Automated and Manual Essay Scoring

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Scoring indicates the philosophy of assisting students to perform to their potential in their field of study. The scoring settings for the marking homework are intended to provide students the greatest motivation to answer questions by giving the highest credit for answering any part of the question right.

The majority of assignments are automatically scored in order that the students can obtain an idea of their progress, and teachers can be freed from the trouble of manually scoring assignment work.

What is automated scoring?

Automated scoring uses dedicated software programs to allocate grades to papers written in an academic setting. It is a technique of academic evaluation and makes use of normal language processing. The objective of automated scoring is to categorize a vast collection of written entities into numerous smaller segments. Each of these segments corresponds to the possible scores that lie in the range of 1-6. Therefore, this technique can be measured as a process of statistical arrangement.

There are many factors that have sparked an interest in automated scoring technique.  These factors include technology, cost, responsibility, and standards. The increasing education costs have imposed standards that pressurize the educational system to be held responsible for students’ results. The development in the field of information technology has brought an assurance that the educational achievements can be measured at reduced cost.

On the other hand, the application of automated scoring in the assessment of high-stakes learning has received significant criticism, with some people citing research that software programs cannot yet score writing correctly. The opponents argue that the use of computers for the purpose of grading promotes teaching assignment writing in a reductive way.

What is manual scoring?

Manual scoring implies that the entire assignment needs to be graded either as a whole or in parts. When instructors receive assignments for scoring, they are responsible for scoring the responses of the students. They can score students for the entire question or the different parts of it, depending on the type of question type. Grading each student separately allows the instructors to score one paper at a time, marking all answers for the assignment. This method of scoring allows instructors to individually grade all the responses given by a student to every question. If a question carries multiple parts, detailed grading is used for scoring each part of the question for every student before proceeding to the subsequent part of the question.

Scoring students in embedded systems programs usually require a one-to-one interaction between the instructor and the student due to experimental settings. Such a manual scoring process is an obstruction to both instructors and the students. The students must wait for many days before they get any feedback, and the instructors have to spend valuable hours assessing petty aspects of the paper. This is not the case with software courses, where an automated scoring system can appreciably improve the understanding of the instructor and motivate students to learn faster with iterative evaluation.

Automated scoring software studies and assesses students’ assignments, and then gives a feedback. The feedback given may be in the form of a score or a rating, usually between 1 and 6. Another way of providing feedback is written suggestions and comments. The earlier versions of automated software simply checked the word count of the submitted paper to verify that it fulfilled the specified word count requirement. However, the latest software is way more advanced as it can now perform the following functions:

  • Look for keywords
  • Check plagiarism
  • Find out grammar and spelling errors
  • Indicate use of the passive voice
  • Notify if any word has been misused
  • Determine the level of complexity and grade
  • Provide writing suggestions

The critics declare that the method of analysing assignments using software would never be good enough to substitute manual scoring. This idea is correct to some extent because it would be totally unfair to relinquish the scoring of major writing assignments in a class only to a computer program. If a student has a brilliant insight but a very basic writing technique and vocabulary, he might get lower scores than a student who has a sophisticated writing style and vocabulary, but little knowledge. Regardless of this, employing automated scoring package can be extremely useful in certain situations.

How automated scoring technique benefits open online courses?

There are several entities that offer online courses for the general public. The majority of these courses are available for free and draw lots of students to them. These courses cannot exist if the students expect a human being to manually read through all the assignments and grade them for technicalities and content. For these courses to operate properly, it is necessary that the assignments provided in these courses are evaluated by automated software.

Improving Writing skills of the students through practice

The most effective method for students to learn and improve their writing abilities is to practice the process of essay writing as often as possible. Sadly, economic and staffing constraints in many educational institutions make it impractical for instructors to manage classrooms, teaching and planning while keeping up with evaluation and scoring of written assignments. With the help of automated scoring software, the students can not only complete their essay assignments single-handedly but also receive valuable feedback that will aid in improving their writing. In addition, the instructor can check that feedback and work extensively on students who are lagging behind. As said earlier, it is not the best solution. However, it is a useful technique when economic and staffing resources are inadequate.

Get your assignment answers from automated scoring software

There is dedicated assignment evaluation software that instructors use for grading students’ assignments. The same may not be accessible to students, but there are lots of online services and apps that can provide feedback on your essay writing. Although the software program may not answer all your queries about your writing, it will provide enough understanding to write to meaningful essays. If you are struggling with essay writing or want to get your essays evaluated through automated programs, contact assignment help experts who can help improve your writing skills and make your essays worth reading.