Thinking beyond chatbots' threat to education: Visualizations to elucidate the writing and coding process

25 Apr 2023  ·  Badri Adhikari ·

The landscape of educational practices for teaching and learning languages has been predominantly centered around outcome-driven approaches. The recent accessibility of large language models has thoroughly disrupted these approaches. As we transform our language teaching and learning practices to account for this disruption, it is important to note that language learning plays a pivotal role in developing human intelligence. Writing and computer programming are two essential skills integral to our education systems. What and how we write shapes our thinking and sets us on the path of self-directed learning. While most educators understand that `process' and `product' are both important and inseparable, in most educational settings, providing constructive feedback on a learner's formative process is challenging. For instance, it is straightforward in computer programming to assess whether a learner-submitted code runs. However, evaluating the learner's creative process and providing meaningful feedback on the process can be challenging. To address this long-standing issue in education (and learning), this work presents a new set of visualization tools to summarize the inherent and taught capabilities of a learner's writing or programming process. These interactive Process Visualizations (PVs) provide insightful, empowering, and personalized process-oriented feedback to the learners. The toolbox is ready to be tested by educators and learners and is publicly available at Focusing on providing feedback on a learner's process--from self, peers, and educators--will facilitate learners' ability to acquire higher-order skills such as self-directed learning and metacognition.

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Computers and Society


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