Grading in the future?

As partial exams just passed at my work (, the job of carefully entering grades takes a lot of time. A common workflow is

  1. Correct grades on paper
  2. Input grades in a spreadsheet with partial grades
  3. Double-check grades on paper with grades in spreadsheet
  4. Merge partial grades in a new spreadsheet with global grades
  5. Input grades in school system

As I was working I was thinking about how nice it would be if I could just speak to my computer and the grades would be filled in automatically.

So I started looking at the possibilities of OSX to transform speech to text, and hooray! There is a class (NSSpeechRecognizer) which makes this possible. That was all I needed to know to create ‘DictaPoint’. A OSX app which has the option to load a csv file with students and then grade them by just talking to my computer. Just to be clear: this is a prototype project and is NOT being used to grade students, but I think it’s a nice and innovative new way of entering grades (and I could play around within the world of  mac development ;-), something I hadn’t done before).  It’s actually quite easy to go from IOS development to Mac development. I think I had everything up’n’ running in under 3 hours.

NSSpeechRecognizer is a really easy class to use. You provide an array with all the commands it has to recognize and then you just listen to it’s delegate.

[self.speech setCommands:@[@"One",@"Two",@"Three",@"Four",@"Five",@"Six", @"Seven",@"Eight",@"Nine",@"Ten",@"Eleven",@"Twelve",@"Thirteen",@"Fourteen",@"Fifteen",@"Sixteen",@"Seventeen",@"Eighteen",@"Nineteen",@"Twenty", @"Next", @"Previous", @"Export"]];

When the delegate speechRecognizer:didRecognizeCommand gets triggered, you can check with an if-statement which command has been found and the execute appropriate code.

- (void)speechRecognizer:(NSSpeechRecognizer *)sender didRecognizeCommand:(id)command {
    NSLog(@"Detected speech %@", command);

    NSString *c = (NSString *)command;

    if( [c isEqualToString:@"Next"] ){
       // do stuff

    // ...

And that’s quite it … Below a little screencap of the working app.


The code

I’ve put the source code of this project on GitHub, so you check it out for yourself.

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