90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW

Can A Computer Grade An Essay?

Can a computer grade an essay? EdX, the massive online education enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT, is about to make another big push in changing how we learn. (Joerg Sarbach/AP)

Can a computer grade an essay? EdX, the massive online education enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT, is about to make another big push in changing how we learn. (Joerg Sarbach/AP)

EdX, the massive online education enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT, is about to make another big push in changing how we learn.

It has to do with how instructors grade essays. You remember in high school, or college…you’d answer essay exam questions in a blue book, or by turning in a long, typed-out essay? Either way, you’d have to wait weeks for your grade.

Well, EdX has just introduced a system where students wait seconds. Not weeks… but seconds to get their grades. The group is using a newly developed automated software to grade essays. A computer scores the writing, and then allows students to re-write their essays immediately to try for a better grade.

But can computers adequately measure the nuances of good writing?

Guests

Les Perelman, former director of writing at MIT and President of the Consortium for the Research and Evaluation of Writing.

Mark Shermis, Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Akron.

 


Other stories from this show:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.

Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

  • Listen: Weekdays, 3 p.m. on 90.9 FM
  • Live Call-In: (800) 423-TALK
  • Listener Voicemail: (617) 358-0607
Most Popular
This site is best viewed with: Firefox | Internet Explorer 9 | Chrome | Safari