Crowdmark, a graduate of the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) program’s first cohort, was the focus of a February 17 article by Ivor Tossell, The Globe and Mail‘s technology culture columnist.
Created by U of T professor James Colliander, Crowdmark allows educators to quickly and efficiently grade large amounts of tests and exams. Tossell highlighted Crowdmark’s innovation and ease-of-use for the grader. The product is cloud-based, meaning that a team of educators marking the same group of exams don’t have to be in the same room at the same time. Instead, grading can be done remotely.
Tossell spoke with Colliander and Lyssa Neel, Crowdmark’s chief operating officer and a former MI project manager. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
James Colliander, a professor at the University of Toronto, found himself staring at about 5,000 pages of papers from a national math exam. Traditionally, a cadre of markers would sit around a large table for marathon grading sessions, assembly line style, each one tackling the answer to one question before passing it on to the next marker.
Mr. Colliander hacked together an expedient: He scanned the pages into a software framework and distributed them to markers digitally. He was essentially able to parallelize the marking process.
“The markers didn’t all have to be in the same place, so they could move much faster,” says Lyssa Neel, COO of Crowdmark, the company that, with Mr. Colliander as CEO, has brought the idea to market.
Crowdmark is an online service that takes the idea of distributed marking and scales it to an institutional level.