Friday, April 27, 2012

Bad news for writing

This frightens me, to my core. The style of writing that garners top scores from a robo-grader is the style of writing I try to eliminate from my students repertoire: lengthy, inaccurate, complicated, and verbose. I know colleges are now using robo-graders in large, introductory classes.  This means that ASP and legal writing will be dealing with more remedial writing challenges, as students learn to write for robo-graders.

Here are some of the highlights of robo-grading that draw my ire:

  • Favoring longer sentences, when shorter sentences would be more direct.
  • Giving points for length, regardless of what is written.
  • Preferring "gargantuan" words ("egregious") to simple phrasing (it was wrong).
  • Facts can be wrong, as long as the facts are a part of a well-structured sentence. “E-Rater is not designed to be a fact checker,” said Paul Deane, a principal research scientist. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/education/robo-readers-used-to-grade-test-essays.html

Facing a Robo-Grader? Just Keep Obfuscating Mellifluously
Computers are fast when it comes to grading test essays, but they can be fooled.
(RCF)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/academic_support/2012/04/bad-news-for-writing.html

Current Affairs | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef016765c10826970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Bad news for writing:

Comments

Post a comment