CyWrite team members met with the ISU Linguistics Club today to discuss overlapping interests. The Linguistics Club unites linguistics majors, minors, and non-majors who share a passion for linguistics. The club holds bi-monthly meetings where members can exchange ideas and grow socially and academically together. Another goal of the club is to improve linguistics students’ knowledge of career and short-term job opportunities.
Undergraduate students typically have few opportunities to participate in serious research and development projects. CyWrite, an innovative automated writing evaluation system for learners of English as a second language (ESL) under development in the Applied Linguistics and Technology area of the English department, has increased these opportunities. As of March, 2015, eight undergraduate linguistics students have been working as research assistants on the CyWrite project, taking on responsibilities that would otherwise be restricted to graduate students, such as corpus annotation, formal linguistic analysis, and software development. We have been amazed at how much interested students can contribute to a complex R&D project at the leading edge of educational technology like CyWrite. Our undergraduate assistants have become an integral part of our team, which also includes five faculty members and two graduate RAs.
The CyWrite system is being piloted this semester in all sections of the ESL writing courses at Iowa State: English 101B, 101C, and 101D. A beta version of the system will be available for limited public trialing in Fall 2015. We invite both undergraduate and graduate students to join us. At CyWrite, you can work for fun, for credit, and for money. To learn more about job opportunities for students and to submit your application, please visit the project website.