Students' Revision of Text Evidence Use in an Automated Writing Evaluation System
Published in: Assessing Writing (2020). doi: 10.1016/j.asw.2020.100449
Posted on RAND.org on February 26, 2020
We investigate students' implementation of the feedback messages they received in an automated writing evaluation system (eRevise) that aims to improve students' use of text evidence in their writing. Seven 5th and 6th-grade teachers implemented eRevise (n = 143 students). Qualitative analysis of students' essays across first and second drafts suggests that the majority of students made changes to their essays that were in line with the feedback they received, though few of these changes resulted in substantive improvement in essay quality. Twenty percent of students did not attempt to implement the feedback; these students generally made small changes to wording or mechanics. In response to the feedback to add more evidence, students whose essays did not improve or showed only slight improvement frequently added in evidence that was not text based or repeated evidence already present in the first draft. When prompted to explain how the evidence they included connected to their claim, many students paraphrased the evidence, added a short conclusion, or explained generally how the evidence supports claims (not how this was instantiated in their writing). Implications for teaching argument writing and for designing AWE systems that support students to successfully revise their essays are discussed.