A Topic-Independent Method for Scoring Student Essay Content

Ryo NAGATA  Jun-ichi KAKEGAWA  Yukiko YABUTA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E93-D   No.2   pp.335-340
Publication Date: 2010/02/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E93.D.335
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Educational Technology
essay scoring,  language teaching and learning,  student essay,  essay topic,  learner of English,  

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This paper proposes a topic-independent method for automatically scoring essay content. Unlike conventional topic-dependent methods, it predicts the human-assigned score of a given essay without training essays written to the same topic as the target essay. To achieve this, this paper introduces a new measure called MIDF that measures how important and relevant a word is in a given essay. The proposed method predicts the score relying on the distribution of MIDF. Surprisingly, experiments show that the proposed method achieves an accuracy of 0.848 and performs as well as or even better than conventional topic-dependent methods.