I just found out about EssayTagger, a site developed by an English teacher who was looking for a way to speed up the process of grading essays. It is a web based tool that helps speed up the essay grading process. It does not auto grade. The teacher still has to grade the easy, but it offers tools to do it faster.
The teacher creates a rubric with the elements that they are looking for in each assignment, such as thesis, body paragraph, evidence, etc. and set up the quality levels (excellent, needs work, etc.).
The student submits the essay to the teacher, who then reads the essay and drags-and-drops the element such as thesis, into the paper and tag the part of the essay that fits that element. Once tagged, the quality categories you created pop up and you select the one that fits. This is the feedback to the student.
It seems like it would make grading essays faster than using pen and a paper rubric.
I'm curious to hear from English teachers on what they think about this.