How Can Natural Language Processing (NLP) Help to Automate Commenting on Student’s Work?

automate commenting with NLP

In the past, computers have been known to only understand and follow highly-structured language conventions. The ability of a computer programme to understand human language would have been inconceivable. After all, human languages are diverse in nature, with differences such as accents and vocabulary meanings. But this has changed with the emergence of Natural Language Processing.

Natural Language Processing is slowly making its way into the education sphere and can even help to automate the commenting process for your child’s homework. To start, it is important to understand what NLP is before delving into the ways this technology can help in your child’s learning journey.

What is Natural Language Processing?

Natural Language Processing is the ability of a computer programme to process, decipher and respond to speech and written content. It is also commonly referred to as NLP for short. At their most basic level, tasks done by educators such as writing comments on students’ work can be easily automated. This is because the NLP-enabled programme can scan work done by your child, compare it with the stored data it has, and determine if it requires correction or not. If a correction is required, the NLP-equipped programme will be able to leave a comment beside the text in concern. Your child can expect to see comments on why it is wrong or if it could be phrased in a more appropriate way.

Although this can be easily done by a teacher, using NLP technology is much faster and often more accurate in identifying any concerns. It is worth noting that NLP can be used to complement educators as opposed to replacing them completely. This technology is but a useful tool that can be used by teachers to complete more tasks at a faster rate – all this without compromising the level of education delivered to a student.

So how can NLP affect the way your child’s work is being graded? More specifically, to what extent can this technology provide useful comments to help your child improve?

NLP help to automate commenting by identifying and commenting on spelling and grammar mistakes

When it comes to essay writing and language learning, identifying and correcting your child’s mistakes are important. However, lesser-known errors may be overlooked and not brought to attention immediately.

To ensure that your child receives accurate feedback on his work, NLP technology can be used. Any written and spoken input from your child will first be processed by an NLP-equipped programme, identifying incorrect uses of grammar and punctuations. Misspellings can also be easily recognised in real time. When that’s done, the computer programme will propose corrections and even provide an explanation of why it has been identified as an error.

Relying on NLP to check for spelling and grammar mistakes can greatly reduce the amount of time a teacher spends on marking homework and test scripts. This time could be better spent on other activities that could add value to your child’s learning experience. For example, common mistakes can be brought up more frequently during the lessons. Educators can also use the time to experiment with different teaching methods that can help your child memorise the right spelling and grammar usage, as well as how to commit it to memory.

NLP help to automate commenting by recognising and commenting on duplicate content

More often than not, children get consumed with writing comprehensive answers to open-ended questions. The result tends to be the repetition of certain key points that have already been mentioned in their answer.

If your child has a tendency to repeat himself without realising it, NLP technology can go a long way. For starters, an NLP-enabled computer programme can highlight blocks of content that seem substantively similar. Your child will also be able to see comments on why certain sentences or paragraphs are recognised as duplicate content. Not only will this be able to help him better structure his answers, NLP can also push him to develop a unique writing style of his own.

NLP help to automate commenting by suggesting better words and phrases

Languages are always changing and adapting over time. The diminishing of words and the appearance of new ones is nothing surprising. But changes in linguistics isn’t always easy to keep up with.

Instead of sticking to the same way of phrasing an idea or answer, NLP programmes can help by spotting phrases that have been used too frequently. This can be brought to light by having the programme leave a comment indicating which phrases or terms have been used too often. The programme can also leave comments suggesting alternative phrases that can be used by your child. Similarly, any improper use of a word, idiom or phrase can also be easily corrected by having the programme leave a comment on an alternative way of expression.


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