Outsourced Grading of College Papers

Corporations have taken advantage of outsourcing for decades; the process lowers costs and often allows services to be provided which could not be otherwise accommodated. Now some university faculty believe the same principle can be applied to the task of grading papers written by undergraduates.
The graders working for EduMetry, based in a Virginia suburb of Washington, are concentrated in India, Singapore, and Malaysia, along with some in the United States and elsewhere. They do their work online and communicate with professors via e-mail. The company advertises that its graders hold advanced degrees and can quickly turn around assignments with sophisticated commentary, because they are not juggling their own course work, too...

The assessors use technology that allows them to embed comments in each document; professors can review the results (and edit them if they choose) before passing assignments back to students. In addition, professors receive a summary of comments from each assignment, designed to show common "trouble spots" among students' answers, among other things.

Critics decry the lack of personal relationship between teacher and student, but defenders of the process counter that grading in the past has often been done by teaching assistants, and the use of "virtual TAs" in the Indian subcontinent is not fundamentally different.  The process is not inexpensive; one example cited at the link indicates a cost of $12 per assignment per student.

The responses of students and the reactions of faculty at various universities, graduate schools, and community colleges is discussed in the excellent article at The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Not discussed at the link is to what extent the papers being outsourced for grading were outsourced by the students to be written by someone else...

Link.  Bobblehead image via the Neatoshop.

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@Gerry: Thanks for the correction.

I expect it's just source amnesia, though. The professor in question often made pop culture references in class, and was good about attribution. I probably just missed part of the story.
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When there is an easier path, and there are no repercussions for taking the easier path, it is very difficult to prevent people from taking the easier path.

It's why democratic societies eventually fail.
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Wow, another reason why the U.S. is going down the tubes at an alarming rate. Let us, people of the U.S. of Idiots, further the advancement of lower countries and cripple ours in turn. It is my belief that the U.S. is on its path to absolute destruction via its own hand. The decline of the Western civilization is about in full progress.
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Just wanted to point out that many professors (particularly those with tenure) are also paid to do research and publish papers. Teaching may be a distant second or third in their job duties.

This still sounds like a bad, idea. Also, I can't imagine how this is a better deal (financially and ethically) than getting TAs to do it. It's not like grad students are all that expensive, either.
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You can't tell me in today's economy that you can't find qualified Americans to grade papers. That being said, if a teacher/professor can't grade the papers they assign, for whatever reason, should they be teaching in the first place? Pure and simple, it's part of their job. They get paid to teach and part of that job is to actually read and understand their student's papers so as to better understand their students. If you can't do what you were hired to do then maybe you should get another job.
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