Yonge Street Media: Crowdmark, moderated marking and helping teachers grade better

Crowdmark Logo: Grade BetterYonge Street Media, a weekly online magazine that covers talent, innovation, diversity and quality of life stories in the Toronto region, covered Crowdmark‘s efforts to disrupt the way teachers grade and interact with students in their Innovation section on Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

Crowdmark graduated from the UTEST program earlier this spring. Last week, the company announced it has raised $600,000 in seed funding and completed two successful proof-of-concept pilot projects. Its co-founders are from the University of Toronto.

Here’s an excerpt from Hamutal Dotan‘s article (emphasis ours):

It is the bane of every teacher’s existence: grading. Though essential, it’s also repetitive and time-consuming. It is also increasingly prone to concerns about inequity: from grade inflation to inconsistent standards across different classrooms, sometimes parents, students, and even teachers themselves have a hard time deciding just what the grades they have assigned actually mean.

Aiming to help with both those problems is Toronto startup Crowdmark. Founded by two University of Toronto mathematics experts–the department’s associate chair, James Colliander, and graduate student Martin Muñoz–Crowdmark provides teachers with a suite of tools to facilitate faster grading, and enables teachers to handle large volumes of grading collaboratively.

. . .

“Teachers are very excited right now about an idea called moderated marking,” says Colliander, which is essentially an attempt to strip teacher biases, grade inflation, and other variations out of the grading process, so there is consensus on what, say, an “A” means in any particular set of circumstances. “The shuffling of paper prevents many teachers from engaging in this kind of assessment.”

. . .

Started with $200,000 in seed funding from the University of Toronto, Crowdmark has recently seen that boosted to $600,000–some from the university, and some from MaRS Innovation. Crowdmark also recently completed two pilot projects working with teachers in grades 3 and 6. The company is currently meeting with venture capitalists and putting together a Series A round of funding. They plan to launch publicly in time for the 2013/2014 academic year.

Read the full article on Yonge Street Media.

Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, marketing and communications manager.