Electronic Markup and Management Application (EMMA)

poster / demo / art installation
  1. 1. Stephen Ramsay

    English - University of Georgia

Work text
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We would like to propose a poster session intended to provide a progress report on the Electronic Markup and Management Application (EMMA) project at the University of Georgia.
EMMA proposes to revise the way in which students write, edit, and submit compositions for review, as well as the way instructors and peers can respond by using markup technology to enable web-based collection, modification, distribution and archiving of student work. The core of EMMA is a Java-based editor which the student can download to facilitate creation of a marked-up composition. This customized editing software provides for instructor-specified document type definitions (DTDs) to be used for particular assignments. It also provides a means of ensuring the correct identification and upload of marked-up compositions back into the system archive which manages peer-review, instructor comments, portfolio creation, assessment, and access permissions.
The past year has presented a number of development opportunities for the EMMA project, most of which involved exploiting the power of the Cocoon framework upon which much of the server-side infrastructure of EMMA is deployed. We have increased the security and flexibility of the system by expanding the variety of access privileges, incorporating Cocoon's sessioning protocol, and including encryption for sensitive data. We have worked to develop the connection between Cocoon and our database by offering a simple but powerful user interface for exploring our archive of documents.
On the pedagogical front, we are developing new DTDs to expand the possible uses for English departments. Currently in development are DTDs for analyzing poetry and plays, as well as one for exploring lines of argument in primary sources. We are working to create a library of marked primary sources for use in the classroom. Though our editor is much more stable and much easier to use, we are still working to expand its functionality to include multi-file downloads and multi-format uploads and installer routines for multiple platforms. We have begun to develop a document preview in the editor and have an initial deployment of an internal browser for displaying documents, help-files, and tutorials. We continue to expand the browser's capabilities as we move toward a more self-contained, and hopefully simpler, application.
Having made a strong start on portfolio production this year (we passed the 10,000 document upload mark this past fall), we plan to expand EMMA's capabilities in this area, specifically by including a form for resumes. We have improved our stylesheets for the variety of displays already in use (HTML, PDF, and SVG) while at the same time developing new stylesheets for the new DTDs, We have increased the functionality of the document presentation for instructor commenting and grading, adding a richer quantitative analysis of student documents.
We have just begun working on a level of administrative access for a variety of assessment tools. We are conducting a study with the University of Georgia library which we hope to share at 2004 ALLC meeting. The reference staff will be sampling the works cited items in essays posted on EMMA. Since students mark these items, the sample can be quite easily collected. Over time, they see EMMA as a perfect tool for assessing research needs for the University.
The University of Georgia is also looking at deploying EMMA in some sections of Biology for submitting lab reports (particularly for annotating gene strings), as well as in independent study and distance learning contexts, and have begun working with Steve Ramsay on incorporating a variety of distributed computing technologies for text analysis and display.
We were encouraged by the positive feedback we received at last year's session on EMMA at the ACH/ALLC meeting, and we look forward to the possibility of exhanging ideas with our colleagues this summer.

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Conference Info



Hosted at Göteborg University (Gothenburg)

Gothenborg, Sweden

June 11, 2004 - June 16, 2004

105 works by 152 authors indexed

Series: ACH/ICCH (24), ALLC/EADH (31), ACH/ALLC (16)

Organizers: ACH, ALLC

  • Keywords: None
  • Language: English
  • Topics: None