Jana Sukkarieh from the Educational Testing Service will discuss the scoring of free-text responses at this seminar.
Ongoing progress in natural language processing and a renewed interest in open-ended test questions prompted researchers and assessment organizations to consider the development of automatic scoring technologies.
In this talk, I will concentrate on discussing automatic content scoring technologies. In particular, I will emphasize the kind of content these technologies are trying to measure and the natural language understanding skills that, ideally, such technology needs to possess. I will then describe several techniques for these types of scoring tasks, focusing on the use of text analytics and mining for short free-text responses written in English as well as those written in French, Spanish, and Japanese.
I will also present a methodology for question design in view of the fact that building scoring technologies cannot be seen independently from the question design process – in fact, one drives the other. I will demonstrate how some test question attributes, e.g., the cognitive skills required to respond to a question, can be predictive of the technology’s performance. In addition, I will report on two types of evaluation: one using open-ended test questions and another using a suite that can be used for automated regression and performance evaluations within the technology and for a comparative evaluation across several technologies.
Since assessment can be seen as a way of enhancing student learning, I will outline the types of student feedback that can be provided by these text-understanding-based technologies. Finally, I will outline how these techniques can be used in other content-based text management applications such as the clustering of textual online discussions and the generation of automatic alerts for newly published articles.
Open to all members of the university community.
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