2014 Colloquium: Big Data and Writing Studies – Tools for Writers

Colloquium date: January 24, 2014

Co-directed by Angela Eward-Mangione and Zac Dixon, University of South Florida
Sponsored by USF World, USF Office of Graduate Studies, USF College of Arts & Sciences, USF Honors College, Writing Commons, and USF EGSA.

Program: Click here to learn more

In an effort to broaden the conversation about Big Data, we would like to invite you to come share, discuss, and ponder the promises, dangers, methods, and methodologies that Big Data holds for Writing Studies.

The University of South Florida (Tampa) will host this free, one-day colloquium to explore the implications of Big Data for Writing Studies. At USF, faculty and doctoral students have been working towards applying Big Data research tools and methods in the context of university writing programs.  Thanks to our institution’s use of My Reviewers (see http://myreviewers.com), we now have a corpus of more than 130,000 student essays, 30,000 peer-reviews, and hundreds of thousands of instructor comments.

As writing is increasingly translated directly from keystrokes into oceans of bytes, Big Data is opening new spaces, methods, and proof-points for Writing Studies researchers, faculty, and administration. Because of the way Big Data can digitally embody and entire writing ecology in real-time and in the real-world contexts of that ecology, it promises to give researchers, faculty, and administrators better tools and methods of understanding the connections between curricula, instruction, and learning.

Morning sessions will feature faculty and doctoral studies from USF sharing their scholarship on Big Data, including “Big Data, Learning Analytics, and Social Assessment Methods. Journal of Writing Assessment 2013; “Everything is illuminated: What big data can tell us about teacher commentary. Assessing Writing 2013); “Re-Mediating Writing Program Assessment.” Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation 2013). In addition, Big-data pioneer Susan Lang, Director of Writing at TTU, will discuss “Data Mining: A Hybrid Methodology for Complex and Dynamic Research.” College Composition and Communication.
Afternoon sessions will provide participants opportunities to learn and experiment with Big Data analysis tools, and to group-brainstorm about the future of writing tools, Big Data, and Writing Studies.

Interested in presenting? Click here for the CFP


We welcome scholars from all corners of Writing Studies who are interested in the research or pedagogical possibilities and applications represented by Big Data and Learning Analytics. We welcome scholars from all types of institutions, positions, and specialties who are curious about new research tools, methods, and methodologies.

Twitter Feed: #BDWS

Key Words: Big Data, Learning Analytics, Computers and Writing, Writing Assessment, Rhetoric and Technology


Poster design by Maryam Alnaggar