Here is an article about software that has been designed to grade essays and short answer questions.

Here are a few questions that come to mind.  Please address at least three of the questions in your response.
  • How would you feel about a computer grading your essays?
  • Do you think a computer would grade you fairly? Would you be more or less likely to trust a computer’s grade than one from a teacher?
  • Do you think a computer could give you effective feedback on how to improve your essay?
  • Do you care whether your teacher reads your essays? Do you try harder because you want to impress your teacher?
  • How would you feel about getting a grade instantaneously after you submitted your essay? Would the chance to get immediate feedback make up for any shortcomings a computer-generated grade might have?

Nick Gaiski
4/7/2013 11:18:56 pm

1. I'm a carrot, I don't have feelings. Just kitten, I think that it would be an efficient thing to have for teachers. But it worries me about unequal grading, like plagiarizing on accident. People could easily plagiarize by a mere coincidence. So that brings me to #2, fair grading. I don't particularly think it would be completely fair if you lost points because of accidental plagiarizing. But on the other hand, the software would create a standard for grading, rather than a variety of standards because different teachers grade differently. But computers are good at showing grammatical errors, and they are also good at reciting common rules for good writing. So the software would be good for showing ways to improve your paper. I actually do care about how good I write. So therefor I would care if my teachers read my essays, that way I can be aware of ways to improve my writing skills. But I am a believer of good things come with time. If the software was to give a grade instantaneous, then sent it to a professor to go over and see if the program did the grading correctly, I think that would be a fair medium on the fairness-to-speed threshold.

Veronica Klein
4/7/2013 11:20:15 pm

Personally, I'd feel better with a human grading my essay. I think it would be so easy for a computer to misinterpret an answer. While teachers still make mistakes, computer programs are only as good as the people who make them. The programs may be able to give you feedback on how to write a grammatically correct essay, but if they can't help you edit yours, then you're stuck. It would be nice to have instant feedback, however. I've had a few college classes where the teacher takes a week or more to get your paper graded and returned to you. I do care if the teacher reads my essay. If they just give you the grade for handing it in on time, it doesn't mean as much. While I would be willing to try a computer graded essay, I still like teachers are better.

Stephen Bowles
4/7/2013 11:24:07 pm

I would be less likely to trust a computer's grade, because it lacks one of the most important elements of human analysis. A teacher will be able to change heir mind, while a computer will simply continue with the same process regardless of the arguments. I try to put my best foot forward whether someone is going to read the essay or not, because it allows me to practice my reasoning skills. I would be averse to instantaneous results, because, for some reason, I am more defense of my work at the time of writing. I am far more likely to see my errors if I am given time between writing and receiving feedback.

Leah Czinder
4/7/2013 11:28:41 pm

I would not feel comfortable with a computer grading my essays. Although it would make the teacher’s job much easier, I believe that it would not be as effective as feedback from the teacher. A computer would not know the variations in writing style that students have or the different ways of proving your point in an essay. A teacher, however, would be educated in the area of the essay and would know its students well enough to consider their different writing styles. Because the computer has no way of compromising or considering different answers, I believe it would grade fairly. It would have to grade based on what it is programmed to accept as an answer and would not be able to stretch the limits like a teacher could. Even though the computers grade would be fairer than the teachers, I would trust the teachers grade more. I do not believe a computer could give effective feedback to improve the essay. It wouldn’t know the topic very well and could only give basic feedback that is already programmed. I would rather have a teacher grade my essay. I believe that I do try harder knowing my teacher is going to grade my work. It makes it more personal and you have to own your writing. Getting an instant grade would be nice but I do not feel that it would make up for the down falls of a computer grading the essay.

Tyler Davis
4/7/2013 11:33:50 pm

I think it would be a lot better if a computer grades your test. A computer can't feel hate for you so it would grade you fairly. Also, it would be a lot more accurate than a teacher because a computer can't really make mistakes. If a teacher feels tired then they sometimes get kind of lazy and start grading lazy. A computer can't be tired or even be lazy if it could.

Lane Merrill
4/7/2013 11:46:53 pm

1. I would feel indefferent if the computer software was of a technological standpoint in which it could grade accurately.
2. Like I stated in the previous question, if this grading software is reputable and accurate then I would have no complaints. I would be more likely to trust a computer than a person because computers arent oppinionated.
3. Yes I believe that with proper programming a computer would have no problem giving writing advice.
4. yes, I do care if my teacher reads my essays and I will put forth more effort if I know that he/she is going to read it.
5. I think that getting instant feedback would be nice because you dont have to wait for days before receiving your grade. No instant feedback does not in any way compensate for grading inaccuracy.

Corey Robins
4/7/2013 11:47:15 pm

I’m not exactly sure I like the fact that a computer would be grading my essay because the computer wouldn’t really be able to tell voice from the writer like a teacher would. Also the fact that once you figured it out you could just write a paper to get a high score with the computer even when it would be a poorly written paper if a teacher would be able to grade it which in turn would not give the student effective feedback on how to improve the paper. On the other hand I don’t like the fact that I would get feedback instantly or even a few moments after I submitted the paper and be able to rewrite the paper right after so that it is fresh in my head and not 2 weeks later.

Chris Hopkins
4/7/2013 11:53:17 pm

Honestly I don’t know how I feel about it. Computers are imperfect, but so are humans. Sometimes I’d rather a teacher grade my papers but others I’d want a computer to. It just seems a little farfetched to me. How could a computer know what to grade the essay on? Like they said in the article, a lot of the feedback comes from the high universities. Not everyone can write an essay at that level nor should the country force everyone to. I think that it could be useful because classes can be large and it could be very excruciating and tiring for a teacher to read 30 essays about the same thing. When you’re tiered you make mistakes, and when mistakes are made, people get upset. So I support the use of EdX, just not all the time.

Jillian Bailey
4/8/2013 12:00:18 am

I dont think having a computer grade your essays is the best idea because when you try and put a tone to your essay the computer wont be able to tell the difference. I think the computer could grade you fairly and sometimes more fair than a teacher would, lets face it every teacher has their favorite students. I think I would trust a teachers grading more because they can explain why they graded you a specific way.I think in some ways the feedback could be helpful but it would be easier to get help from a person. I try and impress my teachers with my writting so if I had a computer grading me i dont know if I would try as hard. Getting a grade back right away would be nice but then you also cant discuss why you got that grade with a computer and it would be difficult to fix your errors.

Lucas Johnson
4/8/2013 04:34:12 am

I feel much divided by this topic. On the one hand I believe that taking the human element out of grading is a bad thing, well on the other hand I fell that this is a great step towards better AI systems. This to me Is very much a double side swords, my humanist view says that this is harmful; while my love of science says that this is a great advancement. So let me take in two different views. If you let a machine grade essays then they will not be graded “correctly”. I think grading through the machine would work better for short answers then actual essays. An essay is something you pour yourself into, you put the human element into the subject. You can try to teach a machine to grade that be I am sure that I will never truly understand (unless the Matrix or the Terminator are real but even then). The machine could very easily pick of the technical side of things, find keywords and such, but it cannot be moved or affected by what is written on the page. Now on to the other side of things; I think the program is a great advancement in AI, not as big as Watson the IBM super computer. The program itself could the life of teachers easier. Now that is where the praise of this program ends. Here’s another point I want to make, making our lives easier. If we keep trying to make our life “easier” we are making being human less of an experience. We are numbing our emotions, we are numbing our thoughts. Written language came after people learned to talk, we wrote so we did not forget, or to deliver a message. Now we have dumbed it down, we must keep it true to the human element.

Katy Wallace
4/8/2013 11:24:04 pm

I’m not sure how well I’d like a computer grading my essays and short answers. I don’t believe the computer could grade you fairly. What if you had an argument or an example that the teacher would have been reasonable with, but the computer wouldn’t notice and mark it wrong? Computers make errors just like humans, but I feel that the teacher’s mistakes would be easier to correct than the ones that the computer makes. I don’t think that the computer could give efficient feedback to improve your paper. In the article it mentioned something about the computer saying if you were on topic or not, but that’s all I remember it saying about that. Knowing if you’re on topic or not is helpful, but it’s not the type of feedback that I’d want or be looking for. I don’t really care if my teacher has to read my essay. When I write, what I want to say comes out better than when I try to speak anyways. I don’t really try harder because when I write I don’t write to impress anybody but myself. With the computers, I do like that they’d give a grade instantly. It bugs me when I have to wait days or weeks to see a grade I got on something. Even though the computer would give instant grading, it doesn’t make up for all the things that I dislike about a computer grading our essays.

Caleb Engle
4/9/2013 11:13:48 pm

I would like to have a computer grade my essays. I believe that it would be fairer than a teacher because sometime I feel like part of your grade depends on the name that’s on the paper. I do not care if a teacher reads my essay. It would not make me try any harder. I also think the computer would grade your paper a lot quicker than the teachers which I like because sometimes it takes weeks to get an essay back.

Bo Morgan
4/9/2013 11:37:56 pm

I personally like the idea of quick feedback, but I don’t feel that a computer would grade as effectively as a teacher might. I think a teacher would grade me more fairly than a computer and I would trust a teacher’s grade over a computer’s. I think the immediate feedback from the computer would be very helpful to improve my essay, but for a final grade I would want a teacher to grade my essay. Having a teacher read my essay would make me try harder because you want to show them that you know what you’re talking about. Getting immediate feedback from the computer would be helpful as long as you can change things to make it better, like the article said, then turning the paper into the teacher for a final grade.

Jon Wilcox
4/10/2013 11:12:14 pm

In my opinion, I think this new grading software is a “useful pedagogical tool.” It can make grading more fair to the students because some teachers have favorites in their class, and they tend to give them better grades. They also tend to give others bad grades just because of who they are. So I would feel really confident having a computer grades my essay rather than a teacher, just because of the speed and the fairness of the grading system. The only problem I have with this grading software is the feedback. It probably cannot tell you exactly what your mistakes were and explain what you need to do to improve on it. In the end, I would still stick with this grading software.

Amber Snore
4/10/2013 11:12:41 pm

I think the idea of computers grading essays is a great idea! Not only would this ensure that each student is graded fairly but yes, it could give you some valuable feedback. Not only that but it would take a lot of stress off the teachers who are told to grade your essays. I honestly put a lot of effort into my essays regardless of who is reading them; I wouldn't say I'm necessarily trying to impress my teachers. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so the way I write and type has to rise up to my own standards, not someone else’s. Furthermore, I think it would be a lot better for students because I can't stand having to wait weeks just to see how well or poorly I did on an essay, after working so hard I get kind of excited to see whether I've improved or not. I don't really see much of a disadvantage this this method of grading, I'd be interested in giving it a try.

Brad Hall
4/10/2013 11:13:00 pm

I like the idea of haveing instent feed back and that it would give me a chance to re-do the papper as many times as I needed, but i dont realy think I would trust it as a full grade. I beleive that if teachers do start using this tool to only use as it more of a reference or as a peer editer kinda like how most teachers have another class mate read your papper and give you addvice on what you should do with your paper.

Tyler Falls
4/10/2013 11:27:51 pm

•How would you feel about a computer grading your essays?
Answer: I wouldn’t like a computer grading my essays because the computer could malfunction. That or if you don’t erase the bubble completely the computer might think you pick that answer, but really you picked another answer. That and computers would read my essay and not give me any feedback.
•Do you think a computer could give you effective feedback on how to improve your essay?
Answer: No, I do not think a computer can give you good feedback. They might tell you that you need to improve, but not tell you how. Unlike a person who actually reads it and explains how to fix certain parts of the essay.
•Do you care whether your teacher reads your essays? Do you try harder because you want to impress your teacher?
Answer: Yes, I do think it is better for a person who understands that no one’s perfect with their writing. No its not to impress them just to get good feedback and not some computer telling you to improve.

Kayla Kalmink
4/11/2013 04:48:22 am

I don’t know, it’s a tossup on if I would like the computer to grade my paper. I would like the instant feedback but the computer doesn’t know what the feeling you have on the paper. This would grade fairly but it would be a little of because again it doesn’t know your feelings. Yes it would give effective feedback but not positive feedback. I would care if a computer read a personal part of an essay and it saved it and someone read it then what would you do, but if it was just a history, or science one where you really can’t put in any personal story’s I am ok with that. Yes I do try harder to impress my teachers because I do get them back. I would like the instant feedback because it can help you figure out what you did wrong before the teacher can correct some of the answers.

Steven Wolfe
4/11/2013 11:11:42 pm

I think its a great idea to have a computer grade your work because when I take a test I want to get my results back as soon as I can because then I have more time to improve and ask questions if I needed to. I would rather trust a computer rather than my own teacher because they have to check everyone's people and they are bound to miss something or mark something wrong when its right.

A-dizzle J-Rod (AKA Austin Jordan)
4/11/2013 11:12:15 pm

First of all I actually have had my essays graded by a computer so I have prior experience. The computers are very incompetent at grading essays, and what I mean is that, well, I’m not going to lie but copying and pasting the same content multiple times will let you achieve a passing grade. But the only reason I did that is because I spent the better part of a day carefully typing an essay and when I sent it in, I failed. The computer doesn’t really look at content, only length.

Addison Millard
4/11/2013 11:17:38 pm

While I complete encourage modernization of schools and learning, I still feel there is a necessity for human teachers. Computers have no judgment. Software does not possess emotion. When I write, I put my inner most feeling unto the paper. A machine can't sense the deep emotion that is engrained into a paper. I wouldn't trust a computer to grade my paper, but I would, were it a math assignment. Not english. I feel that a computer could be a useful tool for teachers to grade on things like grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and so on, but not on content.

Todd Fox
4/11/2013 11:36:52 pm

Having a computer grade essays would make the grading more standard. Everyone would be graded the same rather than having a personal influence put into the grade. If the system is fine tuned, I would feel that the computer would grade fairly. It is nice however to have a person read your paper and give you feedback. They may be able to elaborate more as well.

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1/31/2016 03:20:08 am

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