Gradescope: a fast, flexible, and fair system for scalable assessment of handwritten work

Gradescope: a fast, flexible, and fair system for scalable assessment of handwritten work

Arjun Singh, Sergey Karayev, Kevin Gutowski, and Pieter Abbeel

We present a system for online assessment of handwritten homework assignments and exams. First, either instructors or students scan and upload handwritten work. Instructors then grade the work and distribute the results using a web-based platform. Our system optimizes for three key dimensions: speed, consistency, and flexibility. The primary innovation enabling improvements in all three dimensions is a dynamically evolving rubric for each question on an assessment. We also describe how the system minimizes the overhead incurred in the digitization process. Our system has been in use for four years, with instructors at 200 institutions having graded over 10 million pages of student work. We present results as user-reported data and feedback regarding time saved grading, enjoyment, and student experience. Two thirds of responders report saving 30% or more time relative to their traditional workflow. We also find that the time spent grading an individual response to a question rapidly decays with the number of responses to that question that the grader has already graded.