Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Computerized Test Scoring

I'm not really sold on the idea of a computer grading essays. As a teacher, it would make my life a lot easier. However, I would want to re-grade them to make sure they were accurate. During my undergraduate classes, the teachers would use the scan-tron to grade our multiple choice test. It was quick and easy. We saw our grades right after we took our test. However, each and every time there was at least one person who's test was graded wrong. That was on multiple choice.

How can we expect a computer to grade the content of an essay. It cannot feel what the writer is trying to express. Another problem that I have with it is in the grammatically area. When I am in any program I often use spell check. Every time I do I have 2 or 3 words that are spelled correctly, but the spell check picks those words up. Would that happen to my students? I believe it would, and I don't think it is fair to them.

Another issue that was brought up in the article "Indiana Essays Being Graded by Computers", by Sol Hurwitz, was the availability of computers. The school districts will have to make sure they have enough computers. In the meantime, the students who are not taking the test may have to go weeks without using the computers. Adjustments would defiantly have to be made for this.

The last think that really concerns me is something that seems to happen to me a lot. A get finished with a project and then the computer freezes up. That or it just loses what I just wrote. That's the wonderful life of computers. They are a wonderful tool as long as they are running in working order.


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