Discern allows anyone to use machine-learning based automated classification.

View the Project on GitHub edx/discern


edX Discern allows anyone to use machine-learning based automated classification. This automated classification can work on both free text (essays, content, etc), and on numeric values.

The software uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers, freeing professors for other tasks. The instant-grading software will be a useful pedagogical tool, enabling students to take tests and write essays over and over and improve the quality of their answers.

With increasingly large class sizes, it is impossible for most teachers to give students meaningful feedback on writing assignments. This technology will offer distinct advantages over the traditional classroom system, where students often wait days or weeks for grades.

Getting started

This command is used to clone the code repo:

$ git clone git://github.com/edx/discern.git

After cloning the repo, please refer to the documentation below for full install directions.


All the docs can be found on the Readthedocs site.

IRC channel

Join the conversation in the #edx-discern channel on irc.freenode.net. You can connect using the webchat if you don't have an IRC client installed.

Mailing list

Subscribe to the edX discern mailing list to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and participate in the discussion.

Test coverage

Build Status Stable Branch

Build Status Development Branch

The tests are run automatically using TravisCI. You can run them manually with:

$ python manage.py test --settings=discern.test_settings

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