OpenEssayist: real-life testing of an automated feedback system for draft essay writing

Whitelock, Denise; Twiner, Alison; Richardson, John T. E.; Field, Debora and Pulman, Stephen (2014). OpenEssayist: real-life testing of an automated feedback system for draft essay writing. In: #design4learning: from blended learning to learning analytics in HE, 26-27 Nov 2014, Milton Keynes, UK.

URL: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5g9c12hbz1ssntz/AADh1Ln...

Abstract

OpenEssayist is unique in being an automated feedback system that has been developed to offer feedback on students' draft essays, rather than assessment on their finished work. This is therefore a system that offers opportunities for students to engage with and reflect on their work, and to improve their work through understanding of the requirements of academic essay writing. In trialling use of the system in a genuine Open University course, we found that students made use of it to varying degrees, which is perhaps likely with any study resource. Those who took the time to explore system affordances and what they could be used for however tended to report more positively on its perceived value. From our analysis we were also able to conclude that a significant positive correlation exists in this sample of students between marks on essay 1 and the number of drafts submitted. We could speculate as to what this may mean for this set of students, or more widely, but it seems clear that use of a system such as OpenEssayist has many potential advantages to students and tutors, which will benefit from further research and exploration.

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