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Prompted to write on workplace injuries, Jones instead input a letter of recommendation, substituting "risk of personal injury" for the student's name."My thinking was, ' This is ridiculous, I'm sure it will get a zero,'" he said. A second time around, Jones scattered "chimpanzee" throughout the essay, guessing unusual words would yield him a higher score. In Brent's class, sophomore Brady Didion submitted drafts of his papers numerous times to ensure his final version included everything the computer wanted."What you're learning, really, is how to cheat the program," he said.
Consider the reach of e-Rater: 400,000 GMAT test-takers annually, a half-million U. K-12 students and 46 international schools and districts.
ETS says an additional 2,000 teachers begin using its technology each month. It's the believability that it can do the things it already can do."South Dakota is one of several states that have tested essay-grading software.
They can reduce the cost of grading, and they also eliminate the inconsistencies that are found amongst human graders when marking the same essay.
The next development in essay processing technology is automated essay writing.
Like other essay-grading software, it analyzes sentences and paragraphs, looking for keywords as well as the relationship between terms.
Other programs compare a student's paper with a database of already-scored papers, seeking to assign it a score based on what other similar-quality assignments have received.
However it can be time consuming and costly for humans to grade student work.
Technology has been available to assist teachers in grading objective tests for several decades; however these true-false and multiple choice tests do not capture the deeper aspects of student learning.
This development will present a new set of challenges for educators.
The detection of automatically generated essays may be difficult, and students may be given credit for writing which does not reflect their true ability.