Project Details

A two-year pilot study undertaken by McDonald and Moskal Ltd to implement and evaluate the new text analysis tool, Quantext, in real classroom settings.

Quantext supports the rapid analysis of short-form student writing, for example, responses to short-answer questions or mini essays.

Quantext allows teachers to aggregate and summarise trends or patterns in student writing, monitor writing development and potentially trace conceptual understanding back to source in teaching resources and lecture content.


The main aims of this project are to:

  • implement and evaluate the new text analysis tool (Quantext) in real classroom settings as a tool for:
    • teacher development and reflection 
    • providing timely, formative feedback to students, especially in large-class settings.
  • evaluate the utility of the mechanism employed to develop this software. That is, a public-private partnership between New Zealand tertiary institutions and a social enterprise dedicated to supporting educational software innovation and development.


This project will use a mixed-method approach to data collection and analysis.

  • Teachers and staff from a wide range of contexts across four New Zealand tertiary institutions have been recruited to pilot Quantext in ways that are meaningful for them. Each of these contexts makes up an individual case-study.
  • Introductory workshops will be held with the teachers who will then ask their students formative, open-ended questions, or use existing short-form student writing, to analyse with Quantext. Reflections from teachers, staff and in some cases students, who use Quantext, along with the analysed text data will make up the dataset for each case-study.
  • Throughout the pilot study, Quantext will be updated and where possible, incorporate additional prototype tools in response to feedback from pilot participants.
  • Towards the end of each case-study there will be individual or focus group sessions with all teacher participants to provide summaries of the key teaching and learning insights they have gained along with potential issues faced and opportunities for improvement.



Dr Jenny McDonald

McDonald & Moskal Ltd

Adon Moskal

McDonald & Moskal Ltd

Associate Professor Cathy Gunn

University of Auckland
victoria university

Dr Irina Elgort

Victoria University


In progress


$122,814.00 (excl GST)

$65,642.00 Ako Aotearoa Project Fund
$57,172.00 McDonald & Moskal Ltd

Key Findings

Key Recommendations