Olga Gudkova
Senior Lecturer, is a PhD student in Methodology and Technology of Professional Education. Dissertation: Enhancing Critical Thinking skills of Biology Students in a Non-linguistic University. She has worked at MIPT since 2003 teaching various courses in bachelor’s and master’s programs. She has constantly improved qualifications in the areas essential for her professional growth, Advanced English Course. Incorporating new methods of teaching English as foreign language, Masonic Hall Kingston upon Themes. London, Hampton Consultancy LTD. English Language Teaching Methodology Course at Embassy CES. IELTS Teacher Training Course, Embassy CES, Cambridge.

Title: Educational Resources Aimed at Developing Writing Competences

Present day technologies and open source solutions allow educators to create useful tools for assessing their students’ performance in various areas. These tools can provide insights into essay grading and help with reconciliation, for instance. The current project is based on “IELTS Essay Grader” which sets a complete pipeline for building similar solutions based on open source technologies that do not require complex programming skills and are suitable for use at any level of education and training. It was created on ready-made BERT language model and finalised on the collected dataset of IELTS essays, publicly available on official IELTS websites. The discussed essay grader evaluates essays based on several writing traits such as grammatical mistakes, semantics, coherence, prompt relevance, and others and provides an overall score for now, with a short-term perspective of scoring each trait independently to precisely identify the weaknesses of each work in order to arrange better targeted and more personalized recommendations. This system is beneficial both for teachers and students since it helps to reduce manual work, saves a lot of time and speeds up the process of learning feedback.

By introducing various IELTS self-study materials and links to supplementary resources into IELTS Essay grader, we have attempted to create a comfortable and positive learning environment addressing multiple needs of students, from grammar, spelling, lexical resource, linking devices, rephrasing techniques, to essay layouts, and to focus the teachers’ attention on the certain goals students are to accomplish within the course not distracting them by any peculiarities irrelevant to the content.

The most notable advantages of this resource bank are: storing all links and materials on one page hosted by lms.mipt.ru, practicing online assignments at a comfortable pace, free essay checking with no limit to the number of works or attempts and getting an immediate and detailed feedback on the overall band.

Summary: This project aims to provide students writing IELTS essays with immediate scoring and diagnostic feedback to motivate them to improve their writing proficiency. IELTS Essay Grader combined with various educational resources (dictionaries, artificial intelligence tools and materials specifically designed for the training programme and hosted on the university platform) provides a unique educational resource for mastering essay writing skills and lessens the teachers’ workloads.