The goal of this project is to develop an innovative technology called Discussion Tracker, a computer-based system for high school English teachers that uses recent advances in human language technologies (HLT) to provide teachers with automatically generated data and instructional guidance on the quality of students' collaborative argumentation in their classrooms. Discussion Tracker will provide teachers with visual representations of the significant features of their students' collaborative talk and tools for instructional reflection and future planning. The project will improve the teaching and learning of collaborative argumentation in high schools so that students will be prepared for collaborative problem-solving in future educational, workplace, and civic settings. This project leverages recent advances in human language technologies (HLT), data visualization/ analytics, and teacher learning to advance technology that provides automated feedback on classroom talk with the goal of improving teaching effectiveness and student achievement. It develops novel HLT methods for detecting three significant features of students' collaborative talk: argument moves (claim, evidence, explanation), specificity, and collaboration (e.g., building on, probing or challenging others' ideas).
Professor, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh
Professor, Computer Science Department, Senior Scientist, Learning Research and Development Center Director, Intelligent Systems Program, University of Pittsburgh
Graduate Student, Computer Science Deparment, University of Pittsburgh
Graduate Student, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh
Graduate Student, Computer Science Department, University of Pittsburgh
- Luca Lugini and Diane Litman, Contextual Argument Component Classification for Class Discussions, Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING), Online, December 2020
- Luca Lugini, Christopher Olshefski, Ravneet Singh, Diane Litman and Amanda Godley, Discussion Tracker: Supporting Teacher Learning about Students' Collaborative Argumentation in High School Classrooms, Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING), Online, December. (System Demonstration) 2020
- Godley, A. J., Olshefski, C. A., Litman, D. & Lugini, L. (2020, Apr 17 - 21) Toward a Computational Analysis of Students' Collaborative Argumentation in English Language Arts Classrooms [Symposium]. AERA Annual Meeting San Francisco, CA (Conference Canceled)
- Christopher Olshefski, Luca Lugini, Ravneet Singh, Diane Litman, Amanda Godley, The Discussion Tracker Corpus of Collaborative Argumentation, Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, Marseille, France, May 2020.
- Godley, A.J., Olshefski, C., Lugini, L. & Litman, D., Toward a Computational Analysis of Students’ Collaborative Argumentation in English Language Arts Classrooms. Paper to be presented at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA, April 2020.
- Godley, A. J. & Olshefski, C., Promises and Limitations of Applying NLP to Classroom Discourse Analysis. Paper presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Ontario, April 2019.
- Luca Lugini and Diane Litman, Argument Component Classification for Classroom Discussions, Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Argument Mining, pp. 57-67, Brussels, Belgium, November 2018.
- Luca Lugini, Diane Litman, Amanda Godley, and Christopher Olshefski, Annotating Student Talk in Text-based Classroom Discussions, Proceedings of the Thirteenth Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications, pp. 110-116, New Orleans, LA, June 2018.
- Luca Lugini and Diane Litman, Predicting Specificity in Classroom Discussion, Proceedings of the Twelfth Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications, pp. 52-61, Copenhagen, Denmark, September 2017.
- Godley, A. J. & Olshefski, C., Leveraging NLP to Assess and Improve Text-Based Discussions in English Language Arts. Paper presented at the Connecting Language, Interaction and Education in Digital Environments Conference, State College, PA, September 2017.
- Olshefski, C. & Godley, A. J., The role of argument moves, specificity and evidence type in meaningful literary discussions across diverse secondary classrooms. Paper presented at the Literacy Research Association Annual Conference, Tampa, FL, November 2017.
- Luca Lugini, Analysis of Collaborative Argumentation in Text-Based Classroom Discussions, Ph.D dissertation, Department of Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, 2020
Made available under the terms of GNU General Public License. The corpus is distributed without any warranty.
To access the DiscussionTracker corpus, please fill out the following form. We respect your privacy and will only use your information for the purpose assessing interest in the resource.
The source code for experiments detailed in 
is available at the following at the following links:
The source code for the web version of the Web App detailed in 
is available here
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (EAGER 1842334 and 1917673) and by the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research & Development Center.
Discussion Tracker Web App Demo
To access the Discussion Tracker Web App Demo head over to the App here.
The server is not stable and we are working on transferring it to a more stable setting.
The username to log in to the system is `demo` and the password is `dtapp_demo_password`.
Once logged in you will be taken to the overview page of the demo transcript and you will be able to interact with the interface as a teacher.
For the demo, you are be able to see both the gold labels and the classifier labels. Clicking on the button at the bottom (available on all pages) will switch the results that are shown as well as any goals selected by the demo teacher.
Also, you will see the results of the second discussion after the first discussion has been looked at by a teacher and a goal is set by that teacher.
In this system, the teacher can set the goal they want to focus on before the next discussion.
If you see that a goal is not set in the "Plan Next Discussion" page, select one to see the instructional resources that will be shared.
The Web version of the Discussion Tracker App is still a work in progress, if you face any issues, including being unable to access the web app, send an email to the address below and we will resolve it