Improving student writing through automated formative assessment: Practices and results

Improving student writing through automated formative assessment: Practices and results

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Improving student writing through automated formative assessment: Practices and results

Writing practice is a key component to building mature language skills. However, because handscoring of writing is time consuming, it is often not possible to provide rapid individualizedfeedback to students to maximize their writing and language skills. This paper describes thedevelopment, use, and results from an implementation of a grade school level formative writingenvironment which provides accurate, instant automated feedback to student writers of Englishessays. The system assesses writing across a range of skills and provides feedback to studentson aspects such as grammar, content, and organization. Students are further provided support forplanning and revising, as well as writing summaries from readings. Instructors are providedwith rapid summaries of student learning growth. This paper describes results from studies thatshow improvement in student writing and language skills for native English speakers andEnglish language learners. Implications are also discussed for technologies for supportingwriting English language learners.Keywords: Formative Writing Practice, English Language Learning, Automated Scoring,Learning to write.

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