LINGUIST List 24.4550

Thu Nov 14 2013

Calls: Computational Linguistics, Text/Corpus Linguistics, Applied Linguistics/USA

Editor for this issue: Bryn Hauk <>

Date: 13-Nov-2013
From: Joel Tetreault <>
Subject: 9th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications
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Full Title: 9th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications Short Title: BEA9
Date: 26-Jun-2014 - 26-Jun-2014 Location: Baltimore, MD, USA Contact Person: Joel Tetreault
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:
Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Call Deadline: 25-Mar-2014

Meeting Description:

The field of NLP and education has dramatically matured since the first BEA workshop in 1997, where the primary focus was on grammatical error detection. As a community, we have continued to improve existing capabilities and to identify and develop innovative and creative NLP approaches for use in educational settings. In the writing domain, automated writing evaluation systems are now commercially viable, and are used to score millions of test-taker essays on high-stakes assessments. In speech, major advances in speech technology, have made it possible to include speech in both assessment and Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS). Spoken constructed responses are now being used in low-stakes and practice applications.

Consistent with this, there is also a renewed interest in spoken dialogue for instruction and assessment. Relative to continued innovation, the explosive growth of mobile applications has increased interest in game-based applications for instruction and assessment. The current educational and assessment landscape, especially in the United States, continues to foster a strong interest and high demand that pushes the state-of-the-art in automated writing evaluation capabilities to expand the analysis of written responses to writing genres other than those presently found in standardized assessments. Much of the current demand for creative, new educational applications stems from the development of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). CCSSI describes what K-12 students should be learning with regard to reading, writing, speaking, listening, language, and media and technology. The goal of CCSSI is to ensure college- and workplace-readiness across those domains.

In the past few years, the use of NLP in educational applications has gained visibility outside of the computational linguistics (CL) community. First, the Hewlett Foundation reached out to public and private sectors and sponsored two competitions (both inspired by the CCSSI): one for automated essay scoring, and the other for scoring of short response items. The motivation driving these competitions was to engage the larger scientific community in this enterprise. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are now also beginning to incorporate automated writing evaluation systems to manage the thousands of assignments that may be received during a single MOOC course (New York Times). Another breakthrough for educational applications within the CL community is the presence of a number of shared-task competitions over the last three years. There have been three shared tasks on grammatical error correction with the most recent edition hosted at CoNLL 2013. Also in 2013 there was a SemEval Shared Task on Student Response Analysis and one on Native Language Identification
(hosted at the 2013 edition of this workshop).

All of these competitions increased the visibility of the research space for NLP for building educational applications. While attendance has continued to be strong for several years, 2013 was a banner year for the BEA workshop as it was the largest ever and had the largest attendance count of any one-day workshop at NAACL.

Call for Papers:

The 2014 workshop will solicit both full papers and short papers for either oral or poster presentation. Given the broad scope of the workshop, we organize the workshop around three central themes in the educational infrastructure: (1) development of curriculum and assessments; (2) delivery of curriculum and assessments; and (3) reporting of assessment outcomes. As a community, we have continued to improve existing capabilities and to identify and develop innovative and creative NLP approaches for use in educational settings.

Since the first workshop in 1997, the BEA workshop series has continued to bring together many NLP subfields, and to foster interaction and collaboration among researchers in academia and industry. The workshop offers a unique venue for researchers to present and discuss their work. Each year, we see steady growth in workshop submissions and attendance, and the research has become more advanced. In 2014, we expect that the workshop (consistent with the eight previous workshops at ACL and NAACL/HLT), will continue to expose the NLP research community to technologies that identify novel opportunities for the use of NLP techniques and tools in educational applications.

Topics will include, but will not be limited to, the following:

Automated scoring/evaluation for written student responses:

- Content analysis for scoring/assessment
- Analysis of the structure of argumentation
- Grammatical error detection and correction
- Discourse and stylistic analysis
- Plagiarism detection
- Machine translation for assessment, instruction and curriculum development
- Detection of non-literal language (e.g., metaphor)
- Sentiment analysis
- Non-traditional genres (beyond essay scoring)

Intelligent Tutoring (IT) and game-based assessment that incorporates NLP:

- Dialogue systems in education
- Hypothesis formation and testing
- Multi-modal communication between students and computers
- Generation of tutorial responses
- Knowledge representation in learning systems
- Concept visualization in learning systems

Learner cognition:

- Assessment of learners' language and cognitive skill levels
- Systems that detect and adapt to learners' cognitive or emotional states
- Tools for learners with special needs

Use of corpora in educational tools:

- Data mining of learner and other corpora for tool building
- Annotation standards and schemas / annotator agreement

Tools and applications for classroom teachers and/or test developers:

- NLP tools for second and foreign language learners
- Semantic-based access to instructional materials to identify appropriate texts
- Tools that automatically generate test questions
- Processing of and access to lecture materials across topics and genres
- Adaptation of instructional text to individual learners' grade levels
- Tools for text-based curriculum development
- E-learning tools for personalized course content
- Language-based educational games

Important Dates:

Submission deadline: March 25, 2014 - 23:59 ESTNotification of acceptance: April 11, 2014
Camera-ready papers due: April 28, 2014
Workshop: June 26, 2014

Workshop Chairs:

Joel Tetreault, Nuance Communications
Jill Burstein, ETS
Claudia Leacock, CTB McGraw-Hill

Submission Information:

Please see:

Program Committee:

Please go here for the list of 91 reviewers:

Page Updated: 14-Nov-2013