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ALASI2019: The Fifth Writing Analytics Workshop: Linking Reflective Writing Analytics to Learning Design

Date: Thursday, 28th November 2019
Time: 11:00 PM
Location: University of Wollonging

Ming Liu1, Rosalie Goldsmith2,Sumati Ahuja3, Xiaodi Huang4


Reflective writing is a fundamental learning activity across learning contexts. With the recent advancement of natural language processing techniques, text analytics are able to identify salient textual features of students’ written assignments, such as academic reflective essays and reflective statements, and generate actionable feedback. However, how to best use reflective writing analytics tools, such as AcaWriter, in different learning contexts is a challenging and important issue. This workshop seeks to connect writing analytics and educators who work on linking the writing tool into learning design. We will demonstrate how AcaWriter can analyze writing from learning contexts, and how to integrate this tool in various learning contexts. Participants will have a hand-on experience of using AcaWriter, and be shown a few case studies of using acaWriter in different subjects at the University of Technology, Sydney, and finally we  will discuss the challenges of linking writing analytics tools to learning design.

Keywords (not a research paper)

Writing analytics, AcaWriter, Automated Writing Feedback, Learning Design

Corresponding author 1 Email: ming.liu@uts.edu.au Address: Connected Intelligence Centre, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia

2 Email: Rosalie.Goldsmith@uts.edu.au Address: Institue for Interactive Media and Learning, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia

3 Email: Sumati.Ahuja@ut.edu.au Address: : Business School, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia

4 Email: xhuang@csu.edu.au Address: School of Computing and Mathematics, Charlies Sturt University, Albury-Wodonga, VIC, Australia

1. Workshop Focus

In recent years, the integration research of learning analytics to learning design has attracted a great attention in the learning analytics(LA) community (Lockyer & Dawson, 2011; Macfadyen, Lockyer and Rienties, 2019). With the advancement of natural language processing and machine learning, writing analytics has become an emerging field of LA and has shown its potential for students to revise their written assignments (Gibson et al., 2017), and for teachers to improve learning design with the evidence (Cherie, Gibson and Buckingham Shum, 2018). The proposed fifth workshop in the series will build on the previous ALASI writing analytics workshops to develop writing analytics literacy and learning design skills. The focus will be on the integration of AcaWriter with learning design by linking theory, pedagogy and assessment to close the feedback loop (Corrin, et al., 2018; Knight, Shum, & Littleton, 2014; Shibani, Knight, Buckingham Shum, & Ryan, 2017).

This workshop will provide participants with hands-on experience in using AcaWriter (in the first session), and detailed use cases in authentic learning enviornments and discussion of how best to use AcaWriter in different learning contexts (in the second session). Thus, the fifth workshop is intended to:

  • increase the participants’ knowledge of reflective writing analytics with using AcaWriter system;
  • enhance conversation on writing analytics literacy development and learning design integration by bring together text analytics researchers and educators.
  • move the field forward by creating a writing analytcis research and application community in Australia.

2. Workshop Presenter Credentials

Dr. Ming Liu is a research fellow of text analytics at the Connected Intelligence Centre, UTS. His research work is focused on researching and developing automated feedback tools that support writing, reading and peer reviewing in the context of individual and collaborative learning using learning analytics and artificial intelligence. He has initiated and participated several Australian and Chinese goverment funded writing analytics research projects, including AcaWriter (https://acawriter.uts.edu.au) funded by UTS, Glosser (Comprehensive support for collabroative writing) funded by ARC, iWrite (http://iwrite.sydney.edu.au/iwrite.html) funded by OLT, Cooperpad (Collabroative Writing Analytics Tool) and VisualPeer (Formative Peer review Analytics tool) funded by NSFC. He has co-chaired the LAK19 and ALASI2018 Writing Analytics workshops.

Dr Rosalie Goldsmith is an applied linguist who is a member of the Academic Language and Learning Team, University of Technology Sydney. Rosalie works with the faculty of Engineering & IT. Her ain research areas are Engineering Education, Writing Practices, reflective writing and reflective writing analytics, Practice Architectures Theory, peer learning, WIL and developing professional identity.

Dr. Sumati is an academic with an impressive background of working in industry for over 25 years and teaching in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs for 10 years. She has held senior positions at internationally renowned architectural firms. Sumati moved to full time academic role in 2018 after completing her PhD in Management from UTS Business School. Her PhD focused on the changing nature of professional work and how professionals respond to changes in the way their services are procured and delivered. The future of work continues to be Sumati’s research interest with a focus on how technologies are transforming the work of human experts.

Dr. Xiaodi Huang received his Bachelor of Science in Physics in 1989, M.Phil. degree in Computers in Education in 1992, and a PhD  in 2004. He is a senior lecturer in the School of Computing and Mathematics at Charles Sturt University. His research areas include visualization, data mining, and web services. He has published over 100 scholar papers in international journals and conferences. Dr Huang is a regular reviewer for several international journals, and serves as the committee members of a number of international conferences. He is a senior member of IEEE Computer Society and member of the ACM.


Macfadyen, L., Lockyer, L. and Rienties, B., (2019), Special Issue of Learning Design and Learning Analytics, Journal of Learning Analytics, in press.

Lockyer, L. & Dawson, S. (2011). Learning designs and learning analytics. In P. Long, G. Siemens, G. Conole & D. Gasevic (Eds.), Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (pp. 153-156). New York, NY, USA: ACM.

Gibson, A., Aitken, A., Sándor, Á., Buckingham Shum, S., Tsingos-Lucas, C. and Knight, S. (2017). Reflective Writing Analytics for Actionable Feedback. Proceedings of LAK17: 7th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge, March 13-17, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (ACM Press). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3027385.3027436. [Preprint] [Replay]

Lucas, C., Gibson, A. and Buckingham Shum, S. (In Press). Utilization of a novel online reflective learning tool for immediate formative feedback to assist pharmacy students’ reflective writing skills. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Educationhttps://doi.org/10.5688/ajpe6800

Antonette Shibani, Simon Knight, Simon Buckingham Shum and Philippa Ryan (2017). Design and Implementation of a Pedagogic Intervention Using Writing Analytics. In Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Computers in Education. New Zealand: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education.

Knight, S., Buckingham Shum, S., Ryan, P., Sándor, Á., & Wang, X. (2017). Academic Writing Analytics for Civil Law: Participatory Design Through Academic and Student EngagementInternational Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 28, (1), 1-28.