Saturday, January 16, 2010

Churchill’s speeches fail exam

News from England, late 2009:

Churchill’s speeches, Hemingway’s style and Golding’s prose would not have been appreciated by a new computerised marking system used to assess A level English.

The system, which is a proposed way of marking exam papers online, found that Churchill’s rousing call to "fight them on the beaches" was too repetitive, with the text using the word “upon” and “our” too frequently. . . .

Online marking of papers is being tested by exam boards and could be introduced within the next few years. It is already in use in America, where some children have learnt to write in a style which the computer appreciates, known as “schmoozing the computer.”

Churchill’s speeches fail exam (Telegraph)
Schmoozing the teacher, sure, but I’ve not heard of schmoozing the computer. A Google search points again and again to this Telegraph article. I’d like to know what’s involved in computer-schmoozing.

Related posts, on the SAT essay test
The SAT is broken
Words, words, words

comments: 2

Bardiac said...

I imagine the same sort of programs would find Bach too repetitive. Gah!

What would they make of "I have a dream"?

JuliaR said...

Gag me with a spoon!

Ha! The word verification "word" was "awfula"!