPR.
Humans Fight Over Robo-Readers is from Inside Higher Ed.
Essay-Grading Software Offers Professors a Break is from The New York Times.
How Would You Feel About a Computer Grading Your Essays? is from The NY Times.
22 Thoughts on Automated Grading of Student Writing is from Inside Higher Ed.
Can computers really grade essay tests? is from The Washington Post.
Grading writing: The art and science — and why computers can’t do it is from The Washington Post.
Burnt Offerings is from the blog Honesty, honestly…
Here’s what Stephen Colbert thinks of computers grading essays:
Essay-Grading Software Seen as Time-Saving Tool is from Education Week.
New Common Core exams will test whether a robo-grader is as accurate as a human is from The Hechinger Report.
Flunk the robo-graders is from The Boston Globe.
For a different take, see Robo-reader redux: Can a curious computer improve student writing? from The Hechinger Report.
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