It was Wednesday, the 21st of May 2019, when I got into my office, leaving behind one of these rare and beautiful sunny days in Glasgow. The instant I entered my office I was shocked by a pile, almost as tall as me, of student answer sheets packed in large plastic containers and stacked on one another. Yes, you are right! I needed to mark them all. At the time I was hired as a teaching assistant and it wasn’t a new job for me to mark students’ coursework. However, this time the challenge rose to the point that I have never seen before. Pile of the same assessments, two weeks to finish, no one to help me. The perspective of this repetitive task of marking the same essays dampened my spirit. Moreover, I knew that as soon as I finish marking… I will need to address student complaints, inquiries, and objections and keep on remarking. I knew that there needed to be a better way, a better way to ensure honest and substantial feedback for students while eliminating all the repetitive tasks of grading which could save lecturers’ time.
Given my extensive background in computer science, I started to think of a way to automate the process of marking. I began by incorporating powerful tools like augmented intelligence and soon after built my first deep machine learning model that was able to understand students’ answers. That was the first step toward my vision of a complete assessment system that generates exam questions, examines students, and marks their answers. At this moment, Awardee was born.
After repeatedly testing the system and perfecting its algorithms I was relieved to see that I could pass the repetitive tasks to the machine while focusing on the creative part of marking. From the beginning, I felt that this was the essence of good feedback that I wanted to provide for my students. During my journey of developing the first version of Awardee, I understood how important feedback is for the entire process of teaching. Marking and feedback should never be viewed as a side task or tiresome obligation of teaching.
Now my mission is to provide academic staff all over the UK with a tool that can save them time while increasing the quality of their marking and thus the quality of the feedback that is given to their students. I want to set academic staff free from repetitive tasks that nowadays can be done with deep learning models and Artificial Intelligence.
Don’t take my word for that. Check it yourself and incorporate Awardee to your marking scheme today!