Topic modeling for evaluating students' reflective writing: A case study of pre-Service teachers' journals

Ye Chen, Bei Yu, Xuewei Zhang, Yihan Yu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Journal writing is an important and common reflective practice in education. Students' reflection journals also offer a rich source of data for formative assessment. However, the analysis of the textual reflections in class of large size presents challenges. Automatic analysis of students' reflective writing holds great promise for providing adaptive real time support for students. This paper proposes a method based on topic modeling techniques for the task of themes exploration and reflection grade prediction. We evaluated this method on a sample of journal writings from pre-service teachers. The topic modeling method was able to discover the important themes and patterns emerged in students' reflection journals. Weekly topic relevance and word count were identified as important indicators of their journal grades. Based on the patterns discovered by topic modeling, prediction models were developed to automate the assessing and grading of reflection journals. The findings indicate the potential of topic modeling in serving as an analytic tool for teachers to explore and assess students' reflective thoughts in written journals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLAK 2016 Conference Proceedings, 6th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference - Enhancing Impact
Subtitle of host publicationConvergence of Communities for Grounding, Implementation, and Validation
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1-5
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450341905
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 25 2016
Event6th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, LAK 2016 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Apr 25 2016Apr 29 2016

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series
Volume25-29-April-2016

Other

Other6th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, LAK 2016
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period4/25/164/29/16

Keywords

  • Automated grading
  • Education
  • Journal writing
  • LDA
  • Learning analytics
  • Reflection
  • Text mining
  • Topic modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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  • Cite this

    Chen, Y., Yu, B., Zhang, X., & Yu, Y. (2016). Topic modeling for evaluating students' reflective writing: A case study of pre-Service teachers' journals. In LAK 2016 Conference Proceedings, 6th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference - Enhancing Impact: Convergence of Communities for Grounding, Implementation, and Validation (pp. 1-5). (ACM International Conference Proceeding Series; Vol. 25-29-April-2016). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2883851.2883951