ICT for Language Learning

Edition 10

Accepted Abstracts

Roxifyonline.com: an Automated Essay Feedback System

Roxanne Miller, University of Jyväskylä/City university of Hong Kong (Finland)

George Miller, roxifyonline.com (Hong Kong)

Abstract

Feedback on student’s writing is an important part of the EFL learning context.  To be effective, it should be immediate and useful to the student (Alderson, 2005; Hyland, 2006). Instructors are often overwhelmed by the amount of marking that is required.  Students want feedback and teachers feel obliged to provide it (Wen, 2013; Leki, 1991; Radecki, 1988). Instructors’ at one university are required to teach five classes of 25 students each semester. In 2016, the courses changed from 72 hours a semester to 39 without reduction in the course material. The students are required to submit three drafts of a 750 to 1000-word essay. Because of the excessive amount of marking required, the researcher designed a program for automated essay feedback (Roxifyonline.com) to compensate for the changes and to lighten the instructor marking load. As the focus of Roxifyonline is vocabulary usage, this allows teachers to focus on other aspects such as structure, organization, and style (Ferris, 2003; Hyland, 2006; Zamel, 1985)

The initial program used in 2015-2016 was offline and required manual input by the researcher to provide feedback to the students (n=199). As the time involved in manual input was excessive, in the spring of 2017, 63  the researcher enabled used a fully online version of Roxifyonline for student usage.

The system itself looks at a variety of language features required for academic writing.  These include the usage of the AWL (Academic Word List), cohesive devices, key vocabulary taken from source texts, number of duplicated words, use of clichés, and more.

Data was collected on both program usage and student opinions of the program and will also be presented here. There will be a short demonstration of some of the features of Roxifyonline and participants will be provided with a link to use in their own classrooms.

Keywords: automated essay feedback, independent learning, online feedback, essay writing

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