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CIC Welcomes Ming Liu to the team

We are delighted to announce that Dr Ming Liu has joined CIC as a Research Fellow in Text Analytics. His research interests include human language technologies in writing and reading and learning analytics especially using technology and data to enhance learning, engagement and collaboration. His research findings have appeared in IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, Journal of Internet and Higher Education, Educational Technology & Society, Intelligent Tutoring System and other respe...
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Farewell to Rianne

CIC farewelled our latest Endeavour Scholarship visitor, Maria Anna (Rianne) Conijn after a 4 month stint in the CIC lab. Rianne is a PhD researcher in Writing Analytics in the department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. She is passionate about using data mining techniques to gain insight in students’ learning behaviour, and to use this to improve learning and teaching. Rianne was a valuable contributor to the PhD program during her time...
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CIC @ London Festival of Learning 2018

The London Festival of Learning was a unique convergence in June of three major international conferences in learning and technology: International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Artficial Intelligence in Education and Learning@Scale. CIC's Director Simon Buckingham Shum presented a keynote address at ICLS, a bi-annual conference that gathers minds from all aspects of the learning sciences, including empirical, conceptual, theoretical, design-based, practitioner and policy perspecti...
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CIC @ 2018 UTS Vice Chancellor’s Learning and Teaching Showcase

The showcase was a celebration for work done by 2017 UTS Vice Chancellor's Learning and Teaching Award and Citation recipients. This event celebrates the many ways teaching and professional staff at UTS are creating the best possible learning experiences and learning outcomes for our students. It showcases projects that some of these recipients have worked on, such as ‘Developing scientists for the modern laboratory’ and ‘The Justice Brennan Project: Empowering students as change-agents’. S...
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Decoding Big Data

Check out this story from the UTS news room, featuring some of our UTS data scientists, including CIC Director, Simon Buckingham Shum. Key points: Humans have been surrounded by data since the beginning of history, but what’s different today is that the rate at which data is now being created and stored is exponential Experts say a re-imagining of data could see societies move away from one-size-fits-all approaches and towards more tailored solutions for education, finance...
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Open Source Writing Analytics

   CIC has released its Academic Writing Analytics (AWA) infrastructure open source. THE CHALLENGE. CIC initiated its Academic Writing Analytics (AWA) project in 2015, as it became clear through consultations across faculties that student writing was a strategically important area for UTS teaching and learning (and indeed, for most other educational institutions). The possibility of providing instant, personalised, actionable feedback to students about their drafts, 24/7, is a compelling o...
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Telling better educational stories with data visualisation

As we drown in information, "dashboards" have become pervasive, but how we present the information to the end user is a challenge. Dashboards are often too complex with users bombarded with information that may not be relevant. Let’s take education as an example, where dashboards are being designed to help students with different aspects of their learning, for example,  managing time effectively, accessing key learning resources, or gaining a richer picture of their progress.   But here's the...
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Can imperfect AI improve student learning?

The narrative about Artificial Intelligence (AI) is often that it will improve society by helping to remove human error from complex systems beyond our ken. There is no doubt that in some cases this is true: self-driving cars will help to decrease traffic accidents; google translate has made it surprisingly easy to read texts from other languages; and AI driven image recognition already far surpasses humans when it comes to the diagnosis of cancer. All of these technologies rely upon the assumpt...
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Towards Instant Writing Feedback for PhD students

How can AI help PhD students get their work published? A key to this is that they learn, through extensive practice, how to make the hallmark ‘moves’ that reviewers are looking for when assessing a paper. However, there is extensive evidence showing that students struggle to grasp these, and that supervisors are not always expert in coaching this even though they are themselves clearly able to write in this way. In CIC’s Academic Writing Analytics (AWA) project, we are tuning the AcaWriter we...
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Do students value automated feedback on their writing?

All students are used to software keeping an eye on their spelling, grammar and signs of plagiarism. They’re also very familiar with the idea that computers can understand complex, everyday speech or writing, as mobile phones and Google adverts are clearly able to interpret such “natural language” (as it is called in computer science). If they have ever tried to learn to speak or write a foreign language, they may well have used online tools to get instant feedback and coaching. So, on the on...
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