Last Updated: March 2017

Statement Of Purpose

​ The purpose of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) [Special Interest Group on Building Educational Applications, SIGEDU] (the SIG) shall be:

  • To promote interest in applying Natural Language Processing for Building Educational Applications to serve a wide breadth of learner and test taker populations. Topics include, but are not limited to, such aspects as:
    1. Automated assessment of written or spoken test taker responses
    2. Spoken dialogue, Game-based assessment, Collaborative environments, and Intelligent Tutoring (IT) that incorporates NLP
    3. Development and Evaluation of tools for classroom teachers and/or test developers
    4. Innovative applications to support learning at scale, personalized learning and learning analytics
    5. Use of corpora in educational tools
  • To provide members of the ACL who have a special interest in Educational Applications of NLP with a means of exchanging news of recent research developments
  • To sponsor meetings and workshops (such as the BEA workshop) in the Edu-NLP domain, that appear to be timely and worthwhile
  • To make it easier to coordinate/share organization efforts for joint meetings and workshops with related ACL SIGs
  • To provide and make available relevant resources, including previous BEA workshop proceedings, bibliographies, test suites, tools, applications, research papers and publicly available libraries and generated resources

SIGEDU will operate within the framework of the ACL’s general guidelines for SIGs.


​ The SIG will organize the annual BEA workshop, which is one of the longest running workshops in ACL. The work provides a forum for the presentation of peer-reviewed research in all aspects of NLP research related to building educational applications. The workshop will be collocated with the annual meeting of the ACL, or at one of its chapters, as before. If this is not feasible, the SIG may decide to collocate the workshop with some other conference. An annual business meeting of the SIG shall also take place at the workshop venue.


Joining: Membership is open to anyone who professes an interest in applying NLP for building educational applications. It does not require ACL membership. The membership can be obtained either through provided electronic means or by filling a membership form in conjunction with a SIG meeting.

Termination: Membership will be terminated on request, or automatically if no reply is received within 2 months of a timely membership renewal request. Termination requests are to be communicated by email to the Secretary. Automatically terminated memberships will be reinstated on request.


SIGEDU does not charge dues.

The Elected Officers

​ The elected officers of the SIG shall consist of a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. These shall be members in good standing of the ACL. The term of all elected officers of the SIG shall be 3 years or shorter if the elected officers organize the elections earlier.

President: The duties of the President shall be:

  • To have primary executive authority over actions and activities of the SIG
  • To be primarily responsible for the communication with Executive Committee of the ACL; to prepare a written report on the activities of the SIG for the executive committee, for presentation to the ACL at its Annual Business Meeting
  • To designate a Resources Manager for the SIG, who shall be responsible for maintaining public resources provided by the SIG, such as websites and mailing lists

Secretary: The duties of the Secretary shall be:

  • To be primarily responsible for communication with the Executive Committee of the ACL
  • To be responsible for relations to other ACL SIGs
  • To requests the approval of the ACL Executive Committee for any activities jointly sponsored with any other non-ACL organizations
  • Communication with members of the SIG
  • Answering inquiries about the SIG
  • To conduct elections as mandated below

Treasurer: The duties of the Treasurer shall be:

  • To be responsible for any money awarded to the SIG by the ACL or by other sources, such as sponsorship
  • To present a written annual report on the SIG finances to the Executive Committee of the ACL
  • In the event that the organization does decide to collect dues, to collect and manage any dues that may be required by the organization

Board Members: There will be 4 Board Members elected as well. Their duties include, and are not limited to:

  • Working with other elected members to organize the BEA workshop or any other events
  • Creating the newsletter
  • Identifying and contacting sponsors for SIG and its associated events
  • Maintain our community email lists
  • Maintaining and updating conent on website
  • Public outreach

Other Representatives

​ The Board designates a Resource Manager and determines how long that member serves. A Board member can be a Resource Manager.

Resource Manager: The duties of the Resource Manager include:

  • To create a webpage with the statement of purpose, constitution, and current officer information
  • To handle resources that are made available through the web
  • To maintain a membership roster of the SIG

Election Procedure

​ All elected officers of the SIG shall be elected by an anonymous vote of the membership. If a vacancy occurs among the officers of the SIG, remaining two elected officers may nominate a replacement officer who will serve out up to the remainder of the previous office holder’s term.

Nominations 3 months before the election: Nominations shall be called at least 3 months prior to the election, and shall close 2 months prior to the election. SIG members will be given notice to submit nominations for SIG officers. Candidates must be nominated by two members, must accept nomination, and must be in good standing of SIG EDU. Voting 2 months before the election: Voting shall commence at least 2 months before the expiration of the current terms of the officers. All members shall be notified of the election date and the nominations at least 4 weeks prior to the close of voting. Votes may be entered by electronic mail or other designated means. Votes arriving by the notified closing date will be counted. The votes will be counted by the Secretary or another officer agreed to by all candidates. Announcement of the Results: Any nominee receiving a majority of the votes will be declared elected. The results shall be notified to the members within 4 weeks immediately after the announcement of the results, and the previous officers will remain active for 3 months to ease the transition. Notification shall signify dispatch of mail by the medium and to the address last notified to the secretary.

Resource Management

​ In providing and making available any resources, and especially any held and distributed electronically, the SIG shall follow proper procedures with respect to matters like copyright, registration and data protection as is appropriate to each case.

The SIG shall not enter into any formal or potentially legally binding contracts without the approval of ACL Executive Committee (or the ACL Secretary-Treasurer acting under delegated powers). The SIG shall not enter into any financial commitments for such resources without ensuring that the moneys required are available.

Changes To The Constitution

​ Amendments to the constitution of the SIG may be proposed by any SIG member. These must be communicated to the Secretary who shall in turn announce them to the SIG members for discussion at the SIG mailing list. Suggested amendments must obtain the initial support of at least three SIG members and should be proposed at least a month prior to their consideration at the annual SIG business meeting. The minutes of the discussion related to the proposed amendments shall be publicized at the SIG website and the respective amendments shall be ratified by a two thirds majority vote by all SIG members. The vote shall take place electronically (either by e-mail, or via a dedicated web service) within a month, at the latest, after the SIG business meeting. Once ratified, the amendments shall be of immediate effect. The ACL Executive Committee may veto proposed constitution changes if they are incompatible with the ACL Constitution or SIG guidelines. ​