Using language technologies for monitoring conceptual development

Wild, Fridolin; Haley, Debra and Buelow, Katja (2010). Using language technologies for monitoring conceptual development. In: Konvens, 6-8 Sep 2010, Saarbrucken, Germany.


This paper describes and evaluates CONSPECT (from concept inspection), an application that analyses states in a learner’s conceptual development. It was designed to help online learners and their tutors monitor conceptual development and also to help reduce the workload of tutors monitoring a learner’s conceptual development.

CONSPECT combines two technologies – Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) and Network Analysis (NA)into a technique called Meaningful Interaction Analysis (MIA). LSA analyses the meaning in the textual digital traces left behind by learners in their learning journey; NA provides the analytic instrument to investigate (visually) the semantic structures identified by LSA.

This paper describes the validation activities undertaken to show how well LSA matches first year medical students in 1) grouping similar concepts and 2) annotating text.

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