ERIC Number: EJ964247
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Professors Cede Grading Power to Outsiders--Even Computers
Young, Jeffrey R.
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v77 n4 p24-28 Dec 2011
The best way to eliminate grade inflation is to take professors out of the grading process: Replace them with professional evaluators who never meet students and don't worry that students will punish harsh grades with poor reviews. That's the argument made by leaders of Western Governors University, which has hired 300 adjunct professors who do nothing but grade student work. Western Governors is not the only institution reassessing grading. A few others, including the University of Central Florida, now outsource scoring of some essay tests to computers. Their software can grade essays thanks to improvements in artificial-intelligence techniques. Software has no emotional biases, either, and one instructor says machines have proved more fair and balanced in grading than humans. Naturally, the standard grading model has plenty of defenders, including some who argue that claims of grade inflation are exaggerated. The current system forges a nurturing relationship between instructor and student and gives individualized attention that no robot or stranger could give, this argument goes. But the efforts at Western Governors and Central Florida could change that relationship, and point to ways to pop any grade-inflation bubble.
Descriptors: Grading, Evaluators, Outsourcing, Computers, Test Scoring Machines, Virtual Universities, Public Colleges
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida