Corpus and Repository of Writing

On Friday, October 4th, the Arizona Crowbirds opened their nest for the public to visit. During the Open Lab students, instructors, and staff were invited to explore the lab and interact with the University of Arizona’s research team. Visitors also had the opportunity to interact with Crow’s online interface, diving into the Corpus and Repository through a hands-on experience. They learned more about the different research and outreach projects the lab is involved in for both Crow and MACAWS (Multilingual Academic Corpus of Assignments–Writing and Speech), our cousin corpus.

Gathering of people standing in a small office. At left, Shelley Staples demonstrates the Crow interface.
Shelley Staples (far left), David Marsh (center), and Jhonatan Henao Muñoz (far right) chatting with open house attendees.

Thank you to everyone who attended our Open House! The Arizona Crowbirds look forward to continuing to share their progress and hard work with the community. To access the online interface, visit

Jhonatan Henao Muñoz guides an attendee through the Crow corpus web interface.
Jhonatan Henao Muñoz (right) offering a guided tour of the Crow web interface.

This blog post was written by Emily Palese.

Planning: Spring 2019

In between processing students’ texts for the corpus, Hadi Banat, Hannah Gill, Dr. Shelley Staples and Emily Palese met regularly during Spring 2019 to strategize about expanding Crow’s repository. At the time, the repository had 68 pedagogical materials from Purdue University, but none from the University of Arizona and no direct connections between students’ corpus texts and the repository materials. 

Hadi lead our team’s exploration of how repository materials had been processed previously, including challenges they faced, solutions they found, and questions that remained unresolved. With this context, we used Padlet to brainstorm how we might classify new materials and what information we’d like to collect from instructors when instructors share their pedagogical materials.

A section of our collaborative Padlet mindmap

Once we had a solid outline, we met with instructors and administrators from the University of Arizona’s Writing Program to pitch our ideas. Finally, with their feedback, we were able to design an online intake form with categories that would be helpful for Crow as well as instructors, administrators, and researchers.

Pilot & Processing Materials: Summer 2019

To pilot the online intake survey, we asked 8 UA instructors and administrators to let us observe and record their experiences as they uploaded their materials. This feedback helped us make some important immediate fixes and also helped us consider new approaches and modifications to the form. Another benefit of piloting the intake form is that we received additional materials that we could begin processing and adding to the repository.

Before processing any UA repository materials, Hannah and Emily first reflected on their experiences processing corpus texts and discussed the documents that had helped them navigate and manage those processing tasks. With those experiences in mind, they decided to begin two documents for their repository work: a processing guide and a corresponding task tracker.

Processing Guide: “How to Prepare Files for the Repository

To create the processing guide, Hannah and Emily first added steps from Crow’s existing corpus guide (“How to Prepare Files for ASLW”) that would apply to repository processing. Using those steps as a backbone, they began processing a set of materials from one instructor together, taking careful notes of new steps they took and key decisions they made. 

At the end of each week, they revisited these notes and discussed any lingering questions with Dr. Staples. They then added in additional explanations, details, and examples so that the process could easily and consistently be followed by other Crowbirds in the future. 

The result was a 9-page processing guide with 12 discreet processing steps:

Task Tracker: “Repository Processing Checklist”

When they worked as a team processing corpus texts in Spring 2019, Hannah, Jhonatan, and Emily used a spreadsheet to track their progress and record notes about steps if needed. This was particularly helpful on days when they worked independently on tasks; the tracker helped keep all of the team members up-to-date on the team’s progress and aware of any issues that came up. 

With this in mind, Hannah and Emily created a similar task tracker for their repository processing work. The tracking checklist was developed alongside the processing guide so that it would have exactly the same steps. With identical steps, someone using the tracking checklist could refer to the processing guide if they had questions about how to complete a particular step. Once a step is completed, the Crowbird who finished the step initials the box, leaves a comment if needed, and then moves to the next step. 

Below is a screenshot of what part of the tracking checklist looks like.

Developing the processing guide and the corresponding checklist was an iterative process that often involved revisiting previously completed tasks to refine our approach. Eventually, though, the guide and checklist became clear, consistent, and sufficiently detailed to support processing a variety of pedagogical materials.


By the end of the summer, Hannah, Emily, and Dr. Staples successfully processed 236 new pedagogical materials from the University of Arizona and added them to Crow’s online interface. 

For the first time, Crow now has direct links between students’ texts in the corpus and pedagogical materials from their classes in the repository. This linkage presents exciting new opportunities for instructors, researchers, and administrators to begin large-scale investigations of the connections between students’ drafts and corresponding instructional materials!

The team is growing at the University of Arizona, as Crowbirds welcome visiting scholar David Marsh to the flock. He is an associate professor of English at the National Institute of Technology, Wakayama College, Japan, and is currently in Arizona for one year as a CESL/SLAT Visiting Scholar. David’s research interests are related to second language teaching and corpus analysis of technical/engineering English.

In his free time, David likes to play with his son and cook.

Welcome, David, we look forward to working more with you in the future!

Bradley Dilger and Hadi Banat attended the Council of Writing Program Administrators’ annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland, and conducted a workshop to introduce the Crow platform and its various uses to the CWPA audience. Participants explored multiple features of the Crow platform and reflected on its potential uses for their own research and writing programs. After Dr. Dilger introduced the Crow project, design practices, and the technical aspects of building and maintaining the interface, graduate dissertation fellow Hadi Banat discussed Crow’s adopted methods to collect corpus texts and repository pedagogical materials. Both Dilger and Banat led a guided tour of our web interface, provided ample time for hands-on exploration, and assisted workshop participants by answering queries during our extensive individual work time. Finally, participants reported on their experience interacting with the interface, provided feedback on their interface experience, and reflected on ways to utilize this resource in their own institutional contexts.

Banat describing our approach to collaboration

During our conversations with CWPA workshop participants, we discussed the following:

  • Multiple Word Handling feature (Contains any word or Contain all words) in corpus search and possible additional interface features 
  • Our GitHub tools related to processing and de-identifying student texts
  • Pedagogical material de-identification, ownership, and labor concerns
  • Usability of the repository materials and corpus texts for graduate student practicums
  • Coding multimodal digital projects and related repository backend work 
  • Open source platform, user permissions, and access to data 
  • Open source platform and access criteria pertaining to various user profiles

After our conversations, we invited workshop participants to share more feedback with us by filling out a survey feedback form. Inspired by user experience and usability practitioners, outreach workshops and user feedback are instrumental for continuing the development of our interface. Thanks to our ACLS extension grant, we were able to offer gift cards to participants who filled out the survey, another part of our outreach work to build a network of potential Crow contributors and researchers.

Dilger responding to workshop participant questions

In addition to the time we spent in sessions and networking with other scholars and peers, we did not forget to enjoy the scenic inner harbour of Baltimore and the multicultural cuisines in the city. Dilger went for sunrise runs before breakfast and conference talks, and Banat enjoyed sunset walks after long days at the conference. (At CWPA, breakfast starts at 6:45am!) 

Baltimore’s inner harbor at sunset

At the end of the conference, CWPA organizers took us on a trip to the American Visionary Art Museum where we enjoyed snacks, desserts, and beer before we took a tour of the museum and admired its unique pieces. Through this social event, we also met new friends and had entertaining conversations outside the realm of academia.

Pieces from the American Visionary Art Museum

We hope to attend CWPA 2020 in Reno, Nevada and share our work with the writing program administration community again. 

Our Crow mascot enjoying the conference

Hadi Banat designed and delivered two Crow outreach workshops: one for Computers and Writing 2019 in East Lansing, Michigan, and one at the Council Writing Program Administrators 2019 (CWPA) in Baltimore, Maryland. With the Transculturation team, he presented the project’s pilot results at CWPA, too.

With Emily Palese and Shelley Staples, Banat sent a proposal about Crow’s repository development for the TESOL Conference to take place in Colorado on March 2020. He mentored undergraduate interns in the Transculturation Lab and coded dissertation data. His article “English in Lebanon: Policy Making, Education, and User Agency” was one of nine articles to get published in the special Middle East North African (MENA) Issue of the World Englishes Journal.

Bradley Dilger attended C&W 2019 in East Lansing, presenting with Hadi Banat and Michelle McMullin about Crow’s HWW grant and sharing the Crow interface with new audiences with Emily Jones. He presented with Banat at CWPA 2019 in Baltimore as well.

Wendy Gao has been developing four new test forms for Purdue Language and Culture Exchange Program (PLaCE) since Summer 2018. After rounds of revisions and reorganization, all the new test forms are available for use; the new ACE-in test will be administered by PLACE to more than 600 incoming undergraduate students at Purdue this fall. 

Gao co-authored a book chapter with April Ginther, “L2 Speaking: Theory and Research,” submitting their latest draft in May. Her  proposal to MWaLT (Midwest Association of Language Testers) Conference 2019—“Concept Mapping for Guiding Rater Training in an ESL Elicited Imitation Assessment”—was accepted. It is a study about rater disagreement on evaluating the listen and repeat sentence items for ACE-in.

Ge Lan cooperated with two Purdue SLS students to publish an article in System, “Does L2 write proficiency influence noun phrase complexity? A case analysis of argumentative essays written by Chinese students in a first-year composition course.” The data was from the PSLW corpus (which is an old version of the Crow corpus). 

Jhonatan Henao-Munoz attended the ATISA Summer School in Translation and Interpreting and participated in a corpus reading group with Aleksy Novikov. He also participated in the internship on Digital Humanities and Podcasting from National Humanities Center at San Diego State University. 

Emily Palese and Hannah Morgan Gill piloted and made improvements to the repository intake form that developed with Banat last spring. They also collected and processed over 200 materials from UA instructors for the repository. Emily made a Processing Guide to help future Crowbirds follow our steps.

Adriana Picoral was selected as an Arizona Data Science Ambassador. She had two papers selected to NWAV48 (New Ways of Analyzing Variation), the flagship sociolinguistics conference. Adriana also dedicated a lot of time to Crow, processing files for both ASLW and MACAWS, and improving our processing methods. She’s most excited about working with Mark Fullmer and other Crowbirds to develop a tool that will improve of Crow’s integration of corpus and repository.

Samantha Pate Rappuhn, a former Purdue undergraduate researcher, was hired as Grants and Academic Projects Coordinator for Ivy Tech Community College, working on the Kokomo, Indiana campus.

Ji-young Shin had an internship during the summer where she participated in multiple research projects. Her book review on response processes validity is in print now (Language Testing). A book chapter on stance features (Crow-data-based research presented during the TaLC) is in review. She received a small external grant (Language Learning Dissertation Grant). Lastly, she was invited to review a couple peer-reviewed journals and made a debut as an official reviewer. 

Shelley Staples was accepted as a Center for Undergraduate Education Scholarship (CUES) Fellow, with $50,000 in funding to support the development and evaluation of corpus-based pedagogical materials for the SLW classes at UA in Summer 2019. She had three journal articles accepted, one with Ge Lan for Journal of Second Language Writing on complexity in SLW, one for Register Studies, a multidimensional analysis of healthcare communication, and one for Language Testing on a multidimensional analysis of L2 written assessment. A fourth paper is now in press for a Routledge book on triangulating research methods (corpus linguistics and assessment).

She presented on multimodality in Crow, with Jeroen Gevers at the Computers and Writing conference and three papers at the Corpus Linguistics conference in Cardiff, Wales: one paper on the MD analysis of healthcare (Register Studies article mentioned above), one on an MD analysis of spoken oral assessment (see book chapter above), and a third on L2 writing complexity in the British Academic Written English corpus (a follow up from a 2016 Written Communication article).

Shelley also began her duties as Associate Director of Second Language Writing in the UA Writing Program and created versions of two of L2 writing courses for the micro campus in Lima, Peru, with Chris Tardy.

David Stucker worked as an intern for an industrial welding application firm in Greenfield, Indiana. He developed documentation for the operation and installation of an automated spark plug ground electrode welding system under contract from Federal-Mogul in France. He also developed a set of standardized manual templates and wrote a company style guide.

Ali Yayali was hired as an RA for the education extension of a grant-funded (USDA) environmental science project (SBAR) and started working with a secondary science teacher. He will design literacy and writing lessons and activities and work with English Language Learners (ELLs) in science classrooms particularly. This will help him as an initial step towards solidifying his plans to focus on scientific writing by L2 writers, secondary school genres, and the language of science. Ali also helped the Arizona Crowbirds write a proposal for the AZTESOL Conference.

From June 20–22, our Crowbirds flocked to East Lansing for this year’s Computers & Writing conference hosted at Michigan State University by a team including Crow PI Bill Hart-Davidson.

Shelley Staples and graduate student Jeroen Gevers, both from the University of Arizona, presented on multimodal and multilingual composing in FYW courses by using data from Crow corpora. Dr. Staples and Gevers discussed a multimodal multilingual remediation project in ENGL 108, the last L2 writing course in the Foundations Writing sequence at UA. They shared their methods for coding multimodal assignments, which include the use of images, text, emojis, and more, and voiced the challenges they encountered in standardizing codes. They ended with a discussion, seeking recommendations for alternative practices that require less time and less intensive labor.

Bradley Dilger, Mark Fullmer, Emily Jones, Hadi Banat, and Michelle McMullin conducted a workshop to introduce the Crow platform and its various uses to the C&W audience. Participants explored multiple features of the platform and reflected on its potential uses for their own research and writing courses. After undergraduate researcher Jones introduced the Crow project and design practices, our brilliant developer Fullmer discussed the nitty-gritty technical aspects of building and maintaining the interface. Afterwards, Dr. Dilger and Banat led a guided tour of our web interface. Dr. McMullin assisted by answering queries during our extensive individual work time. Finally, participants reported on their experience interacting with the interface and reflected on ways to utilize this resource in their own institutional contexts.

Emily Jones introduces the Crow platform, with Mark Fullmer in the background via videoconference.

Emily Jones introduces the Crow platform, with Mark Fullmer in the background via videoconference.

Dilger, Banat, and McMullin collaborated with the “Building Healthcare Collectives Team” on a roundtable which focused on research projects funded by Humanities Without Walls, and the outcomes of utilizing digital spaces and tools to build infrastructures necessary for successful collaboration among researchers and across institutions. Dr. Dilger discussed the models Crow PIs use for team building, and how Crow leaders developed collaborative writing practices, balanced individuals’ needs, and maximized professional development and team productivity. Dr. Dilger called for action, commenting on the responsibility of faculty to mentor graduate students on the skills they need to build research agendas, enter the job market, and pursue their prospective careers.

Dr. McMullin discussed the need to make teams a site for research, by interrogating practices within a collaborative community. Relying on her Crow experiences, she presented recommendations and practical tips that teams can use to create digital infrastructures and develop best practices which honor both accountability and flexibility.

Banat, Crow’s rising fifth year PhD candidate and a 2019–2020 Purdue Research Foundation Fellow, focused on performing interdisciplinarity through the transfer of research, team building, collaboration, and grant writing practices from Crow to the Transculturation in FYW research project. He highlighted the value of involvement in research teams for knowledge construction and expertise development. In his lightning talk, he outlined Crow’s grant writing strategy in detail, inviting the audience to use the same guidelines and practices at their own institutions. He emphasized the value of mentoring that research participation provides, drawing comparisons between the Humanities Lab Practicum which was a common part of our HWW projects, and the engineering research lab model. Despite the fact that this was one of the conference’s final sessions, the roundtable ended with lively conversation surrounding best practices for grant writing and team building.

As at every conference, the Crow team found time to make new friends and socialize with scholars from other institutions who are pursuing brilliant projects. Crow conference experiences are holistic and comprehensive, as we use this opportunity to reflect on our experiences and learn from them.

Afterglow at the Hart-Davidson compound

Afterglow at the Hart-Davidson compound

The dormitory accommodation was a unique experience, as our Crowbirds are used to staying in nearby hotels. The communal living made conversations with scholars, colleagues, and peers easier and smoother. We also enjoyed after-conference socials at East Lansing breweries, where we discussed types of beer, future Crow projects, and prospective career plans for Crow’s graduating students. At the end of the conference, co-host Bill Hart-Davidson invited us and other attendees to his house for snacks, laughs, and lively conversation. The real fun started when a group of conference presenters enthusiastically formed a band and played some (loud) jams. Before heading back to West Lafayette, we enjoyed a delicious vegan brunch at People’s Kitchen and reflected on our third (and hopefully not last!) time presenting at the C&W conference.

We’re happy to demonstrate the Crow system at CWPA 2019!

Thanks to our grant funding, we can offer attendees who complete this feedback form a $25 gift card! Fill out the form, then get in touch with Bradley Dilger before the end of the conference. (We’re in Baltimore until Sunday.)

Follow along as we demonstrate the Crow system, then offer everyone time to explore it on their own devices: Handout as Google Doc

We also invite you to try this demonstration version of our repository intake form — the way we collect texts from participating instructors.

Thank you for your interest! We welcome your questions.

This summer, we have the opportunity to continue sharing our interface at various conferences. We are excited to lead a mini-workshop (Session G, Sat 6/22, 2:00p, Riverside Room) at this year’s Computers & Writing conference, where we will discuss the technical and ethical processes for building our database and provide users time to explore our interface. Attending? Workshop materials are at the bottom of this page.

Exploring a web-based archive of writing and assignments

Our team has developed the first web-based archive that links a repository of pedagogical materials with a corpus of student texts written in response to those assignments in first-year composition courses. This workshop will allow participants to explore the features of our platform for their own research and writing courses. A guided tour of our web interface will be followed with extensive individual work time supported by researchers. Participants will learn to explore linguistic and rhetorical features of student writing, develop classroom activities or research plans, and explore other uses.

Shelley Staples attending a workshop C&W 2016, sketching out the Crow platform’s connections between texts


After our workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Use our platform to explore linguistic and rhetorical features of student writing;
  2. Develop classroom activities or research plans based on the corpus and repository date available through our platform;
  3. Discuss how information from our platform could be further developed for research and inform language teaching;
  4. Explore opportunities for managing data for programmatic use, such as assessment or professional development.

In addition to these main goals, participants will gain a general understanding of the data processing and development required to sustain for data-driven web-based software like our platform. Interested? Keep reading for a full description of our workshop.


We are very excited to announce that the Crow team has been awarded the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Digital Extension grant in the amount of $150,000. Congratulations to our Crow team, and in particular, to Shelley Staples, Ashley Velázquez, Hadi Banat, Bradley Dilger, Ali Yaylali, Aleksey Novikov, and Adriana Picoral. These Crowbirds contributed extensively to developing our application. We also wish to thank those at University of Arizona who supported our grant writing and submission: Kim Patton (Research, Discovery, & Innovation), Beth E. Stahmer (Social and Behavioral Science Research Institute), and Jane Zavisca (Associate Dean for Research, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences).

ACLS Digital Extension grants support digital research projects in humanities and the humanistic social sciences. According to John Paul Christy, director of public programs at ACLS, “This year’s awardees share a commitment to the kinds of community building – across disciplines, institutions, languages and cultures – that strengthen the enterprise of the digital humanities.” The Crow team is thrilled to be one of the first writing research projects funded by ACLS (if not the first one).

Our project, “Expanding the Corpus and Repository of Writing: An Archive of Multilingual Writing in English,” will run for three semesters, from July 2019 until December 2020. Key personnel on the grant include Staples (PI) and Dilger (Co-PI), research assistants at Arizona (Novikov; Picoral; Yalalyi) and Purdue (Lan; Gao) as well as undergraduate research assistants at Purdue. We also will continue to work with our amazing developer, Mark Fullmer.

This grant will allow our team to advance research in several areas. First, it will help us expand our data collection of multilingual writers to a new population of heritage Spanish writers at the University of Arizona (a newly designated Hispanic Serving Institution). Second, we will be able to automate some of our intertextuality research by creating a new computational tool. Our final goal for this project is to offer extensive outreach to researchers, teacher-researchers, and developers. To reach this goal, we plan to conduct multiple training workshops for teachers and researchers on how to use the Crow platform, as well as train teacher-researchers how to add their own texts to the Crow platform and train developers on how to use the API for their own projects. ACLS support will enable us to offer support and incentives to these educators.

Visualization of extension of Crow supported by grant: reaching new audiences in new ways.

Thanks again to everyone involved in various steps of the grant application in different capacities. We remain grateful to our current funders, the Humanities Without Walls Consortium, and our institutions, Purdue University, the University of Arizona, and Michigan State University. We are very happy to continue expanding Crow with the help of their continuing support.

We’re closing out the spring semester with another APPLAWS post, a celebration of the team’s Awards, Publications, Plans, Leadership, Achievements, Wooots, and Surprises over the past academic year. We have lots of exciting updates to share!

Hadi Banat became a PhD candidate, won a Purdue Research Foundation dissertation fellowship for 2019-2020, and with the Transculturation team won a $5,000 CILMAR grant. His chapter “Floating on Quicksand: Negotiating Academe as Muslim” in Harry Denny et al.’s Out in the Center: Public Controversies and Private Struggles published by the University Press of Colorado came out hot off the press. He has also finalized coding and analyzing the transculturation project pilot data set and mentored undergraduate researchers who joined the team. In Crow, he has been working with Shelley, Emily, Hannah and Mark on repository development and helped the grants team with writing the ACLS grant.

Bradley Dilger worked extensively with Crow undergraduate researchers to continue spotlighting Crowbirds on our website, to build our inventory of Crow swag (STICKERS!!!!!), and to help Crow develop its outreach strategy. With Michelle McMullin, he is continuing our “Constructive distributed work” project, and is also helping our team update its environmental scans of other corpora and repositories. Bradley also taught Empirical Research in Writing Studies in Spring 2019, and helped the Transculturation team (including Crowbird Hadi Banat) win a third CILMAR mini-grant.

Mark Fullmer helped launch a new release of the Crow web interface which included a substantial redesign of the search engine, changes which lay the groundwork for more advanced functionality like wildcard searches. He submitted a patent application for software that allows readers to dynamically assign the gender of personae in prepared texts, as used on . In April, he attended DrupalCon, an annual event of the open-source content management system, and his contributions to Drupal’s layout interface were referenced during multiple sessions. He is currently collaborating with developers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on further enhancements.

Jie Gao is a fourth year PhD candidate in Purdue SLS. She led the team that submitted a research article on citation, and also worked on a book chapter titled “L2 Speaking: Theory and Research” during the past 10 months. She is now analyzing data for her dissertation. She hopes to finish a few chapters by the end of July.

Hannah Gill is finishing up her sophomore year at the University of Arizona. This was her first semester working with Crow and she has loved it. She has spent most of her time in the lab processing student texts from the University of Arizona writing courses. In addition, she collaborated with other members of the Crow team on collecting instructional materials to the repository. She also helped in a workshop on CROW/MACAWS which focused on designing DDL activities with the help of the two interfaces. She was also admitted into her major (PPEL—philosophy, politics, economics, and law) which she will begin in the fall semester.

Jhonatan Henao-Muñoz completed his 2nd year as a Ph.D. student this spring and will be taking his last courses on fall. This past semester he co-coordinated the 29th version of #SPGS, worked as an intern in Crow, and volunteered in the NACIL2. At the 18TH SLAT Roundtable, he presented his work-in-progress on L2 peer-editing and online translator self-editing, collaborated in a Crow/MACAWS workshop for designing DDL materials. Finally, he was admitted in the M.A. in French Linguistics and Second Language Learning, and he was awarded with an internship for NHC. Next year he will continue working in Crow and start collecting data from intermediate Spanish and French courses.

Emily Jones is wrapping up her junior year at Purdue, and it was her busiest one yet. In addition to her position with Crow, she interned with Sycamore Review, worked as Editorial Assistant for a journal under Purdue Press, and tutored in Purdue’s Writing Lab. This spring she also presented her research on gendered violence in Victorian literature, for which she received Purdue’s OUR Scholarship. Over the past year, she has done content strategy, information architecture, and branding development for Crow. Next semester she will be fulfilling her history minor while studying at Scotland’s oldest university, the University of St Andrews.

Ge Lan worked on his dissertation this past year, including completing the first draft of his literature review and part of his methodology, writing Python programs for grammatical analysis, and exploring how to use Stanford Parser with command line. He has also been working on processing Crow data that was collected in fall 2018 at Purdue, and modifying a header script developed by UA team.

Lindsey Macdonald worked on her dissertation, “The Right to Health: A Rhetorical Ecology of Mental Health Advocacy and Legislation,” and has so far completed the literature review chapter and part of the methods. She received a Graduate Summer Research Grant, so she will be spending the summer completing her data analysis and hopefully writing a chapter or two.

Michelle McMullin successfully defended her dissertation, “Crafting new materialist research frameworks for collaborative response” in April. She is ecstatic to be joining the amazing faculty at North Carolina State University as assistant professor of technical communication in the fall. She will be presenting with our Crow team and a team from MSU on Humanities Without Walls projects at Computers & Writing at Michigan State University this summer. She will also be reprising her role, this year as Dr. Hawk Girl, as director of iDTech camp at University of Michigan this summer.

Sarah Merryman worked as an undergraduate tutor in the Purdue Writing Lab, weblog and social media intern for the Purdue English Department, and assistant JTRP editor for the Purdue University Press. She won the English Department’s Outstanding Senior Award and the Albert Viton Scholarship for her work at the Press. In addition to blogging for Crow, she also helped write IRB contracts, create web content strategies, and learned the basics of Python coding. This spring, she presented her research on writing lab data usability at the Purdue Undergraduate Symposium.

Sarah proudly displays her certificate of completion for Ge Lan’s Python Coding crash course

Aleksey Novikov passed his comprehensive exams this semester, and is at the stage of making connections between data and ideas for his dissertation proposal. This semester he has mostly worked with the other Macaws birds to create pedagogical webinars on using Data-driven Learning (DDL) with learner data. He also co-presented two pedagogically-oriented workshops: Crow/MACAWS workshop for designing DDL materials, and Teaching Russian with Real World Language with existing native speaker and learner corpora.

Emily Palese passed her comprehensive exams this semester and will soon begin her dissertation proposal. This past semester she taught English 107, worked on processing UA student texts for Crow, and collaborated on collecting instructional materials for the repository. She co-presented two workshops on pedagogical approaches for supporting multilingual writers, as well as a Crow/MACAWS workshop for designing DDL materials. Next year she will continue working on Crow’s repository as a Graduate Assistant Director in the Writing Program.

Ji-young Shin defended her prospectus and finished the first draft of the literature review for her dissertation. She received two external research awards for graduate students, the 2019 AAAL Graduate Student Award and the 2019 British Council Assessment Research Award. During the fall semester, she successfully conducted two Crow workshops with other Crowbirds at the 2018 TaLC conference and the Crow Symposium. She also contributed to building the teaching material repository for Crow and participated in organizing the Crow Symposium.

Shelley Staples published two peer reviewed articles in English for Specific Purposes Journal, one a single-authored paper on using corpus-based discourse analysis to inform instruction and one with Purdue grads and a soon-to-be grad on complexity in oral language assessment. She also published a chapter on Corpus Linguistics for the Handbook of SLA and Pragmatics and a chapter on conducting Multi-dimensional Analysis in an edited volume. She submitted five additional papers and two grants (results pending). She was an invited speaker at Lancaster University, Universidad de Sonora, Vanderbilt University, and Purdue, where she gave talks on corpus linguistics and also introduced students and faculty to the Crow interface. She took over the editorship of Brief Reports with TESOL Quarterly. With Crow, Dr. Staples led our “citation project” team to their article submission, the UA team in growing our corpus (processing texts from Spring 2018-Fall 2018), and the Repository team on exciting new developments including our new intake form. She also co-led a workshop at the SLAT Roundtable and worked with Adriana, Randi, Ge, and Aleks on writing up research from their AACL presentation. With MACAWS, Crow’s cousin, she led the team in their production of a series of webinars. Finally, she helped 5 PhD students reach the final lap in their careers as students, including Crowbirds Ashley J Velázquez and Aleksandra Swatek, and two Crowbirds (Emily Palese and Aleks Novikov) reach their exciting next stage in their PhD process.

David Stucker, a junior in Purdue University’s Professional Writing program, joined the Crow undergraduate researcher team in early February. He spent the semester developing corpus backend bug report documentation and environmental scan criteria, proposed corpus user-agreement considerations, and performed environmental scans of similar corpora. He intends to continue his work with Crow over the summer and the upcoming fall semester.

Aleksandra Swatek defended her PhD dissertation, “The language of engagement in math instructional video tutorials: A corpus-based study.” She also taught face-to-face courses (OEPP) and online courses (ICaP) at Purdue. She presented initial results of her dissertation research at the Purdue Linguistics, Literature, and Second Language Studies Conference. She is currently on the job market in Poland.

Ashley Velázquez successfully defended her dissertation, “What’s the ‘problem’ statement? An investigation of problem-based writing in a First Year Engineering program” in April. She is thrilled to be joining the faculty at the University of Washington-Bothell as an assistant professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences in Fall 2019. Dr. Velázquez was also selected to serve on TESOL’s Standards Professional Council this past fall for the next two years. This summer, before leaving for Washington State, she’ll be leading a workshop or two on how to use Crow and develop DDL materials for teaching second language writing at Wright State University.