New from NPR! 電腦閱卷的時代來臨，將來寫作文要給機器看。
Computers Grade Essays Fast ... But Not Always Well
OK, we have to admit it - there are some things that computers do better than humans. But essay grading? Molly Bloom, of member station WKSU, reports on a push to use 大力提倡或推薦computer programs to teach students how to write.
MOLLY BLOOM, BYLINE: Imagine a school where every child gets instant, personalized快速且個人化的 writing help for a fraction of the cost只需要一點點 of hiring a human teacher. Computer essay graders are on the rise in Ohio and other states. Advocates提倡者 say they save money, and grade better than some humans.
Sure, computers may be cheaper and more efficient - but better graders? Les Perelman doesn't think so. He directs the writing program at MIT. Perelman recently tried out a computer essay-grading program made by education giant大咖/龍頭老大 ETS.
LES PERELMAN: Of the 12 errors錯誤 noted in one essay, 11 were incorrect. There were a few places where I intentionally刻意的 put in some comma逗號 errors, and it didn't notice them. In other words換句話說/也就是說, it doesn't work very well.
BLOOM: Perelman says any student who can read can be taught to score very high可以透過被指導的方式得到高分 on a machine-graded test. Why? Because software developers軟體設計發展公司 build the computer programs by feeding in輸入 thousands of student essays that have already been graded by humans. The programs discern辨識 which elements of essays human graders seem to like, and look for the same things.
So if human graders give essays with complex sentences high marks, the programs will tend to do so有傾向如此做/依樣畫葫蘆, too. If human graders reward big words, the programs then will – manifest展現出 a tantamount同等的 predilection喜好/偏好 for meretricious浮誇的 vocabulary.
Perelman and other critics say that makes the computer systems too easy to game太好搞定/容易拿高分. Of course, if you know the elements of an A essay and are able to combine them, you're probably already a pretty good writer.
But computers have their limits. Mark Shermis heads up the University of Akron's College of Education. Earlier this year, he co-authored與人一同研究撰述 a study of nine different essay-grading computer programs. Shermis says that on shorter writing assignments, the computer programs matched grades from real, live humans up to 85 percent of the time(to live up to是比得上的意思。這句話的意思是，電腦對於短篇且平鋪直敘的文章，批改的品質有八成五接近真人批改的實力). But on longer, more complicated responses, the technology didn't do quite as well.
MARK SHERMIS: It will not identify the next great American novelist這句話的意思是，透過這種電腦閱卷系統，無法發掘美國新銳文豪(因為長篇文章電腦無法批閱). But if what you're trying to do is communicate thoughts and ideas in a very straightforward manner, then the technology is actually a wonderful tool.
BLOOM: Not always. Let's take the Gettysburg Address美國總統林肯的蓋茨堡演講. Well, Shermis ran it through an earlier computer-grading program, one usually used to evaluate the writing abilities of college freshmen. Sad to say, Abe此為林肯總統名字的簡稱(Abraham) did not ace that test得到高分(戰勝考試 to ace sth的意思就是力克…戰勝…).
SHERMIS: On a scale of 1 to 6, one of the greatest presidents of the United States was only getting 2's and 3's. And we were, actually, very shocked.
BLOOM: A history professor told Shermis not to worry. The speech is really more famous for its circumstances林肯總統的演講之所以慷慨激昂，其實是因為演講內容呼應當時的歷史狀況 than for the words而非文字本身精彩 themselves. The promise of scoring thousands of student essays in a second or two, without hiring human graders, has caught the attention of school officials trying to cut expenses削減支出.
Jeff Pence is already sold on the idea非常買單(贊成且對於電腦閱卷樂觀其成). Pence teaches writing to seventh-graders in a Georgia middle school. With computer graders, the students get feedback評語(回饋) on every draft文稿 instantly. Pence says there's no way he and his red pen could do that. And quicker responses lead to more writing. And with that, Pence says...
JEFF PENCE: The quantity drives the quality up多練習能提升品質(多寫是進步的唯一法門). It's kind of the old bicycle thing: The best way to learn how to ride a bicycle, is to ride a bicycle. And the best way to get better at writing is to write and receive consistent, timely一致性且迅速的 feedback.
BLOOM: Pence says it would be great to have a couple of dozen口語(一些/一群) real, live, human teachers reading every student draft. It would also be nice if his district found the money to hire those extra teachers. Until then在學校有錢雇用更多老師來閱卷之前, he'll keep his computers.他願意使用電腦來閱卷
(Computerized voice) For NPR News, I'm Molly Bloom.