The National Science Foundation has awarded $5.7 million to Michigan State University to harness computers to better evaluate the writing of students in science and engineering classes.
Michigan State says the goal is to help retain more students who are enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The East Lansing school says that a $5 million, 5-year grant will go to develop a website on which student exam answers can be analyzed. It says a 3-year, $718,000 grant will help instructors use the software.
The university says most large science, technology and math classes now rely on multiple-choice exams because computers can easily grade them. The school says the program will allow evaluation of students' written responses to homework, quiz and test questions.