Digital Writing Revision Tool

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Colette Colligan, Department of English

Project team: Michelle Levy, Department of English, and Mariella Ocampo, research assistant

Timeframe: May 2016 to July 2018

Funding: $5,000

Course addressed: English 105W – Introduction to Issues in Literature and Culture -Digital Stories

Final report: View Colette Colligan's final report (PDF)

Description: I plan to design a digital writing tool that assists students in revising their writing and assists faculty in assessing writing revision.

The rationale for building this writing revision tool is that there is currently no easy way to track, assess, and quantify writing revision in either print or online environments.  It is difficult for students to work between two or more documents and evaluate the revision work they have done. It is equally hard for faculty to move between revision documents and track revision sequences. There is a need for this kind of tool for SFU students and faculty, as “revision” is one of the requirements for a “W” credit course.

I currently have a working prototype for this tool. It is a web-based interface that allows for the insertion/writing of text into two frames and runs a string metric algorithm that colour-codes and quantifies the percentage of revised text.

My objective is to develop this prototype so that it might a) offer different interfaces for different types of writing revision; b) allow for live tracking of revision work; and c) include a download and share function for record keeping. With this digital writing revision tool, I envision an easy-to-use web-based platform that will allow students to cut and paste different versions of their text into different frames, and send their work to instructors for evaluation.

Knowledge sharing:

Colligan, C., Battershill, C., & Seatter, L. (2017, May). Digital assignments and evaluation/DH teaching in action. Presentation at the Scholarship Digital Commons, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.

Zahir, A. (2017, January). The digital writing revision tool prototype. Presentation at the Simon Fraser University-University of Victoria Digital Pedagogy Network Student Digital Showcase, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC.

Keywords: Writing; Revision; Digital tool; Interface; Assessment