Crowdmark to save teacher marking time and government dollars
Ed-tech start-up completes successful EQAO and Canadian Open Math
TORONTO, June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Crowdmark Inc., a Canadian education technology start-up, is positioned to save
cash-strapped Departments of Education millions by making massive-scale
testing more efficient. Crowdmark has raised $600,000 in seed funding
through the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) program, MaRS Innovation and U of T’s Connaught Fund, among others.
The Crowdmark assessment interface, informed by decades of teaching
experience and research by company co-founders, James Colliander
(Professor of Mathematics) and Martin MuÃ±oz (Researcher and Developer),
at the University of Toronto, streamlines the complicated and time-consuming grading workflow for
teachers. Crowdmark archives student work and all grading feedback into
individual digital portfolios that students and parents may access any
time online and via mobile devices.
Through two separate pilot projects, Crowdmark has achieved proof-of-concept as a novel and scalable
solution to the problem of assessment blockage that eats into already
limited resources in education systems worldwide. “Collectively,
teachers spend more than two billion hours per year grading student
work, by hand. Administering EQAO costs the Ontario government $33
million every year,” says Colliander, CEO. “Crowdmark cuts the time
teachers spend scoring and empowers them to spend more time actually
responding to their students. We think this is time well spent.”
In May 2013, Grade 3 and Grade 6 teachers at Toronto District School
Board’s Golf Road Junior Public School successfully used Crowdmark to score a
mock EQAO pilot exam. Teacher feedback emphasized the Crowdmark’s ease-of-use and flexible feedback tools for a range of question types. According to one participant, “There is
no comparison between Crowdmark and pen and paper assessment. I was
able to mark three times the amount of student work in less than a
third of the time it would have taken me if those tests had been in
front of me with a pen in my hand.”
That result builds on a 2012 pilot in which a team of 147 skilled markers from eight Canadian universities used Crowdmark to mark 46,424 hand-written mathematics contest problems appearing in the 2012 Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC). Markers completed their assessments in half the time compared to the
2011 red pen on paper effort. The pilot was completed in partnership
with the Canadian Mathematical Society and the COMC Partner Universities.
About Crowdmark Inc.
Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Crowdmark is a high-technology
start-up. Crowdmark builds tools that help teachers to teach and
students to learn better. Crowdmark launched in 2012 through the University of Toronto Early Stage Technology (UTEST) program. Crowdmark has received $600,000 in seed-stage investments from MaRS Innovation, the University of Toronto, the RIC Centre Venture Start and the Ontario Centres of Excellence Market Readiness. Learn more: www.crowdmark.com.
SOURCE Crowdmark Inc.