Yet when we consider what is lost because of machine scoring, the presumed savings turn into significant new costs — to students, to our educational institutions, and to society. Together with other professional organizations, the National Council of Teachers of English has established research-based guidelines for effective teaching and assessment of writing, such as the Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing (rev.
ed., 2009), the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing (2011), the NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing (2004), and the Framework for 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment (2008, 2013).
It was developed by Ed X, the nonprofit organization that was founded jointly by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and that will give the software to other schools for free.
The story says that the software “uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers.” Multiple-choice exams have, of course, been graded by machine for a long time, but essays are another matter.
Style can be considered in terms of sentence patterns and diction. cliché, contractions, the use of you or I, informal diction)?
Mechanics refer to punctuation, spelling and grammar.
Can the reader follow individual paragraphs—are they well organized?
Does the writer use meta-discourse (language about language) to direct the reader through the text? Is the diction appropriate for a college-level assignment? Has the writer included too many informal elements (e.g.
Can a computer program accurately capture the depth, beauty, structure, relevance, creativity etc., of an essay?
The National Council of Teachers of English says, unequivocally, “no” in its newest position statement.