Automated Feedback, Student Experience and Writing as a Process

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Automated Feedback, Student Experience and Writing as a Process

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Title Automated Feedback, Student Experience and Writing as a Process
Author(s) Finnegan, Damian ; Kauppinen, Asko ; Wärnsby, Anna
Date 2012
English abstract
Damian Finnegan ( Asko Kauppinen ( Anna Wärnsby ( Automated Feedback, Student Experience and Writing as a Process Many EFL learners struggle with issues pertaining to grammar, style and idiomaticity, and, traditionally, language teachers spend a lot of time addressing these mechanical errors (see Zamel 1985). This corrective practice seems to shape learner expectations of the type of feedback that is most effective or useful to them (Hedgcock and Lefkowitz 1996). In the context of teaching academic writing, this may easily pose a problem for allocating teacher resources away from teaching writing as a process to taking care of the learner language issues. Nowadays, e-platforms designed specifically to cater for academic writing offer a new range of feedback possibilities for teachers. Tasks pertaining particularly to language use can, for example, be created so that the feedback is fully automated. The easy and immediate access to such feedback is beneficial for learners with different proficiency levels (Brandl 1995). In our course, in order to free teacher resources for feedback on students’ critical thinking, treatment of sources, structure and context, we used automated feedback, i.e. direct corrections with metalinguistic comments generated within the e-platform, to feedback on skill building exercises pertaining to grammar, style and idiomaticity. Previous research indicates that direct corrective feedback on mechanical errors is efficient in facilitating learning (see Sheen 2007 for an overview of the field). In a pilot study on student experience of the writing process, we noticed that the level of student satisfaction with this automated feedback was surprisingly high and valued as much as the extensive written teacher feedback on papers submitted for examination. In our current study, we explore the impact automated feedback has on student experience of learning skills pertaining to the mechanics of writing as described above from beginner to advanced students of academic writing. Some of the factors we consider are the immediacy/remoteness of the feedback, the extent of the metalinguistic comment and the connection of the skill building exercises to the teaching materials. References Brandl, K. K. 1995. Strong and Weak Students' Preferences for Error Feedback Options and Responses. The modern Language Journal, vol. 79, no. 2, 194-211. Hedgcock, J. and Lefkowitz, N. 1996. Some Input on Input: Two Analyses of Student Response to Expert Feedback in L2 Writing. The Modern Language Journal, vol. 80, no. 3, 287-308. Sheen, Y. 2007. The Effect of Focused Written Corrective Feedback and Language Aptitude on ESL Learners' Acquisition of Articles. TESOL Quaterly, vol. 41, no. 2, 255-283. Zamel, V. 1985. Responding to student writing. TESOL Quaterly, 19, 79-101.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) feedback
learner progression
mechanics of writing process
Humanities/Social Sciences
Note Academic Writing in a Changing World, Second International Conference on Academic Writing (IFAW II) July 31 – August 1 2012 , Tel Aviv, Israel
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