Here at The Idea Works offices the SAGrader development team has been hard at work ensuring that SAGrader is the best program available for improving student writing. While we are constantly making improvements to our software, two recent items deserve considerable mention.
Our Context engine
As part of our grading engine, SAGrader examines the context in which students use terms and concepts to determine whether the student understands the concept correctly. For example SAGrader can tell the difference between the two “Fords” in the following sentences.
“Ford did a great job when taking over for Nixon as President.”
“By mass-producing cars, Ford really helped the American people.”
SAGrader has always used this context engine, but we’ve recently made some improvements that make it able to handle more subtle situations that arise in the English language. These improvements increase grading accuracy overall.
Metrics in Short Answer Assignments
We’ve turned on the ability to add metric scoring and feedback (things like word count, spelling and grammar) to short answer assignments. Previously these features were only available on essay assignments. This flexibility provides even more constructive feedback to our students, and allows instructors to better structure assignments the way they want them.
Stay tuned for upcoming changes to our feedback as we work to improve its effectiveness.
Picture courtesy ralphbijker via Flickr.com