In the United States, some teachers are using AI to grade their students

In the United States, some teachers are using AI to grade their students

New tools based on AI and ChatGPT are increasingly used in the United States by teachers to correct their students’ papers. While this clearly saves them time, it also raises ethical questions.

They are called Writable, Crowdmark, EssayGrader or Gradescope. These tools based on artificial intelligence are alternatives to ChatGPT which are used to support teachers in grading their students’ papers. In the United States, this practice is becoming more and more widespread, according to Axios. It mainly concerns writing assignments and not only those submitted by middle or high school students – whose use of ChatGPT to do their work is often criticized. Primary school teachers, from the equivalent of CE2, would also use these tools.

Help for corrections

For this to work, students are asked to return their copies by email to their teacher who submits them to these generative AI programs. The online tool can then analyze the work done and even provide some comments to teachers who nevertheless keep control of the copy. They can of course add their own observations before handing in their homework to their students.

The use of these programs raises some questions in the United States, even if 45% of parents agree with the idea that AI be used to “evaluate students’ academic performance”, according to a National Survey. Coalition for Public School Options cited by Axios. As for teachers, who already use AI to help them in their work – in particular in developing their courses – these tools are supposed to save them time which they can devote to imagining more creative courses. But will they really benefit students? How can we be sure that they do not suffer from the participation of AI in their rating. “Conscientious teachers will likely use ChatGPT’s suggestions as a starting point, but others will pass them on verbatim to their students,” Axios points out.

Proof that this is indeed a strong trend (at least in the United States), the Writable AI has just been acquired by the famous textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Other publishers, starting with McGraw-Hill Education, are also working on the same type of tools.