A History of Computer Analysis of Student Writing
This history of computer text analysis of student writing while brief, is complicated by the fact that there are actually three distinct efforts underway to use the computer for such purposes. There is a certain amount of overlap among the efforts, but their intentions are different enough to warrant separate review. The first effort is toward automatic analysis of papers. In this approach, the computer is used to fully "correct" or otherwise comment on papers. The second effort creates a more cooperative relationship between the computer and writer. The computer performs a series of activities that make proofreading easier for the writer, but the writer is still in charge. The computer is a tool doing the bidding of the writer. In the third approach the computer is even less directive, and the process for revision and analysis is initiated by writers working collaboratively. The computer serves as a communication node as peers comment back and forth, reacting and revising over a period of time. Each of these approaches has evolved over time and is based on the work of people whose names and programs are generally unknown. All three approaches are still changing as the technology changes and as new ways are discovered to use effectively what the technology enables. (MM)
Wresch, W. A History of Computer Analysis of Student Writing.