Josh Wilson works with a student at The College School.
“Pick one place you’d like to go in the world and explain why.” This is an example of a typical assignment a fifth grade teacher may assign a class.
Once the papers are turned in, the teacher would then review 20-30 essays for clarity, grammar, sentence structure, use of vocabulary words, organization, idea development, elaboration and accuracy. Not surprisingly, students often wait several days before receiving feedback.
Now imagine a class where students type their essay into a software program that immediately flags lower-level writing errors like spelling, punctuation and formatting, and provides suggestions for improving organization, sentence structure and word choice.
Students are able to instantly correct errors, make revisions and resubmit their essays. Teachers can then focus their efforts on helping students to improve their critical thinking and higher-level writing skills.
The PEG Writing system, developed by Measurement Incorporated (MI), implements automated essay scoring (AES) through a number of formative assessment software products. This automated essay evaluation (AEE) software system is being used by nearly three-quarters of a million students in the United States and several other countries.
While researchers have investigated the reliability of scoring models, Joshua Wilson, assistant professsor in University of Delaware’s School of Education, is taking a different approach. His research focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of AEE on teaching and learning.
He is looking to determine if it helps students–particularly those who areat risk of failing to achieve grade-level literacy standards–improve their writing skills.
Writing instruction is gaining importance
Under the federal No Child Left Behind policy, writing instruction took a backseat to reading and math. With the introduction of Common Core standards and associated literacy assessments (e.g., Smarter Balanced) writing has once again been brought to the forefront.
“The majority of U.S. students lack sufficient writing skills,” said Wilson. “Roughly two-thirds of students in grades four, eight, and 12 fail to achieve grade-level writing proficiency, as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).”
Why does this matter? “Students with weak writing skills are at a greater risk of dropping out of school or being referred to special education programs — potentially failing to secure stable and gainful employment,” said Wilson.
Yet teachers face many barriers with respect to teaching writing.
“A major impediment is the time it takes to evaluate student writing,” said Wilson. “Subsequently, many students do not get adequate practice or feedback to improve as writers.”
Wilson has found that PEG utilizes natural language processing to yield essay ratings that are highly predictive of those assigned by human raters. Consequently, students receive more thorough feedback.
Stacy Poplos Connor, a master teacher in The College School, started working with PEG after reading about it in UDaily. She has found it to be an incredible teaching and learning resource tool.
“The students receive immediate feedback on each of the main traits of writing,” she said. “If they are struggling with a particular genre and/or editing tool, they can watch videos embedded into the site or send me messages while they write.”
Findings of the research
For the past three years, Wilson has partnered with the Red Clay Consolidated School District to pilot and research PEG Writing in grades three-five, and select classrooms in the Red Clay and Colonial school districts’ middle schools. Collaborating with a number of UD graduate and undergraduate students, Wilson has published three studies focusing on the impact PEG has on both learning and instruction.
In the classroom, he has found:
- Students’ quality of writing improves in response to PEG’s automated feedback, and it appears to be equally effective for students with different reading and writing skills.
- Students with disabilities are able to use automated feedback to produce writing of equal quality to their non-disabled peers, despite writing significantly weaker first drafts.
- PEG can identify struggling writers early in the school year so they may be referred for intervention to remediate any skill deficits.
- Wilson also compared results of teachers using GoogleDocs versus PEG to evaluate its impact on writing instruction. The analysis revealed that:
- Students in the PEG Writing group demonstrated an increase in writing motivation. There were no changes in writing motivation for students in the GoogleDocs group.
- Teachers using GoogleDocs provided proportionately more feedback on lower-level writing skills, such as capitalization, punctuation, and formatting.
- While teachers using PEG Writing still commented on lower-level writing skills, they were able to provide more feedback on higher-level writing skills, including idea development.
“PEG allows me to pick a topic based on several genres while also incorporating my own teacher-created prompts that fit with my instruction,” said Connor. “It has definitely saved me time in grading and editing. I would highly recommend PEG to any teacher.”
Wilson is now piloting and researching PEG at George Read Middle School, Gunning Bedford Middle School and Castle Hills Elementary School in the Colonial School District. He is expanding his analysis to determine if the additional practice and feedback through PEG writing can help English language learners (ELL) in elementary and middle school pass the ACCESS for ELLs test.
Read this article on UDaily
Article by Harpreet Kaur
Photos by Liz Adams
This entry was posted in Faculty News, Graduate News, News, Undergraduate News.
With the invention of computers, our life really has become much easier. Today devices are everywhere with us: at home, in the office, in educational institutions.Computers opened up a world of new opportunities before us and they made life more comfortable, saved our time. Now the Internet has brought dependency and is the most successful thief of the time. But this is another question, now we are not talking about this. Our custom essay service invites you to read the essay on computer. We have tried to ensure that all our services meet your requirements to the maximum.
The role of computers in our life
Yes, technology has surpassed all expectations and completely changed our lives. Unfortunately, most of the functions are destructively useless and unnecessary because mankind has lived peacefully without them. But thanks to them people make money, and very large sums of money. Computers opened before us a virtual world, which unfortunately most people have replaced the real one.
At first computers were very expensive and only some of us could afford such a luxury. Even few firms could boast of having computers. Today computer is not a luxury, but an object of necessity. Try to study without having a computer, a laptop, or a tablet at home or even during the classes (http://livecustomwriting.com/blog/books-or-computers-at-school-choose-wisely). All devices must be connected to the network. Or maybe you think that modern students sit out hours in the library and rewriting information from books, as their dads and moms did? Of course, you do not think so.
It takes hours of time to list how many new professions emerged thanks to the computer industry and online world. I'm already silent of activities of professional hackers. Suppose you’re not the director of Microsoft, only regular office worker, never forget about the danger to which all information data is exposed in computer databases. Try to protect not only personal accounts and information. Just save your time while you’re doing home task, then read about this company.
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Influence of computers on human health
Probably adults guess that hours spent sitting at the computer can’t pass for health for anything. For example, the person often work with computers, then he knows frequent headache, fatigue, pain and constant eye strain, trouble sleeping, back and back pain (due to improper posture during work). Oh, this list can be listed for a very long time. If you believe the data of the questionnaire, then almost all people know that the computer can be really harmful our health, but most simply ignore or do not take this fact seriously. Dozens of the computer essays were published.
You can easily find the information of the history of this device, the computer addiction (http://livecustomwriting.com/blog/computer-addiction-how-to-deal-with) etc.
If now you almost do not feel any deterioration in your health, then in the near future they will overtake you. Therefore, do not be lazy, follow the advice of doctors, control your pose during work, buy special goggles, do exercises, do not exceed the permissible time for working at the computer. Yes, there are a lot of ways and you just need to have the desire not to hurt yourself.
Modern children grow with computers. They know how to use different devices from an early age. It's not a problem for a three-year-old child to find a cartoon on a laptop, or download your favorite game on iPhone. And parents need to take care of the child's vision (it should not be spoiled so early). Students are already able to control the time at the computer. Remember, nothing can be more important than your health. We are already adults and we are responsible for our own actions. So be wise, take care of yourself and do not forget about your health. If you feel good now, does not mean that it will always be so.
And did you know that…
Let us tell you some funny but true facts about computers and the computer industry. I know that most of us are familiar with computer technology since childhood, but I'm sure you've never thought about some details related to the operation of such devices. It took years to create the first portable computer, besides it was far from the perfect one. But for the last 20 years the technology has been improved so much that people every day release new models and come up with new functions. To realize your idea now you just need money and a little time.
1) Do you remember the good old days, when we carefully recorded information on shiny discs? They had different formats, the most common of which are DVD and CD. So, you know why the duration of recording on the CD was never more than 72 minutes? The answer is here: the creators of the device were guided by the time of sounding the ninth symphony of the Beethoven.
2) Have you ever noticed that people who work a lot or just sit at a computer even blink at another way? Thanks to computer technology, now we have an interesting disease called the syndrome of office vision. A feature of people who suffer from this syndrome is that they can blink just 7 times per minute. Here's some information to compare: on average, a normal and healthy adult blinks 15 to 20 times per minute.
3) Next fact is rather funny. Suppose, everybody knows in our world a person does not represent life without computers, but it's not like that. Please, remember the cyberobobs are still alive. Who are they? They afraid even ideas get close to devices and all that is connected with them. Such thoughts plunge them into fear and horror. I hope you are not one of them, because then you would not have read the essay to this place.
4) The first e-mail was sent in 1971 and at the same time the icon @ was used for the first time.
5) Now let's talk a little about office workers. People who work at a computer are really tempted to use their working time for personal purposes. This applies to their time on the Internet and the various computer games. It is dreadful that according to special researches the most common office worker spends half a billion hours on computer games. I'm not talking about correspondence and social networks. This is a real degradation, is not it? So the productivity at the same time suffers for 10 billion dollars.
With a smile, I remember the time when at the university we needed to take certificates from the secretary. The girl was sitting at the computer with so much focused look, sometimes she did not immediately respond to the request. You can feel uncomfortable to disturb such a busy person. But if you look a little at the rack, you could see popular game on the computer screen called Farm. Here you milk cows, prepare cheese, collect eggs. Suddenly you ask a person about certificate?
6) Today, almost everyone knows what spam is, but who knows how to deal with it. An interesting fact from statistics – spam was sent out in one year. Translate into a percentage, then it will be 94% of all e-mail.
7) It's not a secret that from time to time (and sometimes very often) office computers break down. So, I'll tell you, dear employees, if you drank less coffee or tea in front of your computer screen, life would be easier, not for you of course, but for your device. Most of the failures are due to the fact that liquid was spilled onto the keyboard, the second frequent cause of breakdown is frequent changes in the power supply network.
8) Honestly, I'm not surprised by the fact that now people are not very inventive. After all, most of us when come up with a real password and consider this task very difficult. System administrators are generally shocked by the fact that the most popular passwords are such sets of digits 12345, 123456, 11111, 55555, 77777. There are especially clever people (4%) who have the same password and login the same. Well, your laziness makes life much easier for hackers. This essay editor company can help every student.
Today manufacturers continue to work on updating gadgets, creating computer programs and useful software, expanding the capabilities of devices that will further improve their work and provide users access to the latest applications and utilities. Hope an essay on computer was not like the others, we tried to approach it in a non-standard way. Our essay rewriting help is available around the clock.