Although automated grading systems for multiple-choice and true-false tests are now widespread, the use of artificial intelligence technology to grade essay answers has not yet received widespread endorsement by educators and has many critics.
Anant Agarwal, an electrical engineer who is president of EdX, predicted that the instant-grading software would be a useful pedagogical tool, enabling students to take tests and write essays over and over and improve the quality of their answers. He said the technology would offer distinct advantages over the traditional classroom system, where students often wait days or weeks for grades.
“There is a huge value in learning with instant feedback,” Dr. Agarwal said. “Students are telling us they learn much better with instant feedback.”
But there are obvious downsides. Click through to read more.
Warning: This is a New York Times link. I normally have a policy against posting any content from the NYT because of their poorly implemented, broken paywall and overly restrictive copyright policies on people who share their work online.
This is by far one of my favorite posts of the year, and the best I’ve seen on feedback in a long time. It’s worth the time it takes to read and re-read (and you should re-read it).
I stole my scaffold for peer and self-assessment from Geoff Petty. I think he’s great because he shares so many wonderful resources for free online. Petty argues that too much of the feedback we give students is BACKWARD looking and often this feedback is quantitative (numerical e.g. 7/10; 70%), but even qualitative feedback (words e.g. ‘You didn’t begin your sentences with a capital letter.’) more often than not looks backwards at what WAS done or, typically, WASN’T done. Petty advocates for a method of feedback that is both backwards and forwards looking, and to do that he uses the ‘goals, medals, missions‘ protocol. It’s really neat because the language is accessible to all age groups and is non-threatening. Essentially the ‘goals’ are the criteria for the product (be it a short film, an essay or a presentation) and the ‘medals’ are what has been achieved (this is the backward looking stuff) and always takes the form of positive statements, e.g. ‘Your introduction is strong.’ The ‘missions’ are the important part of the protocol – this is ‘feed-forward’ as it is looking at what the student needs to work on to improve the product.
How to use an iPad to add voice comments to grading
The app they’re using is called iAnnotate PDF, which, well, is an annotation app for PDFs. I normally wouldn’t recommend an app that costs $10 [foreshadowing], but in this case it’s absolutely worth every penny. Imagine having students submit work via a Dropbox folder, then annotating and sending it back to them via email. Simple, paperless, and stronger feedback than simply writing.
I love novel uses of an iPad like this. Click through for more, and a demo form he uses:
One of the mandates for high school principals in the School District of Philadelphia is to give more frequent written feedback to teachers based on the teaching and learning we see on a daily basis on our walk-throughs. It is one of those mandates that is pretty much indefensible in theory, but the devil, as always, is in the details. For me, the trick is to create a way to give teachers feedback that is useful, as observational and non-judgemental as possible, easy to manage, both for teachers and me, and something that can be more than just sheets of paper that are put into a binder and then forgotten about.
So I am going to be using my iPad and a GoogleForm (and Spreadsheet) to get feedback to teachers quickly and (hopefully) wisely and well.
Learn how to use Google Docs to provide detailed, meaningful feedback to students. Not only can you create a two-way teacher-student conversation with Google Docs, you can also link to powerful presentations within the feedback, creating a virtual lesson that the student can apply immediately.
I’ve recently started using text expansion software to improve the written feedback I provide to my students with regard to their writing, and it’s made a huge difference. Let me explain.
I teach students how to write. It’s a huge part of my job, and I love it…for the most part. I love talking with students about their writing. I love looking at their drafts and giving them feedback. I love reading what they write. One thing I don’t love, however, is writing up my comments about their writing, comments that not only respond to the content of their work but also to the form.
I think there could be some blowback if this gets into FERPA territory (e.g. “Why is my video grade posted on YouTube for the world to see?”), but when used to give meaningful feedback on works in progress, or to clarify points people are struggling with, I think it’s phenomenal.