Time: 02:00 PM
Thesis Title: Towards Automated Feedback on Students’ Research Writing: Theory, Design and Evaluation
PhD candidate: Sophie Abel
Please note that this is an open Stage 3 PhD seminar, in which the candidate will summarise her research, prior to a viva with reviewers. Your support and constructive feedback are most welcome!
Effective research writing skills are essential for Higher Degree Research (HDR) students. Research funding restructures and new university policy driven by the knowledge economy have led to the massification of research degrees, which in turn have led to new types of HDR students, HDR degrees and shorter completion times. HDR students are now expected to publish during their candidature, rather than after. This increased pressure on HDR students to write about their research effectively, and quickly, while also conducting research is even more problematic when most HDR students find research writing difficult and many supervisors find teaching research writing challenging. Despite these pressures, research writing pedagogy has largely remained the same, and so innovative solutions are critical to help develop HDR students’ research writing skills. A potential approach to this challenge is through Writing Analytics. Writing Analytics uses analytical techniques and natural language processing to provide instant, formative feedback on student writing. This research documents the design, implementation and evaluation of AcaWriter, a Writing Analytics tool, for HDR contexts. The outcome is a Writing Analytics tool for HDR contexts, along with a set of design principles and framework for Writing Analytics tools in HDR contexts, and the Multi-level Model of Research Writing Development (MMRWD) framework to provide research writing development and support for HDR students.
Sophie Abel is a PhD student at the Connected Intelligence Centre, UTS and is an Academic Language and Learning Educator. Sophie has co-ordinated various academic literacy programs and has taught writing and communication skills to a variety of students, from Japanese high school students, newly arrived migrants and refugees, VET, undergraduate and masters coursework students to higher degree research (HDR) students. Her research focuses on the writing practices of HDR students, and how writing analytic tools can be used to help support and develop HDR students research writing skills.
PhD Supervisors: Kirsty Kitto, Simon Knight, Simon Buckingham Shum