Working from these figures, the author will try to answer a series of questions. Can trends be discerned? Can measures like these be considered valid methods of evaluating student performance? And can computers be used to test the quality of our teaching? For years I have been trying to make available to French students some of the computer-based techniques I have seen used at various American universities. This was then regarded as an oddity by my colleagues as my students were at that time the only non computer-science students to use the facilities.
Almost every student at UPV wants to have access to a computer.
Now I have a special computer classroom, with an Ethernet Local Area Network, a laser printer and we use a sophisticated piece of software, the Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment, which will be described in detail below. Let us bear in mind the fact that we are dealing with ESL students English as a second language. The curriculum itself is a survey of English and American literature ranging from Chaucer to the 20th century.
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Part of the course requirement is that the student should, during the school year, submit several papers based on topics provided in advance by their teachers. Relying on the method described by William Wresch , in which writing is considered as a process rather than a product, I devised the following pedagogical method:.
Students write the first draft of their papers on the computer, submitting it in print to their lecteurs literally, readers for correction. The lecteurs hand back the papers with suggestions for improving style and coherence, as well as the more technical aspects like spelling and grammar. The rest continue to work in a more traditional environment, that is to say, with paper and pen.
It is obviously easier for the computer class students using electronic writing techniques to manipulate their papers than it is for the students in the traditional groups.
Moreover, teachers do not usually try to conduct a pedagogical study based on a corpus made of indecipherable hand-written papers; they know it is a hopeless task. But the advent of electronic texts in the new classroom is changing all that. This paper is therefore an attempt to explore some new evaluation techniques offered by modern technology.
The method used tentatively this year will be described in the second part of this paper. A word of explanation on the software used at Montpellier is in order first. Through five programs, it helps teachers to explore the possibilities of text-sharing pedagogy:. It has a built-in spelling checker and a concordance maker. Having only decided to conduct the present quantitative study in March, the results which I will now present are highly tentative and provisional. Here is a brief description of the method I followed.
Then, in May I collected the final draft of their last essay of the year. All essays were of course in electronic form. This was the corpus I worked with a collection of approximately individual texts. From a purely statistical point of view, the numbers involved are perhaps not very large; however, the total number of words is almost a hundred thousand and computing the results took many hours of work.
If I had not done so, my statistics would have been distorted. This was probably the most arduous task of all. No existing program could be used to erase all quotations automatically. And even if I had written one, how could it have discriminated between indented longer quotations, and the text itself? I mercilessly cut out hundreds of Shakespearean, Miltonian, Swiftian, Dickensian, and other Thoreau-esque quotations as a preliminary step to establishing a legitimate corpus.
After considering professional concordance programmes like the Oxford Concordance Program OCP or Tact, I decided to rely on a very simple tool provided with the DIWE, a mini-concordance that works within the program, by-passing the text-only form used by other concordances. The DIWE concordance is also DIY: it can be used by students to evaluate instantly their own written productions; indeed, they can build a concordance that gives them a list of words used, sorted alphabetically or by frequency, they also get a series of statistics on their prose: total number of characters, of words, of sentences, of questions, of paragraphs; the program calculates the number of unique words the type words, that is to say the number of different words, as opposed to the token words: the total number of words , and the percentages of characters per word, words per sentence, sentences per paragraph.
By comparison, the average number of characters per word in this paper is 6. And the number of words in each sentence also increased slightly, passing from an average of A net average increment of 3.
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The number of unique words in a given text describes the degree of rigidity or flexibility in word use. Our concordance takes only a few minutes to extract a list of unique words, a task that I would never have embarked upon if I had been obliged to do it manually. Here again, a little more than two-thirds of the students managed to improve their vocabulary range between the beginning and the end of the year. The average number of unique words in essay 1 was The number passed to The average increment is In the 20 th century, people has been familiar with computers.
Development of the digital computer
A computer is a machine that performs tasks, such as calculations or electronic communication, under the control of a set of instructions called a program. Recently, there is a portable computer which is called a laptop. Besides the difference between a computer and a laptop based on their shape, actually they are much similar in terms of the components and programs.
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- All the Operating systems perform basic functions such as:.
First, let us think about the physical appearance of the two machines. A computer has a monitor in one square part likes TV, a keyboard in one board, a mouse, and also speaker.
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All of the parts stand on its own shape. On the other hand, a laptop has all of the parts too , but in two layers. One layer consists of the keyboard, speaker and a small part surface which has the sense of touch as the mouse in a computer. The other layer works as the monitor. Shortly, from this side, computers and laptops have different shape, in which a computer consists of many independet parts and a laptop has a simpler shape consisting of two layers.
Now, l et us go further to the components of both machines. Both of them have hardware and software. Computer hardware consists of the components that can be physically handled, which function is typically divided into three main categories: input, output, and storage. Most of the components are in the central processing unit CPU. CPU of computer usually has a square shape and stands alone but still it is connected to another hardware.
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A laptop has its CPU in one of the layers. Next, we are talking about the software. A computer has an operating system OS which is a software to make the computer works. Software is a processor that works as a brain in computer. There are two best processors in the century which are Intel and AMD. The processor can influence the work of the computer.