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The Next Step in Destroying Academic Labor


Our highly valued commenter John Protevi leads us to the latest plan to eviscerate the humanities: get undergraduates to grade papers for free!

Koller, an artificial intelligence specialist who has taught computer science at Stanford since getting her Ph.D. there at age 25, said that the challenge of assessing student work in humanities-oriented MOOCs could be addressed through a system of “calibrated peer review.” Human readers, plucked from the ranks of the course registrants, could read short essays written by their peers and rate them according to a rubric developed by the professor. A critical mass of deputized students should be able to evaluate an essay “at least as [well] as a pretty good [teaching assistant],” Koller said in an interview.

I think I’ve written about Koller before though I can’t find any references to it, but I love the idea of a university professor spending her career dedicated to helping universities not hire academic labor. It must be very rewarding. And hey, get rid of all the TAs and we can hire another administrator for 125,000 a year!

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