• Nirmal Patel

Automated Worksheet Evaluation: The New Future

Classroom teachers spend hours every week correcting student worksheets. If you search on Google how much time teachers spend grading every week, you will get surprising answers!

A survey by Scholastic that was done several years ago revealed that teachers may be spending around 95 minutes at home every day (!) to do grading, preparing classroom activities, and doing other job-related tasks. Grading student work is repetitive, tedious, and really eats up the cognitive battery of the teachers.

AI technology of today, especially Computer Vision, has tremendous potential to reduce the evaluation workload of teachers. Neural network technology has is enabling us to do handwriting recognition like never before, and this opens up new possibilities to do an automated evaluation of the handwritten student work. We can look at photographs of the student work on paper, detect all the things students have written, and try to evaluate them for the teacher.

Handwriting detection technology is not perfect, but for many tasks such as digit recognition, machine learning models have achieved well over 90% accuracy. Some companies that specialize in math handwriting recognition are providing cloud APIs to do recognition of complex math equations and even chemistry symbols. We can use these technologies to create systems that reduce the time it takes teachers to go through all of the student work and give feedback.

Our SmartPaper technology allows teachers to offload simple evaluation tasks to AI. For example, teachers should not have to check math fluency worksheets manually. Digits can be easily recognized by neural networks, so let us leave it to them! Yes, when the AI is not so confident, teachers have to step in. But when AI can do it for the teacher with sufficient confidence, teachers can simply fly through do some spot checks to make sure that AI is doing its job well.

By creating better AI-based evaluation systems, we can give teachers more time to teach and relax. AI can be used to augment human capacity. Technology can give people superpowers so that they can do their job more easily, efficiently, and effectively.

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