Volume 18, Issue 3 December 2022, pp. 444–467 Download PDF

Regular Articles

Feedback precision and learners’ responses: A study into ETS Criterion automated corrective feedback in EFL writing classrooms

Giang Thi Linh Hoang https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6890-79501

1 Hue University of Foreign Languages, VIETNAM htlgiang@hueuni.edu.vn

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v18n3.775


Abstract

Automated writing evaluation (AWE) systems are increasingly used in classrooms to provide formative feedback on student writing. Research has investigated students’ engagement with the automated feedback as well as their revisions and writing accuracy following the feedback. What remains underexplored is the link between the multiple data sources in longitudinal studies to provide insights about the impact of AWE on students’ learning. The current study examines the implementation of Criterion, an AWE system developed by ETS, as a source of diagnostic feedback on learners’ linguistic performance in a Vietnamese EFL writing classroom. Thirty-eight second-year English majors had access to Criterion for a five-month period. Data include Criterion error tags on students’ essays from multiple practice sessions, recorded think-aloud protocols as students engaged with the feedback to revise their essays, as well as first and revised drafts students submitted to Criterion. Main findings indicate Criterion’s success in triggering learners’ noticing of target forms but its failure to facilitate substantive revisions following the feedback. Although the feedback was satisfactorily precise, reservations about its value remain due to students’ modest response accuracy and surface level revisions to their writing. The findings have important implications for formative feedback practices in the EFL writing classroom and the adaptation of Criterion’s technical capacities.



Copyright

© Giang Thi Linh Hoang

CC  4.0
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Suggested citation

Hoang, G. (2022). Feedback precision and learners’ responses: A study into ETS Criterion automated corrective feedback in EFL writing classrooms. The JALT CALL Journal, 18(3), 444–467. https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v18n3.775


Author biodata

Giang Hoang is currently Head of the Translation and Interpretation Division in the English Department, Hue University of Foreign Languages and International Studies, Vietnam. Her research interests include language assessment and testing, translation studies, and automated essay evaluation. Her research has appeared in Language Assessment Quarterly and Language Related Research.


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