AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fourth International FLAIRS Conference

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Text Box Size, Skill, and Iterative Practice in a Writing Task
Roxanne Benoit Raine, Lisa Mintz, Scott A. Crossley, Jianmin Dai, Danielle S. McNamara

Last modified: 2011-03-21

Abstract


Although freewriting strategies are commonly taught in composition courses, there have been few empirical studies on freewriting. We address this gap by examining effects of prior writing skills (as measured by a pre-write essay), freewriting training, text-box size (1, 10, 20 lines), and repetitive writing on freewriting quality. Participants watched an agent-based vicarious learning freewriting instruction video or a control video including brief instructions on freewriting. After training, participants wrote six freewrites, two in each box size. Lesson delivery and text box size did not affect expert human ratings of the freewrites. Furthermore, participants did not benefit from writing successive freewrites regardless of their initial skill level. We describe how these results have been used to inform the design of Writing-Pal, an essay-writing intelligent tutoring system.

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