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HU professor, alum collaborate to create iPhone and iPad app

Dr. Del Doughty, Huntington University, a Christian college
Dr. Del Doughty
Andrew Martin, Huntington University, a Christian college
Andrew Martin

HUNTINGTON, Ind. Grading essays and writing assignments just became much easier thanks to the efforts of a Huntington University professor and 2011 graduate.

Apple released the new application on March 5 for iPhones and iPads called HighMarks. The application diminishes the time spent grading papers for teachers up to 50 percent.

Dr. Del Doughty, professor of English, and 2011 animation alum Andrew Martin worked in conjunction to develop and create this concept. Doughty worked as the project lead, and Martin worked as the development consultant.

"For most teachers, the toughest part about the job is grading papers," Doughty said. "It's especially tedious when one has to keep making the same comments. That led me to wonder, in what ways, can I rethink the grading process to eliminate the repetitive, tedious parts? If we could find a way to do that, then there would be more time for things that would be more enriching to teachers as well as students."

Doughty didn't own an iPad at the time, but had been playing around with a rental from the university's library to see how the device worked. After studying the Apple product, Doughty quickly began brainstorming ideas to design a new application meant to make the grading process easier.

The HighMarks application allows users to incorporate touch-screen and voice command technology into the grading process of essays. A student sends his or her writing assignment to the teacher's e-mail. The teacher then pastes the assignment into the HighMarks application on their iPhone or iPad. The teacher may leave comments and use grammatical correction options when using the application. A teacher also may assign a letter grade to the assignment.

Doughty soon realized, though, that he needed a developer to design the actual application, and he quickly thought of Martin. Martin had just finished developing the application, "Mafia Card-Generator," a popular video game.

"I do have to mention that without Dr. Doughty's expert advice on how the app functions, it would not be nearly the app that it is today," Martin said. "I foresee his direct involvement in the industry we are seeking to impact being a great opportunity for getting the app noticed. Dr. Doughty's involvement in the educational system may lead to interesting publicity opportunities at events such as conferences and seminars."

The application costs $1.99, and may be purchased through the iTunes Store.

"I've been delighted by the app," Doughty said. "Andrew didn't just carry out instructions; he actually came up with a lot of good ideas and suggestions along the away. So in the end, the app is better than I'd ever imagined."