There’s a lot of banter going on right now about man vs machine essay topics new study that suggests automated essay graders can be as effective as humans. Ben Herold explores how technology is shaping teaching and learning and the management of schools. Join the discussion as he analyzes the latest developments.
Thursday, prompting a rapid string of comments from readers who, it’s fair to say, are quite invested—positively or negatively—in the concept. He plans follow-up pieces on how automated grading would reshape assessment and reshape teaching. Anything that proposes humans could be replaced by machines is bound to draw attention, and transform from a technology issue to a labor issue. But it’s less clear what the real impact would be. Would it merely encourage students to write more directly, and with a greater focus on organization, for the sake of a computer evaluator that prioritizes essay structure, or would some students abuse the system and be able to write work that is rigidly organized and grammatically flawless, but makes no actual sense? Perhaps someone should write a five-paragraph essay explaining it. Or, you know, a news story.
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Get more stories and free e-newsletters! You will use this to sign in. Must be at least 6 characters long. Your primary connection to education. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Essays have traditionally been sub-classified as formal and informal. The concept of an “essay” has been extended to other mediums beyond writing.
An essay has been defined in a variety of ways. One definition is a “prose composition with a focused subject of discussion” or a “long, systematic discourse”. It is difficult to define the genre into which essays fall. He notes that “the essay is a literary device for saying almost everything about almost anything”, and adds that “by tradition, almost by definition, the essay is a short piece”. Furthermore, Huxley argues that “essays belong to a literary species whose extreme variability can be studied most effectively within a three-poled frame of reference”. The personal and the autobiographical: The essayists that feel most comfortable in this pole “write fragments of reflective autobiography and look at the world through the keyhole of anecdote and description”. The objective, the factual, and the concrete particular: The essayists that write from this pole “do not speak directly of themselves, but turn their attention outward to some literary or scientific or political theme.