Friday, April 08, 2005

Sociology: The science of the future!

CNET (article)

Ed Brent, professor of sociology at the Columbia, Mo., university, spent six years developing the program, which is called Qualrus, and has been testing it on his pupils for the past two. It works by scanning text for keywords, phrases and language patterns. Students load papers directly into the system via the Web and get nearly instant feedback.
The computer-generated scores count for about a third to a quarter of students' final grade for Brent's class. Students have challenged the scores, but if they don't use the right lingo in their papers, they're out of luck. "In sociology, we want them to learn the terms," Brent said.

thinking outside the box: no credit.
thinking inside the box: full credit.


Big Red Lance said...

Well put!! I mean, that's a great message to send to your students: "Substance doesn't matter; just SOUND like you know what you're talking about, and that is all you'll ever be judged by."

Great!! Another great "value" learned in college.

Aaron Brown said...

Ugh. I'm kinda glad nobody has thought of this at K-State, yet. Good thing I'll be done soon and not have instant feedback on my papers I write.

That is just wrong on principle. You know why? Because there is no right or wrong answer on a paper, so a human being or a proffessor needs to read over it, using, get this, Critical Judgement, etc.

Plus you can't get a paper back right away either. Math problems, yes b/c there's usually only 1 right answer and many wrong ones. (Unless we're dealing w/Dif Eq where there are an infinite number of right answers, as well as an infinite amt of wrong answers. Since your answer is a formula and you have variable possibilities for the co-efficents in the formula.

Papers are supposed to take like 2-3 weeks to get back, right?

Ok I done...