This is huge

Computer graded essays and short answers.

I’ve not seen the program. I’m sure it has a number of shortcomings. But, since it is EdX, it will only get better. This will help those who have a different idea on how to run a school, or what type of curriculum to offer. It will help separate teaching from evaluation. I also have no doubt that the use of the software will create new Shakespeares, but it will help students learn to write clearly for commercial purposes. Maybe not now, but some day soon. For ninety nine percent of us, commercial clarity is sufficient.

This is the sort of technological advance that will allow for a lot of creative people to start smaller schools serving niche groupings of students. Leading, I’m certain anyway, to much better educational outcomes. Better is defined as the students learning what they want to learn, not what the governor and others think they should learn.

Again, accreditation will likely remain a significant roadblock for some time. Accrediting bodies will likely require human grading as opposed to allowing software like this in schools they accredit. This will, for a while anyway, keep educational changes at bay.

HT: Arnold Kling

I’m amused that Arnold and I both like The Diamond Age so much. I probably did start reading the book because of his references to Thetes and Vickies on EconLog

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