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Designing and Testing Visual
Representations of Draft Essays for
Higher Education Students
Denise Whitelock 
, Debora Fie...
Learning Analytics and Student Feedback
• Assessment drives
learning (Rowntree,
1987)
• Communicating
assessment in a
mean...
SAFeSEA
Professor Denise Whitelock
Professor John Richardson
Professor Stephen Pulman
An automated
tool
supporting
online ...
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
Grand Challenge representing analysis that
can be readily understood
Feedback to prompt Self Reflection
• Analysis must prompt
“Advice for Action”
• Self reflective discourse
with computer fe...
Don’t forget the Human Reaction
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
www.storiesabout.com
www.storiesabout.com/cr
eativepdp
c.mckillop@rgu.ac.uk
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
Computer Feedback
• Non-
judgemental/objective
• Is not the tutor who
marks the final essay
• Feedback can be
accessed man...
Talk Back
• Checking
understanding by
‘talk back’
• Summaries in
OpenEssayist
• Key words = key
ideas
• http://www.open.ac...
OpenEssayist: What it tells you
• The system’s focus is to present summaries of
students’ own work in different ways, to e...
OpenEssayist: A tool for reflection
• Different views with distinct roles presented
• The purpose of this feedback is to e...
OpenEssayist: How it gives feedback
• Three aspects of the students’ essays are analysed by
the system:
• the structure of...
ESSAY
GRAPHICS
ANALYSIS
Key word spring
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
Chord diagram
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
Key sentence adjacency matrix
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
Middle Space
• Develop new
analytic methods
• Computational
• Representational
• Statistical
• Visualisation
DMW LAK Works...
Visualisations as a Thinking Tool
• Visualising text (Bertin,
1981; Johnson et al,
1993)
• Free text visualisation
still p...
Short text for illustration of Rainbow
Diagrams
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
Sentence graph of short text
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
OU essay awarded high grade
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
OU essay awarded low grade
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
Stanford University Boothe Prize essay
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
Pretend essay: 50 identical sentences
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
Pretend essay: 10 identical paragraphs
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
Participants for Empirical Study
Occupation University
Professor of Teaching & Learning OUC
Senior Lecturer Computer Scien...
Findings
DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
“One of the clues was talking about the way the
color nodes, that the red ones are at...
Creating teaching and learning dialogues:
towards guided learning supported by
technology
• Learning to judge
• Providing
...
Challenges
• Visualisation
• Social network analysis
• Communication and
collaboration,
• Discourse analytics
• Interpreta...
References
• Van Labeke, N., Whitelock, D., Field, D., Pulman, S. & Richardson, J. (2013) ‘OpenEssayist: Extractive
Summar...
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Designing and testing visual representations of draft essays for Higher Education Students

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This presentation reports the findings of an empirical investigation which set out to test a set of rainbow exercises. The rainbow diagrams are pictorial representations of formal graphs that are derived automatically from student essays. They were designed to allow students to discover how key concepts in a well written essay are connected together. The students would then be able to compare a rainbow diagram of their own essay with a good essay and make changes to it before submission to their tutor. A trial was undertaken with academics, teaching and learning staff, doctoral students at The Open University of Catalonia and the Open University UK, before implementation into the web application known as OpenEssayist.

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Designing and testing visual representations of draft essays for Higher Education Students

  1. 1. Designing and Testing Visual Representations of Draft Essays for Higher Education Students Denise Whitelock  , Debora Field  , Stephen Pulman , John Richardson  ,  Institute of Educational Technology – The Open University  Department of Computer Science – University of Oxford
  2. 2. Learning Analytics and Student Feedback • Assessment drives learning (Rowntree, 1987) • Communicating assessment in a meaningful way • What, when and How? DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  3. 3. SAFeSEA Professor Denise Whitelock Professor John Richardson Professor Stephen Pulman An automated tool supporting online writing and assessment of essays providing accurate targeted feedback SAFeSEA: Supportive Automated Feedback for Short Essay Answers http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/safesea/ DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  4. 4. DMW LAK Workshop March 2014 Grand Challenge representing analysis that can be readily understood
  5. 5. Feedback to prompt Self Reflection • Analysis must prompt “Advice for Action” • Self reflective discourse with computer feedback • Visual representation of feedback can open a discourse between tutor and student • Prompt peer to peer discourse DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  6. 6. Don’t forget the Human Reaction DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  7. 7. DMW LAK Workshop March 2014 www.storiesabout.com www.storiesabout.com/cr eativepdp c.mckillop@rgu.ac.uk
  8. 8. DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  9. 9. Computer Feedback • Non- judgemental/objective • Is not the tutor who marks the final essay • Feedback can be accessed many times • Can lead to contact with tutor with more questions DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  10. 10. Talk Back • Checking understanding by ‘talk back’ • Summaries in OpenEssayist • Key words = key ideas • http://www.open.ac.u k/researchprojects/s afesea/ DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  11. 11. OpenEssayist: What it tells you • The system’s focus is to present summaries of students’ own work in different ways, to encourage them to reflect constructively on what they have written. • In other words Open Essayist tells them from its analysis what are the most important or key points in their essay. They can then think about whether that was what they intended to emphasise in their essay. If not then they can make the appropriate changes. • A very important aspect of the OpenEssayist system is that it will not tell students what to write, or how to rewrite sections of their essay, or even what is correct or incorrect in their essay. DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  12. 12. OpenEssayist: A tool for reflection • Different views with distinct roles presented • The purpose of this feedback is to encourage you • to reflect on the draft text you submitted, • to help you consider how your essay is organised, • how the key terms are being used across the essay • how they combine to form a cohesive discussion. DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  13. 13. OpenEssayist: How it gives feedback • Three aspects of the students’ essays are analysed by the system: • the structure of the essay (which paragraphs constitute the introduction, the conclusion, the discussion sections, etc.), • the key words and key phrases of their essay (which are the most important words and phrases, the ones that are most representative of the essay's overall meaning) • the key sentences of their essay (which are whole sentences that are most representative of the essay's overall meaning). DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  14. 14. ESSAY GRAPHICS ANALYSIS
  15. 15. Key word spring DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  16. 16. Chord diagram DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  17. 17. Key sentence adjacency matrix DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  18. 18. Middle Space • Develop new analytic methods • Computational • Representational • Statistical • Visualisation DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  19. 19. Visualisations as a Thinking Tool • Visualising text (Bertin, 1981; Johnson et al, 1993) • Free text visualisation still problematic • Do users need training with visualisations? • Convention vs. Instruction? DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  20. 20. Short text for illustration of Rainbow Diagrams DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  21. 21. Sentence graph of short text DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  22. 22. OU essay awarded high grade DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  23. 23. OU essay awarded low grade DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  24. 24. Stanford University Boothe Prize essay DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  25. 25. Pretend essay: 50 identical sentences DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  26. 26. Pretend essay: 10 identical paragraphs DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  27. 27. Participants for Empirical Study Occupation University Professor of Teaching & Learning OUC Senior Lecturer Computer Science OUC Administrator x 2 OUC Professor OUC Ph.D student x 6 OUC Professor of Computer Science OUC Vice Rector OUC Senior Lecturer x 2 OU UK Learning & Teaching Officer x 3 OU UK Project Manager OU UK OU student x 2 OU UK Professor OU UK Senior Administrator OU UK Course Administrator OU UK DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  28. 28. Findings DMW LAK Workshop March 2014 “One of the clues was talking about the way the color nodes, that the red ones are at the end. If they are a good connection with a good explanation for each paragraph. They should be connected together but the darker ones should be in the middle. But you see the color groups together so for me it automatically pulls my eye to this page because all the colors are closer together and more in the middle. So that would be the student course assignment essay with the highest mark.” “You don’t show me anybody’s text. You are not revealing anyone else’s essay. So students cannot plagiarize. But you are saying ‘Look hang on, this is the way this essay connects together.’ That’s what telling a good story is about this linking.”
  29. 29. Creating teaching and learning dialogues: towards guided learning supported by technology • Learning to judge • Providing reassurance • Providing a variety of signposted routes to achieve learning goals DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  30. 30. Challenges • Visualisation • Social network analysis • Communication and collaboration, • Discourse analytics • Interpretation training • What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for successful implementation of learning analytics? DMW LAK Workshop March 2014
  31. 31. References • Van Labeke, N., Whitelock, D., Field, D., Pulman, S. & Richardson, J. (2013) ‘OpenEssayist: Extractive Summarisation & Formative Assessment of Free-Text Essays’. Workshop on Discourse-Centric Learning Analytics, 3rd Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK 2013), Leuven, Belgium • Whitelock, D. (2011) Activating Assessment for Learning: are we on the way with Web 2.0? In M.J.W. Lee & C. McLoughlin (Eds.) Web 2.0-Based-E-Learning: Applying Social Informatics for Tertiary Teaching. IGI Global. pp. 319–342. • Field, D., Pulman, S., Van Labeke, N., Whitelock, D. and Richardson, J.T.E. 2013. Did I really mean that? Applying automatic summarisation techniques to formative feedback. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (Hissar, Bulgaria, Sep. 2013). • Van Labeke, N., Whitelock, D., Field, D., Pulman, S. and Richardson, J.T.E. 2013. What is my essay really saying? Using extractive summarization to motivate reflection and redrafting. Proceedings of the AIED Workshop on Formative Feedback in Interactive Learning Environments (Memphis, TN, Jul. 2013). • Alden, B., Van Labeke, N., Field, D., Pulman, S., Richardson, J.T.E. and Whitelock, D. 2013. Using student experience to inform the design of an automated feedback system for essay answers. Proceedings of the 2013 International Computer Assisted Assessment Conference (Southampton, UK, Jul. 2013). • Field, D., Richardson, J.T.E., Pulman, S., Van Labeke, N. and Whitelock, D. 2013. Reflections on characteristics of university students’ essays through experimentation with domain-independent natural language processing techniques. Proceedings of the 2013 International Computer Assisted Assessment Conference (Southampton, UK, Jul. 2013). • Van Labeke, N., Whitelock, D., Field, D., Pulman, S. and Richardson, J.T.E. 2013. OpenEssayist: extractive summarisation and formative assessment of free-text essays. Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Discourse-Centric Learning Analytics (Leuven, Belgium, Apr. 2013). DMW LAK Workshop March 2014

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