Semi-Automatic Evaluation Features in Computer-assisted Essay Assessment

T. Kakkonen, N. Myller, and E. Sutinen (Finland)

Keywords

Semiautomatic essay assessment, automated feedback

Abstract

The role of assessment and evaluation has recently changed in a way which will have fundamental consequences in applying information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the analysis of learning outcomes. Rather than helping teachers to get their students' final grades from an entirely automated assessment system, the idea is also to support students to reflect on their learning process as early as possible and point out the strong and weak aspects of it. This paradigmatic shift from teacher centered assessment towards learner-centered process evaluation offers interesting challenges to educational technologists, especially in the area of essay evaluation. We present a system that evaluates the content of essays based on Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA). The system applies LSA to compare the conceptual similarity between the essays and selected text passages from the course material which cover the essay assignment-specific subject matter. As an introduction to the semi-automatic essay grading we describe how, in addition to grade assignment, we use LSA to provide the writer with more detailed feedback about the points covered in the essay.

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