The Eighth International Conference on Writing Analytics

Academic Writing in Digital Contexts: Analytics, Tools, Mediality





Conference Programme



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Digital technologies transform writing and reading fundamentally and lead to new forms of literacy, media use, writing habits and competence profiles. Keeping pace with these developments is a challenge for not only writers in academic settings but also writing teachers. There are simply too many innovations and too little guidance to help select what might be useful for writing classes or seminars. Similarly, for writing researchers, is it a great challenge to react to new research needs and provide adequate methodologies and research strategies. New research settings, media, data collection opportunities and analytic methods have to be created and applied, which, in turn, lead to new research perspectives, discourse communities and exchange forums. In light of these challenges, this conference aims to bring together various disciplines, covering composition and writing research, corpus and computer linguistics, media studies, psychology and educational technology, to provide a setting where knowledge, research results and methodological concepts can be exchanged.

The conference addresses three distinct yet interrelated and complementary study fields to provide a more complete and integrated understanding of the impact new technologies have on writing and teaching of writing in higher education, as well as their implications for learning, thinking, communicating, language use and collaboration. We invite submissions that focus on research-based and conceptually-elaborated studies in the following three adjacent fields. The list of example topics is not exhaustive.

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Writing Analytics

  • Approaches and technology for data extraction, processing and visualization

  • Analysis of data from large samples of texts in writing contexts

  • Corpus and computational linguistics approaches to writing analytics

  • Use of data for improving writing and writing instruction

Innovations in tools development

  • Strategies for tools development

  • Implementation and testing studies

  • Studies on feedback tools and feedback platforms

  • Automatic feedback and intelligent tutoring

Media and literacy studies

  • Exploring the use of new digital writing tools or platforms

  • Media use, media acceptance and mediality from linguistic perspectives

  • Studies on writing software and the functionality of word processors

  • Studies on writing in digital contexts (e.g. collaborative writing, automatic correction etc.)


Book of abstracts

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Prof. Dr. Elena Cotos

Keynote Speaker

Digital writing tools: Teaching and learning needs, theoretical underpinnings, grounded design, linguistic description, and valid evaluation

Prof. Dr. Elena Cotos is faculty in the Applied Linguistics and Technology Program in the Department of English at Iowa State University, United States. Her research interests include automated writing evaluation, corpus-based genre analysis, genre-based writing pedagogy, and language for specific and academic purposes. She has led the research, development, and implementation of tools for computer-assisted learning and assessment, the most notable exemplar being the Research Writing Tutor. She is the author of the book monograph entitled “Genre-based automated writing evaluation for L2 research writing” and has published in a range of journals and edited volumes. Her pedagogically motivated scholarship program has enabled her to translate empirical results to writing pedagogy and to spearhead the founding of the Center for Communication Excellence, which supports the writing needs of postgraduate students and postdoctoral associates at Iowa State University.

Prof. Dr. Mike Sharples

Keynote Speaker

Connecting theory and practice in writing with technology

Prof. Dr. Mike Sharples is Emeritus Professor of Educational Technology in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University, UK and Honorary Visiting Professor at the Centre for Innovation in Higher Education, Anglia Ruskin University. His research involves human-centred design of new technologies and environments for learning. He inaugurated the mLearn conference series and was Founding President of the International Association for Mobile Learning. As Academic Lead for the FutureLearn company, he informed the design of its social learning approach. He leads the nQuire project with the BBC to develop a new platform for inquiry-led learning at scale. He founded the Innovating Pedagogy report series and is author of over 300 papers in the areas of educational technology, science education, human-centred design of personal technologies, artificial intelligence and cognitive science.

Dr. Till A. Heilmann

Keynote Speaker

How Writing Turned Digital

Dr. Till A. Heilmann is Research Associate at the Department of Media Studies at the University of Bonn. He studied German, media studies, and history. His research areas are in the theory and history of digital media. His recent publications on writing in the digital age include “Comic Sans: The Typographer Replaced.” Unterweiss Bulletin 2 (2018), http://www.ueberschwarz.com/releases/comicsans.html; “Handschrift und Algorithmus [Handwriting and Algorithm].” Diesseits des Virtuellen: Handschrift im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert. Ed. Urs Büttner et al. München: Wilhelm Fink 2015, pp. 47–61; “Reciprocal Materiality and the Body of Code.” Digital Culture & Society 1/1 (2015): 39–52; “Handschrift im digitalen Umfeld [Handwriting in the Digital Environment].” Osnabrücker Beiträge zur Sprachtheorie (OBST) 85 (2014): 169–192.


Previous Conferences

7th International Conference
on Writing Analytics
St Petersburg, Florida, USA 2019

6th International Conference
on Writing Analytics
Actionable Data for Teaching and Learning Writing
Malmö University, Sweden, 2018

5th International Conference
on Writing Analytics

(North American Meeting)
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA 2018 https://writingcommons.org/component/acymailing/listid-201-eastern-kentucky-university/mailid-70-analytics 

4th International Conference
on Writing Analytics
Writing Analytics, Data Mining, and Student Success 2017.
St Petersburg, Florida USA


Location and Time

September 5 – 6, 2019 (2 full days)

ZHAW Applied Linguistics
Theaterstrasse 15c
8401 Winterthur

CHF 220

PhD Students:
110 Swiss Francs

The conference venue is located in Winterthur in the metropolitan area of Zurich. The conference will take place at the Department of Applied Linguistics, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, a 5-minute walk from Winterthur central station. Winterthur can easily be reached by train from Zurich airport (15 minutes), and is approximately 20 minutes away from the center of Zurich.

Image Source: www.myswitzerland.com



Conference Chairs and Organizing Committee

  • Christian Rapp
    Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning
    Educational Technology Group
    ZHAW School of Management and Law
  • Otto Kruse & Noah Bubenhofer
    Institute of Language Competence (ILC)
    Digital Linguistics Group
    ZHAW School of Applied Linguistics

This conference was supported by the grant “IBH-Labs” within the framework of the Interreg V- programme “Alpenrhein-Bodensee-Hochrhein (DE / AT / CH / LI)” which funds are provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Swiss Confederation.

Hosting Institution

Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)
Contact: Christian Rapp