Hillary Molloy


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Towards Evaluating Narrative Quality In Student Writing
Swapna Somasundaran | Michael Flor | Martin Chodorow | Hillary Molloy | Binod Gyawali | Laura McCulla
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 6

This work lays the foundation for automated assessments of narrative quality in student writing. We first manually score essays for narrative-relevant traits and sub-traits, and measure inter-annotator agreement. We then explore linguistic features that are indicative of good narrative writing and use them to build an automated scoring system. Experiments show that our features are more effective in scoring specific aspects of narrative quality than a state-of-the-art feature set.


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Discourse Annotation of Non-native Spontaneous Spoken Responses Using the Rhetorical Structure Theory Framework
Xinhao Wang | James Bruno | Hillary Molloy | Keelan Evanini | Klaus Zechner
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

The availability of the Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) Discourse Treebank has spurred substantial research into discourse analysis of written texts; however, limited research has been conducted to date on RST annotation and parsing of spoken language, in particular, non-native spontaneous speech. Considering that the measurement of discourse coherence is typically a key metric in human scoring rubrics for assessments of spoken language, we initiated a research effort to obtain RST annotations of a large number of non-native spoken responses from a standardized assessment of academic English proficiency. The resulting inter-annotator kappa agreements on the three different levels of Span, Nuclearity, and Relation are 0.848, 0.766, and 0.653, respectively. Furthermore, a set of features was explored to evaluate the discourse structure of non-native spontaneous speech based on these annotations; the highest performing feature resulted in a correlation of 0.612 with scores of discourse coherence provided by expert human raters.