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EssayTagger is a web-based tool to help teachers grade essays faster.
But it is not an auto-grader.

This blog will cover EssayTagger's latest feature updates as well as musings on
education, policy, innovation, and preserving teachers' sanity.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Check out grmr.me and stop endlessly re-teaching grammar!

EssayTagger is all about helping teachers give efficient, targeted feedback to their students. However, the feedback you give and the remediation methods you employ are still all up to you.

So I was thrilled to discover grmr.me via a blog post by Mark Isero.

Grmr.me is a series of well-crafted, targeted lessons by tech-savvy English teacher Kevin Brookhouser that address the most common grammar errors students make--comma splices, pronoun disagreement, there/their/they're, etc.

So rather than re-teaching each of these aggravating grammar issues, just direct students to Kevin's lessons and mini-quizzes. This is essentially a stripped-down version of Khan Academy for grammar remediation.

Using grmr.me
Each lesson has a super-short URL to make it easy to reference when needed.

If there's an issue with, say, passive voice, just write grmr.me/psv in the margin and the student can type that into a browser address bar and immediately watch a remediation lesson on passive voice.

Very cool.
Check out grmr.me's intro video:

I'd recommend an even faster shorthand: just list the URL starting from the slash.

grmr.me/psv becomes: /psv

It's pretty easy to train students that comments with leading slashes imply grmr.me links.

Kevin has also produced a handy cheatsheet of each super-short URL to refer to as you grade.

The videos that I've seen thus far are pretty entertaining and even embed an interactive component where students test their mastery and are advanced to an appropriate follow-up video based on their response. There's also a basic quiz and a kinda-sorta badge reward system (there are no student accounts so each badge disappears after you navigate away; full badge systems store each badge and showcase the student's growing collection).

Grmr.me and EssayTagger
There is no formal integration between grmr.me and EssayTagger, but you could easily start using Kevin's grmr.me link notation in the comments field of our new error marking feature:

If there are enough requests, I could have the system look specifically for "grmr.me" links (I might even support my shortened "/psv" method) and produce an actual clickable link for the student in their graded output.

I set my priority list based on teacher feedback so if you want this to happen, you gotta let me know!

In the meantime, start using grmr.me and tweet Kevin some love!