A team of researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) at Massachusetts is now developing an artificial intelligence solution named ASSISTments for providing homework feedback for students.
The platform will help teachers to automate the process of sending individual feedback to every student. The researchers have used neural networks that can analyze vast amounts of data to develop this platform over the past three years.
ASSISTments currently can provide feedback for written mathematical assignments that can be created using its website for free. According to the officials, the platform is being used by more than 500,000 students and 20,000 teachers in over 20 countries across the world.
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The unique platform is capable of displaying relevant comments to the teachers that they can leave for the students while assessing their assignments. Natural language processing and machine learning are the key technologies used by the researchers for developing this new feature named ‘dubbed Quick Comments.’
Neil Heffernan, the lead researcher of the project, said, “We built ASSISTments more than fifteen years ago as a simple platform to help teachers deliver feedback to their students, and are so proud of its recent growth into new classrooms across the country.”
He further added that the feature focuses on written-answer mathematics problems as it is not just about correcting the answer but to suggest comments in an informed manner after a thorough analysis of the assignment.
The research recently received a grant of $8 million from the United States Department of Education, Innovation, and Research. With the new funds, Heffernan firmly believes that they would be able to continue their research works and add new enhanced features to the ASSISTments platform in the future.
“We’re not good at all types of responses, but we’re very good at when the child gives an answer that’s very good or really poor,” said Heffernan.