English Teachers Reject Use of Electronic Grading of Student Writing!

Dear Commons Community,

Last month I posted on  the growing interest in electronic grading of essays.  I referred to products such as IntelliMetric by Vantage, Intelligent Essay Assessor by Pearson Knowledge Technologies, SAGrader from Qualrus, and Criterion from ETS.  The National Council of Teachers of English have weighed in and have issued a statement aainst the use of these types of products. As reported in The Chronicle of Higher Educaiton (subscription required) :

“Critics of standardized tests argue that the written portion of those assessments can short-circuit the process of developing ideas in writing. Using machines to grade those tests further magnifies their negative effects, according to a statement adopted by the National Council of Teachers of English.

As high-school students prepare for college, the statement reads, they “are ill served when their writing experience has been dictated by tests that ignore the evermore complex and varied types and uses of writing found in higher education…

The intent of the statement, which was passed unanimously by the council’s executive committee, is to prompt policy makers and designers of standardized tests to think more fully about the pitfalls of machine scoring.”

The Council’s statement is well-thought out and includes an annotated bibliography for those wishing to read further about the issues associated with electronic grading of essays.



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