Scantrons are a bit out of date, but numerous schools are still using them to grade multiple choice tests. However, a new technology is in the works at Xerox that will essentially turn photocopiers into paper-grading machines that can even recognize handwriting to distinguish both math formulas, as well as long-form essays.
The system is called Ignite, and it would allow teachers to send pages of printed tests with handwritten answers into these new machines, where it would then spit out the graded versions on the other side. On top of that, the machines can be programmed to keep track of which students do poorly on which questions, and relay these findings back to the teacher.
With this new technology, Xerox hopes to obviously save time for teachers and allow them to focus more on other tasks that machines simply aren't able to accomplish. Ignite needs some user input first before it can get going with its automated process, however. Teachers have to enter in the test and an answer key, as well as tell the software what the questions are about in the first place.
The new technology has already been involved in real-world testing in New York, and it seems users are impressed so far with the results. Xerox plans to have Ignite ready in time for when school starts back up later this year in the fall. No pricing details have been announced yet.
[via Democrat and Chronicle]