Burnt offerings

Pearson ad Xerox Ignite (software which enables a photocopier to grade student papers, including essays) does not exactly set me burning with enthusiasm, as I said a few weeks ago (Baby, you can’t light my fire). However, I was delighted to find that Pearson is looking for student essays for the Pearson Essay Scorer.  I would have the chance to test an online essay grader for myself.

The notion is that submitted essays “will help us calibrate the evaluation engine that examines student work.” Continue reading

Baby, you can’t light my fire…

Automated test marking is not new. It has been around for years.  The grail is automated essay marking, and I fear we may be one step nearer with Xerox Ignite. A blog-post by Diane Ravitch Can Machines Grade Essays? Should They? drew my attention to this piece of software – the comments to her piece are well worth reading, and I’ve found out more thanks to Gizmodo Xerox’s New Grading Copiers Will Finally Make Scantron Obsolete and an article by Bob Yirka at Phys.Org Xerox to offer ‘Ignite’ software upgrade for copiers to let them grade school papers.

Yirka (unintenionally) sums up what’s wrong, sums up my fears, quite neatly: Continue reading