Semantic Indexing Sharing knowledge, reducing the burden on teachers

June, 2015

Semantic Indexing Sharing knowledge, reducing the burden on teachers

Semantic Indexing Sharing knowledge, reducing the burden on teachers

We’re investigating the use of Latent Semantic Indexing for assessment following a project we led with government agency Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) in Singapore.

Our project aimed to facilitate the capture of learners’ work across a range of platforms including social media and throughout the learning process. These reflections could be presented to teachers for formative assessments in open-ended projects.

We deployed our ‘manage’ feature to give learners the tools to collect evidence of their learning.

Our technology became a repository for a wide range of output types arising from group activities, in a range of formats including text, graphics, images and video. Our technology also enables collaboration for students to gain a better understanding of subjects from the exchange of ideas with their peers.

But by expanding the opportunities for capturing learning evidence, we were rapidly increasing the volume of material that teachers would need to review.

This is where semantic indexing comes in. Latent Semantic Indexing, a method used by search engines, applies a mathematical technique to identify patterns in the relationships between terms and concepts contained in text.

Used in conjunction with our Manage feature for assessment, it removes the burden from teachers, reducing the amount of information they must sort through that’s generated by learners. By analysing the evidence and reflections that a student generates, we could link this evidence simply and digitally to assessment criteria before presenting it to the teachers.

We continue to build on our findings so far, working on technology that helps learners by suggesting ways for them to develop their thinking, better consider their audience, and to better reflect on what they might do differently to improve their project without the intervention of the teacher.