Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

An OLI-based Tutor For Teaching Prose Style

Teaching prose style is concerned with helping students to acquire skill in making linguistic choices that meet particular rhetorical goals for prose, such as precision of meaning, comprehensibility, etc.
We built the Prose Style Tutor—implemented in OLI--in response to the challenge of providing students with enough opportunities for goal-directed practice and timely, detailed feedback. The tutor employs worked examples, scaffolding for complex tasks, and feedback designed to help students make relevant discriminations and take specific actions to achieve goals. We have collected and analyzed think-aloud data as well as data on students’ errors, and we have produced component skill models for the data.
Students who have used the tutor have made pre-/post-test gains in their ability to revise sentences according to principles of prose style. We are currently using applied machine learning to build models that can predict correct and incorrect responses to the prose styleexercises.

Neuwirth, Chris
DC, English