Constructed response questions – in which students must explain phenomena in their own words – create more meaningful opportunities for instructors to identify their students’ learning obstacles than multiple choice questions. However, the realities of typical large-enrollment undergraduate classes restrict the options faculty have for evaluating students' writing.
In the Automated Analysis of Constructed Response (AACR) Research Group, we are exploring computerized analysis of students’ writing in large enrollment undergraduate biology and geology courses.
We are pursuing multiple approaches to using linguistic analysis software for identifying conceptual categories in students' written responses and using that data to build statistical models of students’ thinking in biology, chemistry and statistics.
Here are several short YouTube videos that introduce the text analysis software and how to set-up streams in Modeler.
We have begun to use lexcial analysis in a range of scientific disciplines.
We currently have or are developing resources for the following topics: