Machines Shouldn’t Grade Student Writing—Yet

May 09, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The topic of assessment, and especially computer mediated assessment (CME?), is taking on an new currency. Today's readings contain a sampling that is typical of what I've been seeing in recent weeks. From Slate, for example, we have an article cautioning against machine grading - for now. Tom Hoffman cautions readers of that article about the role of Common Core in automated assessments. Ian Quillen, meanwhile, covers Hewlett's Automated-Essay-Grader contest winners. A company called Intel-Assess is acquired. A Washington Post Blog discusses the arrival of standardized tests in post-secondary education. A company called Study Egg offers video-based quizzes. Harvard Business Review plugs CoursePeer, an automated grading systems. Michael Feldstein analyzes the role of machine learning. And as Ignatia summarizes, "the assistants, professors, and grading algorithms of the richer universities will blast away smaller initiatives that are based on peer knowledge exchange, natural learning and human enrichment."

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