Writing Instruction Tips For Automated Essay Graders: How To Design an Essay for a Non-human Reader
Alise Lamoreaux, Lane Community College
Copyright Year: 2020
Publisher: Open Oregon Educational Resources
Conditions of Use
Lamoreaux gives a thorough background of the Automated Grading System (AEG) and provides links for reference and for further study. read more
Lamoreaux gives a thorough background of the Automated Grading System (AEG) and provides links for reference and for further study.
Lamoreaux exhibits a vast working knowledge of AEG and provided information that appears to be accurate and error-free, and unbiased.
With our growing dependency on technology, more and more educational institutions are utilizing AEG and this usage is often viewed in a negative manner. However, Lamoreaux gives teachers necessary tools to prepare their students to successfully adapt to, and positively embrace, these changes.
The organization of informational text in the book can be easily updated without needing major changes that will disrupt the original flow of each chapter.
The text is accessible and presented in a manner that is easily understood; jargon use was minimal, thus negating the necessity of glossary.
Text uses a consistent writing voice that is easily followed and understood.
Spatial aspects are given high consideration in that the chapters are divided into blocks of text broken up by bullet or numerical points that allow the reader to easily comprehend the presented material.
Each chapter is an acceptable length that flows in an organized manner.
I reviewed the book in PDF format and the text was periodically distorted in a “squished down” appearance, which I see happening often in documents saved as PDF files. The text is legible, but the distortion did tend to distract at times.
The images are clear and crisp.
All but one of the links (noted below) work, but they do not automatically open in a new tab/window when clicked on and having to remember to right-click to open them distracted from my reading at times. I checked the online format of the book and they do not automatically open there either.
Note: This source link doesn’t work where it is located on page 7, or on the References page: (Burstein et al, 1998)
Minor grammatical errors are present and there is at least one awkwardly phrased sentence due to a missing word or words.
Lamoreaux’s writing voice is very approachable and she writes in a culturally sensitive manner that is objective and respectful. Students feel vulnerable when writing, especially when it comes to the words they use that are influenced by their personal and/or educational backgrounds. Lamoreaux offers suggestions to encourage student improvement that will make them feel less like they are being singled out for possible poor word choices while helping them master their writing skills in positive ways.
This sentence sums up how I viewed AEG before reading this book: “Robo-graders cannot handle the nuances of expression and may penalize the writer for vocabulary choices” (p. 26). I felt that an AEG would only do students a disservice because they lack the human ability to understand context. However, after reading Lamoreaux’s suggestions for teaching students to understand the nature of their audience (AEG), I now see how students can be taught to improve their argumentative writing and language skills so that they are not only better understood by an AEG, but also by each other and their teachers.
As a teacher who uses Toulmin as part of my curriculum, I found Lamoreaux’s Toulmin instruction beneficial to my own understanding and that will help me to better instruct my students as well.
The background information provided was sufficient to give the reader a basic understanding of what an automated essay grader is and how it is used in grading writing. read more
The background information provided was sufficient to give the reader a basic understanding of what an automated essay grader is and how it is used in grading writing.
As far as I am aware, the information presented was logical, unbiased, well thought out, and relevant to the topic at hand.
This subject is more topical today than even a year ago due to the global pandemic. COVID-19 forced many institutions to rethink how they do business. Using a form of Artificial Intelligence to conduct business or even teach school has made these difficult times more manageable.
The text was reader- friendly without being over simple.
It was easy to follow the information because terminology was consistent.
The text divides the information into logical components so the reader is able to follow the process of becoming familiar with the important components of the essay grader.
The text flows effortlessly from one chapter to the next.
I especially loved the videos included and the sample activities included in the text.
I did not notice any errors.
Lamoreaux is very respectful of essay graders. She is not dismissive or negative. Information is presented objectively so that the reader is able to focus on the content being presented.
I will be incorporating some of this information in my own writing classes. I will also be recommending this text to my nephew who will be entering a doctoral program this fall as a helpful resource for reviewing his writing.
Table of Contents
- 1. Robo-Grader: Artificial Intelligence As An Automated Essay Grading System, The Backstory
- 2. Thinking Like A Robo-Grader: What The Research Tells Us... Words Matter!
- 3. Organizational Style & Structure of Response for a Robo-Grader
- 4. Read Like A Robo-Grader: Developing Audience Awareness
- 5. Writing For A Robo-Grader: Understanding the Toulmin Method
- 6. Practice Activities For Reading Like A Robo-Grader: Become A Reading Detective
- 7. Postscript: Closing Thoughts
About the Book
As schools, as well as the workplace, become more automated, and remote or distance learning/working becomes the “new normal,” understanding and leveraging artificial intelligence will become a critical skill.
About the Contributors
Alise Lamoreaux, Lane Community College