Xerox has announced that they are putting the finishing touches on a piece of software called Ignite. Ignite would transform certian multi-function machines to act as automatic grading machines.
This software would allow teachers to feed tests with handwritten answers into the machine and get back grades. Ignite also keeps track of what students do poorly and on which questions, which allows the teacher to see what concepts are more difficult to grasp.
Prior to Ignite, in order to get this kind of data, a student would have to fill in a bubble, completely, on a Scantron. Soon, it will be possible to have more specific, handwritten answers.
The way it works is that a teacher will feed in the test and answer key. From there they let Ignite know what concept each question covers. Using this information it can decipher student’s answers and decide if they are correct.