Alexis: computer support for giving feedback on written assignments

When teachers mark papers written by students, they notice themselves commenting on mistakes that occur over and over again. This experience brought us to designing a system that enables teachers to write standard comments, from which a feedback report can be composed. A project team was formed with Carel Jansen, Paul Looijmans, Kees Maat, Albert Pilot, Dick Schrauwen and myself. The system was called Alexis.

Alexis included a data base with several hundreds of standard comments to be given on the composition and the language in papers, reports, and letters written by students. The comments were related to different aspects of texts, from structure to spelling, and from word usage to argumentation. Teachers could modify the existing comments and add their own as the wished.

Alexis served from 1986 to 1992 as a support system for teachers in Communication skills at the University of Twente and some other institutions. Because of a lack of financial support, it could not be adapted to new computer technology (Windows), and at present, it is no longer useful in its original form. However, most of the database is reused for the Worswidewriting project (click here for more information)


Publications in English about this project

Jansen, C.J.M., Steehouder, M.F., Pilot, A., Schrauwen, D. & Looijmans, P.J.M. (1986). Alexis: Computer-assisted feedback on written assignments. Computers and composition 4, 32-45.

Jansen, C.J.M., Steehouder, M.F., Pilot, A., Schrauwen, D. & Looijmans, P.J.M. (1987). Alexis: Computer-assisted feedback on written assignments. In: Y. Moonen & Tj. Plomp (Eds.): Development of educational software. London.