Learning Analytics – Identifying points for pedagogical intervention based on student writing – two case studies for the „Point of originality“

In the course of this article, researchers were describing a new tool called „the point of origin“. Problem that researchers struggled with was a large capacity of so called „gateway courses“, which are intended to be an introduction to specific area of study. Students are supposed to learn key concepts and thoughts there. Gateway courses are relatively good in transfering blocks of information, but not so good in developing understanding of concepts and developement of higher ordet thinking. Teachers in these courses cannot individually help each student, so the best strategy is to identify students with weak understanding. Researchers developing „Point of originality“ tool set out to build a system which would record students blogposts that they had to write during the course. Agorythm then evaluated the level of originality of thought behind the blogpost by applying thesaurus of closely linked terms and measuring the expansiveness of sentences. Crucial information was the level of recasting, which means an ability of student to put concepts into his or hers own words. Point of origin also has a web interface in which all the results are visualized for teacher.
Results of two studies that were done for testing Point of Originality were  surprisingly high. Students with the highest level of recasting were most likely to obtain good grades in final exams.

In my oppinion, Point of originality is a tool with a great potential for use in massive courses in which instructor is not able to track all of his/hers students all the time. The idea of using algorythm to judge the level of understanding seemed rather fishy to me in the beginning. The analytical part of a tool uses some sort of „synot trees“ that create structure of similar/closely linked terms and then analyzes how student uses them troughout the text. I cannot say that I fully understand these methods, but if measurments in studies prove the corectness of it, I cant disagree. My main concern remains in fact, that not all students might be similarly gifted when it comes to language faculties and an lagorythm might misinterpret this as a lack of understanding rather than lack of expression

2 thoughts on “Learning Analytics – Identifying points for pedagogical intervention based on student writing – two case studies for the „Point of originality“”

  1. Hi,
    thank you, it is an inspirational tool.
    I think it is very important the possibility of interpretation of data before making some act. For example, the tool Turnit in (https://www.turnitin.com) for academic writing lessons has many criteria like originality. But the teacher has the decision if it is correct (by the algorithm) or there is another case. Also, the student can use some „Check it“ button to let the teacher know there could be a mistake. Do you think it could be a good way?

  2. Hi! sorry for the late response. I think that the tool you are refering to would be great in smaller educational setting. The „point of originality“ tool aims to be used in massive courses in which teachers dont always have the ability to propperly study all the students work and have to identify mainly the students that are struggling to grasp the area. But the tool you are refering to would certainly be great to use for fighting plagiatory and so on.

Napsat komentář

Vaše emailová adresa nebude zveřejněna. Vyžadované informace jsou označeny *