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Tracer: A Tool to Measure and Visualize Student Engagement in Writing Activities

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3 Author(s)
Ming Liu ; Sch. of Electr. & Inf. Eng., Univ. of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia ; Calvo, R.A. ; Pardo, A.

Learning analytic techniques are allowing the observation of complex learning activities that were hidden until now. Writing is a task in which behavioral patterns can be observed to measure the level of engagement. Previous studies relied mostly on data collected by observers. In this paper Tracer, a novel learning analytic system to visualize behavioral patterns of students while writing and measuring engagement is described. The tool combines and analyzes the information obtained from document revisions and Website logs while students work in a writing assignment and provides visualizations and measurements for the level of engagement. A user study was conducted in a software engineering course where students wrote and submitted a project proposal using Google Docs. Tracer generated a graphical view of the gauged engagement, and an engagement time for each student. The obtained results show that the engagement time gauged by Tracer was moderately correlated to those reported by the students.

Published in:

Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT), 2013 IEEE 13th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-18 July 2013