2016: Writing Analytics to Improve Formative Feedback

Presenters: Simon Buckingham Shum, Simon Knight, Andrew Gibson, Philippa Ryan and Adam Aitken (University of Technology Sydney).

The education sector should be interested in the potential of “the data revolution” since it promises better feedback loops within complex systems. In the field known as Learning Analytics, there is significant effort being invested in the potential of new forms of digital data for improving learning, teaching and research.  For educators, critical questions turn on issues such as what data is being logged, for whom, for what purpose, and how this relates to sound pedagogy, learning design and assessment regimes. Student writing is one type of educational data of particular interest to the Connected Intelligence Centre (CIC) at the University of Technology of Sydney (UTS). For a computer, writing is unstructured, messy, and difficult to analyse precisely because it is such a rich expressive medium. Although a computer does not read text like a person, Natural Language Processing can detect linguistic patterns that serve as proxies for the cognitive processes of the student. Since analysis is almost instantaneous, this offers the promise of  personalised, formative assessment at a scale and speed that is otherwise impractical. As the product space fills up with automated writing tools, a key question for educators is how does one design writing analytics informed by the scholarship underpinning the teaching and learning of writing, and co-designed with literacy and academic subject matter experts? In this webinar we introduce these issues and describe the rationale, design and evaluation of writing analytics tools under development at CIC, as we pilot them with academics and their students engaged in analytical and reflective writing.

Webinar participants may like to familiarise themselves with some of the issues around computational assessment of writing by visiting this LAK16 Writing Analytics Workshop

To register for this session please login (or create an account) then click the 'register now' button.

Sessions are hosted by Professor Geoffrey Crisp, PVC Education, University New South Wales and Dr Mathew Hillier, Monash University Office of Learning and Teaching, Monash University, Australia.

Please note all sessions are recorded and made public after the event.

Presenter BIOs

Andrew Gibson is a Research Fellow in Writing Analytics at the Connected Intelligence Centre. His research focuses on reflective writing analytics for psychosocial meaning, and he has written software that utilise a range of natural language processing and machine learning techniques for this purpose. With an additional interest in transdisciplinarity, he works across both educational and computational domains.

Adam Aitken is a Research Fellow in Writing Analytics at the Connected Intelligence Centre. A published poet and non-fiction writer, he has worked in teaching creative writing and cultural studies, as well as and in English language support roles in Business, Design History, and Science. His current focus is how writing analytics can assist the teaching of academic language and literacy.

Simon Buckingham Shum is Professor of Learning Informatics at the University of Technology Sydney, where he directs the Connected Intelligence Centre. His research focuses on learning analytics for higher order competencies such as academic writing, collaboration and learning dispositions.

Simon Knight is a Research Fellow in Writing Analytics at the Connected Intelligence Centre, University of Technology Sydney. His research focuses on the relationship of analytics to epistemology, pedagogy and assessment, discourse analytics, and epistemic cognition, particularly around information seeking.

Philippa Ryan is a Barrister, and Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney, bringing expertise in commercial equity, in particular the liability of third parties to a breach of trust. She has a keen interest in improving the learning experience of Law students, particularly the quality of their writing, and has been piloting a writing analytics tool.

2 November 2016 07:00 AM   through   08:00 AM Coordinated Universal Time (UTC / GMT) : See your equivalent local time

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