Writing Instructor, Skeptical of Automated Grading, Pits Machine vs. Machine

Steve Kolowich, How-to-Geek, May 05, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It's one of those stories the Chronicle loves to print - grizzled gadfly argues against computers in education - but in this case the critic has a point. Les Perelman, who in the past has had heated exchanges with promoters of automated essay grading, has authored a computer program that writes essays composed of gibberish but which score well in automated essay graders. The sentences his program produces are grammatically correct but incoherent. Of course, there's no reason why both sides might not be right - the papers may be gibberish, but the computer programs may be accurately reflecting the grading by human professors, as they're designed to do.

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