Crowdsourcing Grading for MOOCs

Source: NYTimes, Nov 2012

these massive open online courses, or MOOCs, harness the power of their huge enrollments to teach in new ways, applying crowd-sourcing technology to discussion forums and grading and enabling professors to use online lectures and reserve on-campus class time for interaction with students. The spread of MOOCs is likely to have wide fallout. Lower-tier colleges, already facing resistance over high tuition, may have trouble convincing students that their courses are worth the price.

… while there is a belief that students learn from assessing their classmates’ work, no one knows how well the process works. The concept is simple: each student must score the work of five classmates to get their own score, the average of what their peers gave them. But the reality is trickier. What if students do not take scoring seriously? What if the rubric is unclear? Do peer assessments match the scores the professor would have given?

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