Adaptive Learning Technology in the English Language Arts Classroom

How We Can Foster Writing Skills with Innovative Software

McGraw Hill
Mar 28, 2018 · 3 min read
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The ability to craft an articulate, engaging, and clear piece of writing can make or break a student’s opportunity to convey arguments, collaborate with peers, or make their voice heard on a large scale in communal spaces. However, writing instruction hasn’t always been associated with the same rigor or sustained practice as mathematics education, or even literacy skill-building. As the field of education technology has expanded, we’ve explored the implications of using adaptive learning software in the areas of math and literacy. But, what if we viewed writing instruction through that same lens of intensity, and implemented adaptive software in ELA classrooms?

The researchers at Stanford University — the minds behind Redbird Mathematics — have developed technology that will enable ELA teachers to drive instruction through advanced digital learning. This new software automates writing instruction, a feat that researchers have previously regarded as a daunting challenge because of the complexities of language. By building software driven by a stochastic motion engine developed at Stanford University, this adaptive ELA program provides steady, guided practice, detailed feedback, and personalized pacing of individualized instruction.

For students, having access to adaptive tools like this one could be a game-changer in writing instruction. As the student progresses through a lesson, adaptive software evaluates mastery of a concept, and presents a new task based on what that individual student is ready to learn next.

We’re constantly working to improve our adaptive learning software for ELA instruction. Our partnership with Stanford University allows us to conduct research that draws from a student composition database of ten million individual sentences and several hundred thousand paragraphs. Here’s a snippet of the initiatives the Stanford team is pursuing, all of which are aimed at improving the precision and breadth of error analysis in student writing.

Paraphrase-based detection of semantic errors

Paragraph composition: Evaluating content and style

Evaluating short essays written with open vocabulary

Find a deep dive of the research and technology in this white paper by Dr. Dan Flickinger, Senior Research Associate at the Stanford University Center for the Study of Language and Information:

Inspired Ideas

Resources, ideas, and stories for PreK-12 educators.

McGraw Hill

Written by

We apply the science of learning to create innovative educational solutions and content to improve outcomes from K-20 and beyond.

Inspired Ideas

Resources, ideas, and stories for PreK-12 educators. We focus on learning science, educational equity, social and emotional learning, and evidence-based teaching strategies. Be sure to check out The Art of Teaching Project, our guest blogging platform for all educators.

McGraw Hill

Written by

We apply the science of learning to create innovative educational solutions and content to improve outcomes from K-20 and beyond.

Inspired Ideas

Resources, ideas, and stories for PreK-12 educators. We focus on learning science, educational equity, social and emotional learning, and evidence-based teaching strategies. Be sure to check out The Art of Teaching Project, our guest blogging platform for all educators.

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