FeedBook an interactive workbook for English foreign language teaching

Vision

FeedBook, a web-based workbook for teaching English, provides individual intelligent feedback to students while working on interactive tasks. The system's individual feedback on form and meaning is supposed to help students to incrementally and successfully complete exercises at home. On the basis of the learning outcomes achieved by the students through individual feedback the teachers can focus their in-class teaching on communicative and task-oriented activities. At the same time a special interface helps the teachers without additional effort to identify learning difficulties of individual students or groups of students, which can then systematically be discussed and addressed in class with the help of further exercises.

About

The FeedBook is an intelligent electronic workbook is designed to accompany the English teaching at the German Gymnasium. It is developed by computational linguists at the University of Tübingen in collaboration with the publisher Diesterweg on the basis of a current workbook for 7th grade English classes, Camden Town.

The main goal of the FeedBook is to develop a system that provides immediate, individualized feedback to English language learners working on a range of tasks. To provide this kind of scaffolding feedback, state-of-the-art computational analyses of meaning and form are implemented and further developed.

FeedBook was tested for an entire school year between September 2018 and August 2019. First analyses show that students who received specific feedback benefit significantly more from using the system than students who don't receive specific feedback. A detailed analysis is published in this article.

Partners

The University of Tübingen is one of the oldest universities in Europe and one out of only 11 excellence universities in Germany. It hosts the project and provides financial resources.

Diesterweg is a publisher of educational materials. They provide the materials used as a basis for the digital form.

The development of the FeedBook is funded through the Knowledge Transfer Project (T1) as part of the of the collaborative research center 833 "The Construction of Meaning". The computational analyses implemented in the FeedBook are based on research results of the SFB Project A4 (Comparing Meaning in Context) on state-of-the-art meaning assessment of learner answers.

Project progress
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Project Start

Start of the development of the system prototype.

July 2016
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Prototype Rollout

Rollout of prototype to five schools, start of data collection phase.

October 2016
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Update 1.1

First major system update focusing on mobile and touchscreen optimization.

November 2016
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Update 1.2

Second major system update introducing among other features an intelligent feedback memory system.

December 2016
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Update 1.3

Third big system update with lots of system polishing and the introduction of a statistics module.

February 2017
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Update 1.4

Fourth big system update with the introduction of a mosaic design and improved automatic feedback.

February 2017
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Update 1.4.1

System update with reworked navigation bar and options for automatic system suggestions.

April 2017
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Update 1.5.0

System update with first automatic input analysis and many functional improvements.

June 2017
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Update 1.5.1

Update with 3rd generation of student perspective and new functions for adding new tasks to the system.

July 2017
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Update 2.0

First version of interactive, direct, intelligent feedback.

September 2017
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Update 2.3

Form feedback for all grammar topics of the seventh grade..

Mai 2018
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Update 2.4

Extension of meaning feedback for semi-open tasks, real-time feedback for spelling errors, implementation of a learner model and automatic sequencing of exercises.

August 2018
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Start of Study

Begin of a 1-year study to test the effectiveness of FeedBook in an authentic context..

September 2018
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Completion of Study

Completion of Study after 1 year of testing..

July 2019
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First Analysis

Publication of article showing student using the FeedBook with feedback learn significantly better. [link]

August 2019
Team

Professor of Computational Linguistics and head of the Theoretical Computational Linguistics group at the Department of Linguistics of the University of Tübingen.​

Researcher in the domain of information structure in the knowledge center 833 at the University of Tübingen.

Responsible for learner model in FeedBook and PhD student in Computational Linguistics at the University of Tübingen.

Feedback expert at FeedBook and researcher in the domain of content assessment at the University of Tübingen.

Teacher and author providing a pedagogical perspective.