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Academic Writing Analytics (AWA)

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Ongoing work on the Academic Writing Analytics (AWA) tool is being conducted. Ethics clearance has been granted for researchers to collaborate with academics to analyse historic essays, resulting in a corpus of (cleaned and anonymized) essays from science, law, and accounting subjects. This provides a baseline for intervention work in law and accounting (VCLT supported) to investigate (a) the effectiveness of AWA in supporting students understanding of the assessment criteria through a benchmarking activity, and (b) the impact of AWA use on drafting essays (through the collection of draft and final submission texts).

The reflective parser has been further developed and will be used this semester in Management, Data Science, Engineering and Ecology. The reflective writing parser provides the student writer with actionable feedback how they write about: learning context, learning challenges, application of ideas and action-oriented change. It will also prompt students to correct spelling and punctuation. A simplified clean interface colour-codes relevant expression and provides paragraph-level comments:
To ensure on-going improvements, AWA will also collect data on student user experience. In both cases, we continue to integrate the tool with other indicators (including spelling indicators), developing an extensible method to do so.

Tutors who teach in Science, Business and Engineering have been recruited as readers of historic reflective writing data. They will provide insights into how academics recognise and judge features of reflective writing, and this knowledge will help us to improve the way AWA can provide students with meaningful feedback.

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