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Today many standardized tests in lower grades use automatic grading systems with good results.Children’s fate is not entirely in computer hands however.
The instant feedback made possible with the new technology has a positive impact on learning as well.
Today, essay assessments can take days or even weeks to complete, but through instant feedback, students have their work fresh in memory and can improve weaker parts instantly and more effective.
This cost has led to many states ditching this important part of assessment tests.
To counteract this discouraging development, in 2012 the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation sponsored a competition for automatic grading to get things going in the area.
One of the big leaders in advancement is Ed X, a MOOC provider and a combined initiative of Harvard and MIT towards improving online education.
Ed X president Anant Agarwal claims AI-grading has more advantages than just freeing up valuable time.The big question is just how much of a poet a computer is capable of becoming in order to recognize small but significant nuances the can mean the difference between a good essay and a great essay.Can it capture essentials of written communication: reasoning, ethical stance, argumentation, clarity?In most cases, robo-graders only replace one of two necessary graders in standardized tests.If the automatic grader has strongly divergent opinions, the essays are flagged and forwarded to another human grader for further assessment.As of today, 11 major Universities are contributing to the ongoing advancement of the grading software.Professor Mark Shermis, Dean of College Education at the University of Houston is considered one of the world’s leading experts in automatic grading.Since the competition, research in automatic grading has had good progress.In 2016 two researchers at Stanford presented a report where they claim to have achieved a coincident of 94.5% based on the same dataset as in the Hewlett competition.According to Agarwal, there is still a long way to go, but the quality in grading is fast approaching that of a human teacher.Development of the Ed X-system is rapidly growing as more schools join in on the action.