They can reduce the cost of grading, and they also eliminate the inconsistencies that are found amongst human graders when marking the same essay.
The next development in essay processing technology is automated essay writing.
"But we want to do the fun stuff, the challenging stuff.
And the computer can do the tedious but necessary stuff."Developed with National Science Foundation funding, SAGrader is so far used only in Brent's classroom.
Essay writing can be used to assess this deeper learning, which includes a student’s ability to synthesize his/her thoughts, and argue for propositions.
Automated essay grading systems are now starting to be used in the educational sector with some success.
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Educational Testing Service sells Criterion, which includes the "e-Rater" used to score GMAT essays.
Vantage Learning has Intelli Metric, Maplesoft sells Maple T.