WAWA: Improve Business Report Writing (Accounting)



This Writing Activity with Writing Analytics (WAWA) was developed as part of the doctoral research conducted by Shibani Antonette, as part of the Academic Writing Analytics project at the University of Technology Sydney’s Connected Intelligence Centre.

The current WAWA includes design patterns which were transferred to business report writing context for Accounting students from the law essay writing context. The feedback messages and writing tasks were tuned for this context according to assessment criteria to provide meaningful learning activities for students. In this way, the writing analytics technology from AcaWriter was integrated into the classroom in authentic contexts with the help of academics. The educators played a major role in co-designing the context of the tasks and developing materials for students.

Learning Design

Learning Design

License: Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 

Developed by:

  • Shibani Antonette, Simon Knight, Simon Buckingham Shum (Connected Intelligence Centre, University of Technology Sydney)
  • Nicole Sutton, Raechel Wight (Business School, University of Technology Sydney)

Learning design for the accounting context included a set of online and classroom writing tasks designed for students by embedding the use of AcaWriter over several weeks as below:

The homework task is facilitated by an online platform called AcaWriter-Tutor which provides an induction for students to use AcaWriter feedback for their business report writing. The tasks in Weeks 1 and 2 used exemplar texts to motivate students to try AcaWriter with sample texts given to them. In the following weeks, they used their own writing and used AcaWriter for their assignment submission. The introduction video by the instructor which introduces students to rhetorical moves in the context of their writing and the use of AcaWriter is below:


Analytics Genre Profile

Analytical Writing (Accounting Business Reports)

This describes the Genre module in AcaWriter that has been developed to support this activity.

License: Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 

Developed by: Shibani Antonette (University of Technology Sydney)

Version: 1.0

Based on: Analytical Writing (Standard)

Purpose: Highlights sentences that appear to show hallmarks of good academic writing for a UTS business report and to provide specific feedback on possible improvements that can be made in that context.

Textual Features: The analytical report highlights rhetorical moves from the following list that AcaWriter identified in the text:

S:  Summarises or signals the author’s goals

P: Perspective or stance

E: Emphasis of a significant or important idea

N: Novel improvements in ideas

C: Contrasting idea, tension or critical insight

B: Background information and previous work

These moves are tagged at the sentence level. There can be more than one rhetorical move in a sentence.

Feedback: Feedback consists of three tabs: Analytical Report, Feedback and Examples (see screenshot).

The Analytical Report tab shows highlighted moves for reflection:

The Feedback tab provides more specific feedback on missing rhetorical moves in a business report context.  This tab first displays a cautionary message shown for all texts, followed by feedback on specific missing moves in the report, mapping them to the assessment criteria. The feedback also includes suggestions on possible improvements that can be made, e.g.

This is dynamically updated by checking for the moves whenever the student uses the Get Feedback button. Students may receive zero or more additional feedback messages depending on the rhetorical moves AcaWriter identified in their text.

The Tips tab provides examples of sentences from a business report by mapping it to rhetorical moves identified by AcaWriter. This tab remains static to help students relate the rhetorical moves to their report’s assessment criterion to better make use of the feedback from AcaWriter.



Here’s what we’re learning, and more details on the rationale underpinning the design and implementation of (i) the analytics tools, and (ii) the student activities:

Antonette Shibani, Simon Knight and Simon Buckingham Shum (Forthcoming). Contextualizable Learning Analytics Design: A Generic Model, and Writing Analytics Evaluations. Full paper accepted for publication at the Ninth International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge(LAK ’19), Tempe, Arizona

Simon Knight, Antonette Shibani and Simon Buckingham Shum (2018). Augmenting Formative Writing Assessment with Learning Analytics: A Design Abstraction Approach. Full Paper presented at the London Festival of Learning cross-over track at ICLS’18.

Antonette Shibani, Simon Knight, Simon Buckingham Shum and Philippa Ryan (2017). Design and Implementation of a Pedagogic Intervention Using Writing Analytics. In Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Computers in Education. New Zealand: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education.

Antonette Shibani (2018). AWA-Tutor: A Platform to Ground Automated Writing Feedback in Robust Learning Design (Demo). In Companion Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK ’18), Sydney, Australia.

Knight, S., Buckingham Shum, S., Ryan, P., Sándor, Á., & Wang, X. (2017). Academic Writing Analytics for Civil Law: Participatory Design Through Academic and Student Engagement. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 28, (1), 1-28.