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posted by hubie on Monday March 11, @03:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the complaints-department-5000-miles-> dept.

In a notable shift toward sanctioned use of AI in schools, some educators in grades 3–12 are now using a ChatGPT-powered grading tool called Writable, reports Axios. The tool, acquired last summer by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is designed to streamline the grading process, potentially offering time-saving benefits for teachers. But is it a good idea to outsource critical feedback to a machine?
"Make feedback more actionable with AI suggestions delivered to teachers as the writing happens," Writable promises on its AI website. "Target specific areas for improvement with powerful, rubric-aligned comments, and save grading time with AI-generated draft scores." The service also provides AI-written writing-prompt suggestions: "Input any topic and instantly receive unique prompts that engage students and are tailored to your classroom needs."
The reliance on AI for grading will likely have drawbacks. Automated grading might encourage some educators to take shortcuts, diminishing the value of personalized feedback. Over time, the augmentation from AI may allow teachers to be less familiar with the material they are teaching. The use of cloud-based AI tools may have privacy implications for teachers and students. Also, ChatGPT isn't a perfect analyst. It can get things wrong and potentially confabulate (make up) false information, possibly misinterpret a student's work, or provide erroneous information in lesson plans.
there's a divide among parents regarding the use of AI in evaluating students' academic performance. A recent poll of parents revealed mixed opinions, with nearly half of the respondents open to the idea of AI-assisted grading.

As the generative AI craze permeates every space, it's no surprise that Writable isn't the only AI-powered grading tool on the market. Others include Crowdmark, Gradescope, and EssayGrader. McGraw Hill is reportedly developing similar technology aimed at enhancing teacher assessment and feedback.

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  • (Score: 5, Touché) by epitaxial on Monday March 11, @07:13PM (4 children)

    by epitaxial (3165) on Monday March 11, @07:13PM (#1348290)

    Almost as if teaching is a difficult career and they should be better compensated.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by darkfeline on Monday March 11, @07:36PM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Monday March 11, @07:36PM (#1348293) Homepage

    Teaching well is difficult, which is why most teachers do not meet the qualifications. High quality private schools pay a lot, but the teachers also work harder (and smarter; no point working harder if you don't produce results) and can be fired; "lay back and relax" tenure/union does not exist.

    Honestly, ChatGPT would probably do better or at least neutral compared to the average teacher.

    Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday March 11, @08:16PM

    by Freeman (732) on Monday March 11, @08:16PM (#1348301) Journal

    Very much this!

    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by anubi on Tuesday March 12, @02:11AM (1 child)

    by anubi (2828) on Tuesday March 12, @02:11AM (#1348350) Journal

    My brother taught science to Jr. High school students for years. For a long time, he considered himself successful if he could ignite a curiosity in his students to seek out how things work. It's how I was taught too.

    He was ordered to teach to standardized tests.

    The classroom became hell. For both him and his students. He knew the students would have been better off if he was just there for them. He was there to show them how stuff works. Demonstrated by fixing things. Sure, he would go onto the math of it a little...and discuss what "sciencey" words are used to describe our world.

    He would go out of his way to tailor his class to discuss things the kids brought up, even if out of sequence. A class question on dead car batteries would result in the students being shown generators, batteries, motors, use of measuring instruments. He was trying to prepare them for the real world they would encounter. Like why a bad connection at the battery would heat up, or the lights go dim on a car when starting it. He did not want Science to be boring.

    I thoroughly understood. I absolutely HATED English Literature in High School. I'd much rather fix a car. The English Teacher couldn't fix a car, so why is her taking it to a mechanic not considered cheating, but my seeking answers from others considered such?

    My brother quit teaching. He was not going to ruin a bunch of kids teaching them to hate science. If they ran PE that way, only the sports people would graduate, everyone else condemned to a life of filling out welfare forms.

    The "cancer" of craftsmanship seems to have ignited in the '70s and '80s as hordes of new graduates sporting "leadership" credentials entered the workforce, slowly but surely displacing the "manufacturing" raw engineering talent. Things became profit-centered on a quarterly timeframe. Lay off artisans. Hire more marketeers. Outsource. Arrange for others to do the work ( and acquire the experience of making the product ) on a Global scale. It's all in Cash Flow, Time to Market, and Cutting Corners.

    We used to make things for the world. Now we have become a parasite, just owning stuff and seeking rents. We seem to throw away everything our ancestors built, thinking the World owes us a comfortable lifestyle. I await our realization that it doesn't.

    I don't think people realize how important good teachers are. Just as we fail to realize how valuable any good craftsman is. We are so concerned with credentials. People who have finally found a good mechanic will know exactly what I am trying to say.

    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Reziac on Tuesday March 12, @03:14AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 12, @03:14AM (#1348361) Homepage

      I had wonderful teachers all through school. I only had one I remember as "bad" and in hindsight, he was probably just 1800s-style old-fashioned, with more of a deep passion for history than anyone can impart to 8th graders.

      But I was in school before all the nonsense of teaching to the test.

      If the test says you've learned something, but you patently do not know the subject, then the test is wrong.

      [Also, +1M Most Insightful Of The Day.]

      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.