Title: Automated free-text assessment: some lessons learned

Authors: Philippe Dessus, Benoit Lemaire, Mathieu Loiseau, Sonia Mandin, Emmanuelle Villiot-Leclercq, Virginie Zampa

Addresses: Laboratoire des sciences de l'education & IUFM-UJF Grenoble-1, Universite Pierre-Mendes-France, Bat SHM, 1251, av. Centrale, BP 47, 38040 Grenoble CEDEX 9, France. ' LPNC-CNRS, Universite Pierre-Mendes-France, Bat SHM, 1251, av. Centrale, BP 47, 38040 Grenoble CEDEX 9, France. ' Laboratoire des sciences de l'education & LIDILEM Grenoble-3, Universite Pierre-Mendes-France, Bat SHM, 1251, av. Centrale, BP 47, 38040 Grenoble CEDEX 9, France. ' Laboratoire des sciences de l'education & IUFM-UJF Grenoble-1, Universite Pierre-Mendes-France, Bat SHM, 1251, av. Centrale, BP 47, 38040 Grenoble CEDEX 9, France. ' IUFM de Grenoble, 30 av. Marcelin-Berthelot, 38100 Grenoble, France. ' LIDILEM, UFR des Sciences du Langage, Universite Stendhal, BP 25, 38040 Grenoble CEDEX 9, France

Abstract: Most e-learning systems engage successively students in reading, writing and assessment activities. In the third phase, the teacher gives feedback on student comprehension, which is often processed a long time after the others, letting the students alone with their difficulties. Thus, there is room to devise automated assessment systems on course comprehension, based on NLP techniques such as latent semantic analysis (LSA). The aim of this paper is to present some systems devised to complete this aim, which implement LSA to model learners| comprehension and/or to compare reading material (e.g., course text) with learners| summaries about it, select reading materials and predict student processes from their summaries.

Keywords: online learning; e-learning; electronic learning; internet; world wide web; personal learning environments; PLEs; learner comprehension; feedback; free-text assessment; writing; latent semantic analysis; natural language processing; student comprehension; teachers; automated assessment systems; course comprehension; LSA; reading materials; course texts; student processes; learner summaries; continuing education; life-long learning; automatic free-text evaluation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2011.040195

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2011 Vol.21 No.2/3, pp.140 - 154

Available online: 20 May 2011 *

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