Should a Computer Grade Your Essays?
The case study discusses the April 2013 launch of Harvard/MIT’s joint venture MOOC (massively open online course) essay scoring program, utilizing AI (artificial intelligence) technology to grade educational essays and short answers, with immediate feedback and ability to revise, resubmit, and improve grades.
In 2012, a group of colleagues, Les Perleman, Mark Shermis, and Ben Hamner, introduced over 16,000, K7-12 standardized school tests to the AES (automated essay scoring software) to compare results of hand-scored essays; the results appeared to produce a more accurate grade, however, no official statistical studies were performed to accurately maintain the claim.
Essay Raters …show more content…
A negative issue revolves around the ability to “fool” the system with nonsensical data to achieve higher grades. As noted in the NY Times, Professionals grouped together to form Against Machine Scoring of Student Essays in High-Stakes Assessment; they ascertain the following quote: “Computers cannot ‘read.’ They cannot measure the essentials of effective written communication: accuracy, reasoning, and adequacy of evidence, good sense, ethical stance, convincing argument, meaningful organization, clarity, and veracity, among others (Markoff, 2013).” Both AI technology limitations and work-around techniques attest to its effectiveness, at least for the moment. Immediate feedback does not surpass accurate feedback.
There are a number of people, organizational, and technological factors pertinent in the decision to utilize AES. People gravitate towards automation and labor reduction and cost when providing products and services. Many universities may visualize AES as a payroll reduction for educators and graders, a way to reduce workload, and a lucrative plan to increase net operating income with increased enrollment. By reducing grading time, professors can create interactive lesson