Telephone Learning Software Uses a Phone and the Web to Assist with Essay Portion of the SAT

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Steven Donahue, professor and developer of writing enhancement technology at Miami Dade College, released the Telephone Learning Software capable of processing student essays by telephone and returning instant holistic scores.

The telephone learning system consists of 11 activities covering: spelling, multiplication tables, dictation, tongue twisters, background knowledge (for example, "What is the capital of California?") and free responses for writing and speech topics. Activities involve both listening and voice output. The Web is an integral part of the phone system, and allows students to preview assignments, and get post-results, which are then emailed to them. Once the student's audio writing samples are converted to text, they are processed using an automatic essay evaluation program called California Electronic Writer, currently in use in California school districts.

The telephone learning system has seen improved speech and writing output by EAP students in trial tests this past semester at the college.

To use the telephone system, students call a toll free number, enter an individual PIN, select a lesson and assignment, and interact with that assignment over the telephone. Responses are converted to audio files and emailed to the students, posted to a Web site, and then analyzed with an audio to text converting program to assess the accuracy of the responses.

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