” Furthermore, as the NPR story points out, this software can be tricked.
Les Perleman has been demonstrating for years how these robo-graders can be fooled, though I have to say I am a lot more impressed with the ingenuity shown by some students in Utah who found ways to “game” the system: “One year…
Nonetheless, for most people meaning of essay (or paper– same thing).
Thus we have the five paragraph form, or even this comparably enlightened advice from the Bow Valley College Library and Learning Commons, one of the first links that came up in a simple Google search. ) for creating an essay (or paper) driven by a thesis and research.
WPAs have to consider large-scale assessment issues to measure outcomes across many different sections of first year writing, and they usually have to mentor instructors on small-scale assessment– that is, how to grade and comment all these student papers in a way that is both useful to students and that does not take an enormous amount of time.
There is a ton of scholarship on assessment– how to do it, what works or doesn’t, the pros and cons of portfolios, etc.But again, assessing writing is not the same thing as fostering an environment where students can learn more about writing, and it certainly is not how writing worth reading is created.I have never read an essay which mattered to me written by someone closely following the guidance of a typical assignment rubric.a student who wrote a whole page of the letter “b” ended up with a good score.Other students have figured out that they could do well writing one really good paragraph and just copying that four times to make a five-paragraph essay that scores well.Most composition and rhetoric scholars think this software is a bad idea.I think this is not not true, though I do have three thoughts.It’s really easy as a teacher to forget that, especially while trying to make the wheels of a class continue to turn smoothly with the help of tools like rubrics.As a teacher, I have to remind myself about that all the time.So in that sense, it’s not surprising this article focuses on assessment at the expense of teaching.Besides, composition and rhetoric as a field is very into assessment, sometimes (IMO) at the expense of teaching and learning about writing.