Center for Technology Enhanced Learning

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June 2013

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Grading of Essay Exams by Machines

Grading of Essay Exams by Machines

Event Date and Time: 
Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Location: 
5th Floor Computer Lab, Glickman Library
Grading of Essay Exams by Machines by John Broida, PhD

Presentation on the use of computers to automate grading of student essays, in particular the SAGrader tool.

John Broida, PhD

Grading large numbers of essays is time consuming and taxing, so most who teach large classes simply did not do it. However, it is now possible for computers to grade essay exams, making it possible to introduce essays into larger classes. At least two publishing companies are advertising their ability to do what has been, until recently, an exclusively human enterprise. I have been using a system developed by a group of cognitive psychology and computer experts for more than a year, with good results. I will talk briefly about what the system that I use does (looks at grammar, spelling and key terms) and does not do (look for plagiarism) and provide examples of student responses using it. However, most of the presentation will consist of a hands-on demonstration; those in attendance will be encouraged to explore the system for themselves.

Agenda: Brief talk and then we will all get a chance to play with the software. 

  •   John Broida, PhD PresentationProblem: Grading large number of essays...
  •   Solution: SA Grader
  •   How the system works - cognitive mapping
  •   Case Studies...
  •   Other software in the genre
  •   Research
  •   See if it works for you

John Broida, Associate Professor of Psychology and chair of the Psychology Department, is also active in the National Center for Academic Transformation. This group of technological innovators is involved in helping faculty find cost-effective ways to use technology. His interest in using technology and association with NCAT means that he is often approached by people interested in getting their products to innovators. One result has been his exposure to machine grading of essay exams. That is the focus of today's talk/demonstration/activity.

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John Broida's presentationPresentation Resources:

Questions about this topic?
Contact John Broida.

Learn more about the CTEL Speaker Series.

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
 
 
 
 
 
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The State of Discussion and Critical Thinking

The State of Discussion and Critical Thinking

Event Date and Time: 
Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Location: 
Abromson Center
The State of Discussion and Critical Thinking
by Leonard Shedletsky, PhD

Explore the good, the bad, and the ugly of discussions and gain a keener ability to think about your own discussions.

Lenny Shedletsky, PhDMy plan is to introduce the topic of discussion, show some of my failing attempts to lead discussion and some of my better discussions, all the time opening up the floor for you all to share your experiences, hunches about what works and what doesn’t work and introspections on how you facilitate discussion. Let’s talk about the Discussion Board, Adobe Connect, VoiceThread, and the classroom. My goal is for us all to go away from this talk armed with a keener ability to think about our discussions. We can begin by recalling an awful discussion and a wonderful discussion and trying to figure out what characterizes each and how we can have more wonderful discussions. We will also end with a short list of things you can do to facilitate discussion online or face-to-face.

Presentation ResourcesCTEL Event

Questions about this topic or the resources included above?

Please do not hesitate to contact Lenny Shedletsky.


Leonard  Shedletsky, PhD
 is Professor of Communication at The University of Southern Maine. He is the author of Meaning and Mind: An Intrapersonal Approach to Human Communication (1989), co-author of Human Communication on the Internet, co-editor of Intrapersonal Communication Processes (1995), co-editor in 2010 of Cases on Online Discussion and Interaction: Experiences and Outcomes. IGI-Global. He is currently co-editing a book with Professor Jeff Beaudry, Cases on Teaching Critical Thinking through Visual Representation Strategies. He wrote the entry, “Cognition,” for the International Encyclopedia of Communication, 2008.

He has been teaching since 1974. He teaches a range of courses in communication with cognition, discourse and meaning as underlying themes. He was awarded recognition for Stellar scholarship and teaching, University of southern Maine (USM) 2003, 2007 & 2011. He was named The Russell Chair, 2009 - 2011.  He has recently taught two new online courses that make heavy use of discussion, CMS 498, Discourse, Communication & Critical Thinking, and CMS 495, Theories of Communication. In the past few years he created a new course titled, Discussion (CMS 498).

His current research interest explores discussion online and in the classroom.  He is trying to find out what facilitates active and high quality discussion in education.

View full resume


Learn more about the CTEL Speaker Series.

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