Does AI grade fairly?

MacBook Pro near white open book

PROOF POINTS: Writing researcher finds AI feedback ‘better than I thought’

But it’s unclear if it will help improve writing, or if students will lean on it too much

This week I challenged my editor to face off against a machine. Barbara Kantrowitz gamely accepted, under one condition: “You have to file early.”  Ever since ChatGPT arrived in 2022, many journalists have made a public stunt out of asking the new generation of artificial intelligence to write their stories. Those AI stories were often bland and sprinkled with errors. I wanted to understand how well ChatGPT handled a different aspect of writing: giving feedback.

My curiosity was piqued by a new study, published in the June 2024 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Learning and Instruction, that evaluated the quality of ChatGPT’s feedback on students’ writing. A team of researchers compared AI with human feedback on 200 history essays written by students in grades 6 through 12 and they determined that human feedback was generally a bit better. Humans had a particular advantage in advising students on something to work on that would be appropriate for where they are in their development as a writer. 

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