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Combining auto-multiple-choice and Gradescope for paperless grading


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Auto-multiple-choice (AMC) is an application for generating exams with randomized elements. Instructors can give each student a unique exam, with parameters changed, options permuted, and even questions shuffled. Completed exam papers are scanned and scored using optical mark reader (OMR) software. Free-response questions can be included, scored by hand, and read with the OMR software.

Gradescope is a web service that allows digital grading of short-answer and free-response questions. Instructors prepare a PDF template and upload scanned exams. The software presents the grader with student submissions, and the grader can apply a consistent rubric with comments. Gradescope can handle multiple choice questions, but only if they are the same on each exam.

The author will detail a workflow for using both services on the same exam. It involves processing the same scans through each service, then running scripts to merge the scores on the multiple choice items (generated by AMC) with scores and comments on the free response items (collected by Gradescope).

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Combining auto-multiple-choice and Gradescope for paperless grading

  1. 1. Combining auto-multiple-choice and Gradescope for paperless grading Matthew Leingang New York University MAA Session on Technology and Apps for Teaching Mathematics and Statistics San Diego, CA January 13, 2018
  2. 2. About me • I use a mixture of fixed-response (MCQ) and free- response (FRQ) items • I like tech, hate paper, but need paper • I love two applications for grading and I want to marry them
  3. 3. auto-multiple-choice (AMC) • Desktop app (Unix, MacOS) • Open source (Gtk3, Perl, SQLite) • LaTeX driven • Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) • Exports annotated PDF which can be emailed or uploaded to LMS
  4. 4. Gradescope (GS) • Web application • Free for a limited time • PDF driven • AI trained by Instructor • Student views annotated PDF and comments on GS website gradescope
  5. 5. AMC problem types Fixed-response • options permuted by student • programmable Free-response • marked by instructor on paper or scanned PDF • no support for rubric
  6. 6. GS problem types Fixed-response • AI grouping of common responses • no permutation, programmability • More features “coming soon” Free-response • simple PDF annotation tools • develop rubric on the fly • add comments
  7. 7. The Marriage Problem • Write exam in LaTeX for AMC • grade MCQ in AMC • upload cover page and FRQ to GS • grade FRQ in GS • Then what?
  8. 8. Solutions • Three columns in LMS for each assessment: MC in AMC, FR in GS, and a total • Or: Programmatically incorporate GS scores (and comments?) into AMC and import to LMS from there
  9. 9. Progress • Command-line script to import GS scores file as AMC responses (“captures”) • Re-scoring in AMC records corresponding scores $ AMC-Import-Gradescope --qlist FR-Sch-35-9 FR-Sc
  10. 10. Developing • merging the annotated PDFs from GS and AMC • plugin to the AMC GUI
  11. 11. Complications • AMC uses an Object-relational mapping (good) which is lightly documented (bad) • No slot for GUI plugins at the capture stage
  12. 12. What now? • Might go back to the three- column solution for spring • Look at deeper injection into AMC application architecture • Welcome collaborators
  13. 13. Thank you
  14. 14. Credits Naval Surface Warriors CC-BY-SA Helen Taylor CC-BY-NC Carolina Biological Supply Co. CC-BY-NC-ND
  15. 15. Credits Johnny Silvercloud CC-BY-SA James CC-BY MarineCorps New York CC-BY
  16. 16. Thank you