College professors love true/false exams and multiple choice exams. These can be graded by a machine. It saves so much time for overworked professors who teach 9 hours a week in the top universities. (Actually, they teach 8.5 hours: ten minutes in each class are for getting to the next class.)
Now, this intolerable teaching load is about to be reduced. Harvard and MIT have released a free computer program that grades essay exams. With these two major institutions baptizing this software, essay exams will come back . . . just not essays read by humans.
Essay exams fell out of favor a generation ago at the lower division level: the first two years. But upper division and grad school still had essay exams. This new software will lead to essay exams in lower division.
This will benefit online education. Students will not have to go into a classroom to take an exam.
As more schools adopt this, the classes will get huge. A professor will teach 10,000 students. He will not show up in a classroom.
But what happens to all the professors he replaces. They will find some other line of employment.
The overpriced private colleges will go under first. Then the big third-tier state universities will fall.
The shakeout is coming. The cost of college education will fall. The value of a B.A. degree will fall.
Today, if you know how to beat the system, you can earn an accredited B.A. degree at home for under $15,000, total. Why pay more?
With computer-graded essay exams, the collapse of the college cartel is assured.