In this paper we explore the use of text processing technology for on-line assessment in an engineering design project class. We present results from a 5-week classroom study in a capstone engineering design course in which we explore the potential benefits of such technology for student learning in this context. Furthermore, we present results from ongoing work assessing student productivity based on features extracted from their conversational behavior in the course discussion board. While we found that typical shallow productivity measures such as number of posts, length of posts, or number of files committed have no correlation with an instructor assigned grade, we can achieve a substantial improvement using simple linguistic patterns extracted from on-line conversational behavior.

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