WeST Lab
Web, Semantics and Text

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Ph.D. position

Welcome to WeST Lab

WeST Lab is dedicated to the development of natural langage tools to leverage the Semantic Web.

Ph.D. position

We are looking for excellent candidates who would like to be involved in a challenging research project

Description of the project:

Creating opportunities for deep learning and supporting student engagement in large online or blended classrooms and MOOCs presents a particular challenge. Central to this challenge are the restrictions of current automated assessment techniques and limited opportunity for individualized formative feedback from teachers. In this project, we seek to harness the power of computational techniques to address these limitations. In particular, we focus on discourse-centric analytics to explore the language that students and teachers use as they engage in learning and teaching.

In this project, we have three aims. First, to characterize the language constructs of students and teachers across a number of disciplines. Second, to explore whether understanding disciplinary literacy development can support the provision of effective and formative feedback to learners and the enhance the quality of their skill development. Finally, we address the challenge of automated evaluation of students' written responses to questions.

Description of the Ph.D. project:

The Ph.D. project concerns the third objective. Learners test data will be analyzed to obtain mappings of disciplinary features to questions and provide fine-grained assessment of learners’ disciplinary proficiency.

Model answers and learners responses will be compared for the evaluation of each individual question using features of disciplinary literacy. The assessment of learner answers will be supported by semantic similarity methods (with model answers) and readability metrics such as coherence and paraphrases. Machine learning models will also be built for each question to automatically grade learners answers based on these features.


The candidate must sent the following documents:

Send the documents to Dr Michel Gagnon, at the following email: michel.gagnon@polymtl.ca

The studies are expected to start on January 2018, and financial support is provided following the NSERC guidelines for Ph.D. students.