Grading Essays With a Computer

Teachers leave grading up to the computer | CNET
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.

How can a cold, mechanical computer comprehend the art and nuance of writing? The program is actually quite sophisticated, Brent said. It’s not enough to just throw keywords into an essay willy-nilly. The program analyzes sentence and paragraph structure and can ascertain the flow of arguments and ideas. It gives each work a numeric score based on the weight instructors place on various elements of the assignment.

I wonder if this would choke on a law school final?