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learner engagement, L2 writing, e-rater, automated writing evaluation (AWE)


The study explored six ESL university students’ behavioral, cognitive, and affective engagement with e-rater feedback on local issues and examined any changes in students’ engagement over two weeks. We explored behavioral engagement through the analysis of screencasts of students’ e-rater usage and writing assignments. We measured cognitive and affective engagement by analyzing students’ comments during the think-aloud protocol and reflection surveys. The findings indicated that the students had varying levels of engagement with the feedback. Behaviorally, all students used a range of revision operations to address errors based on the provided feedback. Cognitively, some students were more engaged than others. Affectively, students experienced both positive and negative reactions toward e-rater feedback. While some students’ engagement with feedback did not change over two weeks, others’ engagement grew more negative. We conclude that e-rater feedback could positively impact students’ accuracy in local aspects of writing if students are actively engaged with the feedback.



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