A Computer Program for Invention and Feedback
SEEN (Seeing Eye Elephant Network) is a computer program intended to help students write better essays by providing a heuristic for invention and a means for audience feedback. In the solo mode, the program prompts students to perceive what they have seen--that is, to consider the literary work in an active way. The program also remembers--like an elephant--what the students say in answer to the program's prompts. In the network mode, students can share their work and get feedback by seeing how their work compares with others' views or by getting other students' comments on their work. In a tutorial that is currently being set up for a character analysis, the solo mode prompts students to provide and consider evidence in support of their own hypothesis, while the network segment is designed to help the students sharpen their critical insights by giving and getting feedback. In the fall of 1981 the program was tested on students in an introductory world literature class to determine if the students would improve their essay writing after using the computer program. A preliminary analysis of the data suggests that the improvement between the computer group and the noncomputer group is not statistically significant. However, the writing of the computer group did become much longer and more detailed, while failing and marginal students seemed to improve on the essay exam quite dramatically. (HOD)
Schwartz, H.J. A Computer Program for Invention and Feedback.