On the Automated Assessment of Short Free-Text Responses

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On the Automated Assessment of Short Free-Text Responses

Systems for automating the assessment of textual answers have been available commercially since the mid 1990’,s and some progress has been made in their application to assessing short, factual answers to purpose-written questions. However, progress in the field is hindered by a lack of qualitative information regarding the effectiveness of suchsystems, with little (if any) performance statistics derived from the same data sets. We evaluate two currently available systems to identify their capabilities and limitations, andto highlight areas in which future related research may be usefully directed.In addition to our analysis of two existing systems, we propose that a common repository of standardised data sets be created and made available to researchers and system developers, possibly via some overseeing authority, in order that progress in the field can be quantified and analysed.

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