The Grade Grinder is an Internet-based grading service supporting the Language, Proof and Logic and Tarski's World packages.
The Grade Grinder offers the following important features:
- Timely, accurate and clear explanations of problems with the submitted work,
- The ability to submit work repeatedly until the exercises have been successfully completed,
- The ability to copy reports on completed work directly to an instructor by email,
- A web-based system for instructors to view grade reports for their students,
- Automated plagiarism detection between all users of the system.
Timely Feedback: The critical feature of the Grade Grinder is that it is available twenty four hours a day seven days a week, and that the system returns grade reports to the student very quickly, usually within minutes. This means that students can get an assessment of their work at any time. The feedback provided is often sufficient to enable students to circumvent obstacles and complete work at times when they have no access to a human instructor.
Repeated Submission Students may submit candidate solutions as many times as they need in order to complete their assignments. This means that they can explore their (mis-)understanding of the material to the extent that they wish in a private ``conversation'' with the Grade Grinder. This back-and-forth can help students to debug many misunderstandings and learn new material in an iterative fashion.
Automated Instructor Submission When a student is happy with their work, or when the deadline arrives, a student can specify that their grade report is to be copied to their instructor. The instructor receives the grade report by email just as the student does. This relieves the instructor of the task of collecting disks, or downloading files from a drop box, opening the files on their desktop, and verifying that each student has completed the exercises successfully. Instructors must register their classes with us in order to be able to receive grade reports from the Grade Grinder.
Web-Based Reporting In addition to receiving grade reports by email, instructors can use our web-based reporting system, accessed using any web browser, to view the submissions for any of their students. This is sometimes easier than managing the emailed grade reports.
Plagiarism Detection One of the perceived disadvantages of electronic solutions to exercises is the easy possibiliy of plagarism by sharing files. By a system based on the use of timestamps, the Grade Grinder is able to detect when files have been shared between students, and reports this as part of the grade report. Critically, the detection mechanism is not based on the content of the file, and so the Grade Grinder does not produce false positives in situations in which students submit identical solutions coincidentally, and does not produce false negatives where students have shared files, but subsequently edited the content to be superficially, or even wholly, different.
These reports are designed to be non-intrusive, so that they do not prevent the completion of shared work when instructors have policies that permit this.
Access to the Grade Grinder is available to all original owners of the Language, Proof and Logic and Tarski's World (Revised and Expanded Edition) packages. Each of those packages include a registration key which must be used each time work is submitted to the system. Registration keys are not transferable.