Maybe you’ve seen the new generation of automated essay grading software, as discussed in The New York Times.
These computerized essay scoring programs are plagued with problems, but I am intrigued by the idea of using grading software as a peer-editing option. Perhaps the computer’s algorithms could help identify glaring weak spots in an essay, giving the student a chance to revise (or to decide the computer is completely wrong) before final draft submission.
Could a robot provide more valuable feedback to students than I do? No way. Could a robot be a helpful peer editor? Maybe. Since I plan on teaching for another 20 years or so, I guess I’ll be around to see these questions get answered.